Honors College student-athlete scores Rosser scholarship
Hanson advances in the basketball court, classroom, community
Whether it is shooting for the hoop or completing a task on hand, Cal State L.A. student-athlete Alyssa Hanson employs the same drive and passion on the basketball court as she does in the classroom and within the community.
Hanson, a 5-foot-7-inch guard, is a senior captain of this year’s Golden Eagle Women’s Basketball team. She is also an Honors College student who is concurrently pursuing a mathematics degree with a single-subject teaching credential while volunteering regularly as a math tutor in her community.
With such heart and willingness to give, it is no wonder Hanson was named the Rosser Student-Athlete Scholar for 2011 and 2012. She is the fifth student at Cal State L.A. to be selected for this prestigious endowed scholarship.
“I feel incredibly blessed and grateful to receive the honor of the President Rosser Scholarship,” said Hanson. “The scholarship provides me with the opportunity to pursue my life goals, while also motivating me to utilize the benefits to pay it forward. The Rosser scholarship also helps me to be able to help others on campus, on my basketball team, and within the community.”
The scholarship was established by President James M. Rosser in 2004 for student-athletes who have a varsity letter in at least one sport and are excelling academically in mathematics or related fields. The scholarship is now awarded to a student-athlete enrolled in the University’s Honors College, which is geared for high-achieving students.
“Alyssa is the epitome of a model student-athlete. She is extremely dedicated to both her academics and basketball, and works extremely hard in both areas,” said Coach Janell Jones. “Alyssa has a servant mentality to her team and community. It is certainly an honor to have Alyssa Hanson represent the Cal State L.A. Women’s Basketball program as the Rosser Scholarship recipient.”
Last year, the women’s basketball team reached the title game of the California Collegiate Athletic Association (CCA) Championship Tournament and also made it to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) playoffs for just the second time in the program’s history.
“I am very proud of the accomplishments our team achieved last year because we truly fought together to the end of the season,” said Hanson, who maintains a high grade point average and garnered a 2011-12 All-CCAA Academic Award. “However, this year, we strive to win our first conference championship banner to hang proudly in CSULA’s gym forever. This goal motivates us to get better as a team every day.”
With this scholarship, Hanson expressed the desire to make the University, President Rosser, and her teammates proud. After graduation, she plans to teach high school math and/or coach basketball at a junior college.
“I hope to teach a wide range of mathematics, from AP-Calculus to remedial math, because I will enjoy preparing mathematically-gifted students for a bright and successful future, while also teaching basic learning skills to eager students who are ready to progress forward,” Hanson said. “I would also love to be able to teach my first passion, basketball, to players who strive to continue their athletic careers in college.”
Hanson believes it is the responsibility of an educator to “foster a community of young adults who are kind-hearted and who want to help others.” She also volunteers at the Dream Center in Los Angeles, tutoring single moms and those from homeless families seeking to complete their high school GED (general educational development).
“I want to help and serve others, and tutoring math is the best way I can utilize my skills to help,” she said. “It is a blessing to be involved with an amazing organization like the Dream Center, and I am so grateful for the opportunity they have given me to pursue teaching. The most memorable experience about volunteering is the relationships I have developed with my students.”
Back on campus, Hanson is also a member of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, which hosts campus-wide events, such as Midnight Madness and a canned food drive to raise money for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
When asked how she finds the balance and energy for all that she does, she responded that her formula was to “keep a positive attitude” and to “have a lot of fun.”
“I am dedicated to school, basketball, and the community, while also committed to enjoying my life,” said Hanson. “The basketball team and I have a great time whenever we are together. Joking around and being with my teammates help me manage the stress of my busy life. I work hard, so that I can play hard later.”
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