From the track to her studies, Aoife Zamacona does it all, and makes it look easy
When it comes to life at Hamline, versatility is the name of the game for Aoife Zamacona, of North Saint Paul, Minnesota. She's a legal studies and women's studies double major and earned a business minor and a paralegal certificate to boot, with three on-campus jobs and an internship at a Saint Paul law firm—and don't forget that she's a heptathlete on the track and field team, and co-president of the Student Athletic Advisory Committee. (Phew!)
Zamacona '22 first joined a track team as a seventh grader and continued the sport through high school. When Hamline coaches came calling to recruit her, Hamline stood out to her for its small class sizes and engaged faculty.
I realized I would actually know my professors on a personal level. It seemed like such a great little community."
Zamacona ended up joining the first class of Hamline's track and field heptathlon competitors. Being a heptathlete means when Zamacona competes, she completes 100 meters of hurdles, a high jump, a long jump, shot put and javelin throws, a 200 meter race, and an 800 meter race.
Tired yet? She isn't.
"I love having that versatility, being able to jump one day and then go run a race," Zamacona said.
Academically, Zamacona also found herself pulled in many directions. When she joined the mock trial team, though, "I felt like something clicked," she recalled, and she quickly fixed her sights on a legal studies major. "I love all the different things you can do with it."
Even so, she found a way to fulfill all of her varied interests: A course on law in the lives of women drew her to the women's studies department, where Professor Kristin Mapel-Bloomberg "totally changed the way that I write things," Zamacona said; and a foray into the English department introduced her to Jen England, another favorite professor.
There was certainly a learning curve as Zamacona balanced all of her responsibilities, but the result was a boost in confidence and capability that she wouldn't trade for anything.
"I was always worried that I was behind on so many things, but throughout the years I found my place and figured out what I loved to do," she said. "I struggle with imposter syndrome and feeling like I'm not qualified, but I'm proud to be where I am."
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