A team player
Athlete Jade Valenzuela ’10 gives back to the University
By Catherine Garcia
The minute Jade Valenzuela ’10 stepped onto the grounds of the University of Redlands for the first time, she knew it was the school for her even though it was years before she could apply for admission.
“I took a trip to the U of R in seventh grade and fell in love with it,” she says. “I loved the feel and look of the campus, and I knew then I was going there for college.”
Valenzuela liked the small classes, as well as the opportunities available for students who were interested in athletics. “You could walk on to the teams if you so desired,” she said. And that’s exactly what Valenzuela did: she was part of the swim and water polo teams all four years.
“My experience was awesome,” she said. “It was much harder than my high school teams, but absolutely worth it.” She had fun out of the pool as well, while earning her bachelor’s degree in biology and chemistry with a minor in Asian studies.
“I was lucky to get great roommates my freshman year and make friends with many on both teams,” Valenzuela says. “I loved my small classes and really getting to know some of the professors I had, like Teri Longin, Hongwei Lu, and Anne Cavender.”
Valenzuela earned her master’s degree in library and information science from San Jose State University in 2012 and works in a public library. “It’s important to give back to the U of R, no matter how little it might be,” she said. “I like to give back to the Bulldog Bench in particular because I really value the student-athlete experience and all the staff who work to make participating in the sports so great: the coaches, the trainers, and everyone who works so hard to make sure our athletic facilities are in working condition.”