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Student Spotlight: Dawson

Student Spotlight: Dawson

Major: Women's, Gender, and Sexuality Studies and Environmental Science

Sport: Rowing

Year: Senior


What is your full name?


Where did you grow up?

I've mainly lived in the Seattle area, but I was born in Wisconsin and lived in London for a year.

What is one of your favorite places to go/favorite things to do in your hometown?

I love hiking and going on bike rides.

How long have you been competing in your sport?

Four years

Who/What got you into your sport?

I did figure skating growing up, and when I came to Mills I knew I wanted to join a sport to meet new people and stay active. I have no hand-eye coordination, and I wanted to try a sport I didn't know much about, so rowing seemed like a great fit! I rowed for two years before a back injury made it prohibitively painful, and then I decided to become a coxswain.

What is your favorite thing about your sport?

I love the attention to detail that it requires. Both as a rower and a coxswain, you can learn the general motions in a few days, but you can spend years finessing the details of your stroke or improving your steering. There's always more that I can work on -- it's a constant pull between marveling at how far I've come in the sport, and being totally humbled by how much I don't know.

On a free Saturday with no homework or plans, what would your ideal day look like?

Sleeping in, going to brunch somewhere new, and visiting a dog park. Oh, and probably getting boba.

What's something in the Bay Area that you really want to visit or see?

I would love to see more of the Redwoods. And apparently there's somewhere in the Bay where you can physically see the San Andreas Fault, which would be incredible.

What is your favorite thing about Mills?

I love the personal relationships I've been able to foster with my teachers -- I've had a few of my professors for multiple classes, and the rapport and candor that that encourages makes talking to them much easier. And even professors who I've only had one class with will say hi in the hallways or ask me how I'm doing. It makes for a very supportive environment.

What is your favorite color?


What is your favorite food/drink?

Chips and guac (but mostly guac) and boba

What song do you have on repeat right now?

Hmmmm... It's hard to choose just one, but my top three are probably "Surrender" by Walk The Moon, "Still Sane" by Lorde, and "fallingforyou" by The 1975 (forever my problematic fave).

Is there anything that you are doing outside of athletics that you are super passionate about?

I'm writing a thesis! I'm still in the early stages, but it'll be something about the social effects of wetland restoration in the Bay Area, and looking at ways to balance wetland restoration with the dire need for housing.

What is something you want to do before you graduate?

Eat as much Bay Area-specific food (Fentons, It's it, Homeroom, etc.) as possible!

What is your favorite class this semester and why?

I'm loving my class "From Gay Rights to Queer Liberation" taught by the incredible Kim Tran -- she let us decide which topics interested us the most at the beginning of the semester, and has been giving us guidance for how to approach and discuss them ever since. Plus there's minimal homework.