Former gymnast Alise Blackwell is in touch with the present with plans to flip a successful past into an even better future. A four-time San Jose State University Scholar-Athlete and Academic-All Western Athletic Conference (WAC) honoree for top-notch work in academics and athletics competition, the health sciences major plans to seek a master's degree in pubic health.
"I want to give back to the community. (President) Obama just signed the new health reforms," said Blackwell, who spent the 2006 through 2009 seasons on the gymnastics team and was a diver for the Spartans' swimming and diving team at the start of the 2009-10 season.
As a gymnast, Blackwell was one of San Jose State's top performers on the uneven parallel bars. She earned second-team All-WAC honors her senior season. A 9.800 was her lowest score in her last three college meets.
"My favorite memory (in gymnastics) was in my senior year. I finished my career on (the uneven) bars in (the NCAA) regionals. It was the moment of my life," said the 23-year old San Jose native, who was a big part of the 2007 and 2009 San Jose State teams that qualified for NCAA Regional Championship competition. At the 2007 NCAA Regional Championships hosted by Stanford, she finished 14th in the all-around competition with a 38.675 score out of a possible 40.000.
Blackwell was a three-time state champion in club competitions before enrolling at San Jose State. She credits the time management skills she developed in high school at Archbishop Mitty with her academic success. After she finished her college athletics career, she could be seen in the Gadway Center near Spartan Stadium offering help, support and advice to student-athletes. And, when she wasn't on campus, Blackwell could be found at the Bay Aerials gymnastics club in Fremont, Calif., lending her skill and knowledge to youngsters aspiring to match and/or exceed her achievements in the sport.
Now, a third-generation college graduate, Blackwell was beaming with pride while waiting in the processional line to enter Spartan Stadium for the University's Commencement exercise on May 29.
"It's been the best five years of my life. Gymnastics and graduating - nothing could mean anything more to me," said Blackwell.
More 2010 Graduation Stories
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Aumornai Edinburgh, women's basketball - Going For More
Ward Farris, men's basketball/football - The Comeback Kid
Amanda Villa, soccer - Loading Up To Finish
Eric Bulcholz, football - Earning A Family First
Karson Klauer, Corey Valine, Alex Sofranac, baseball - Standout Trio
Bridget McKee, water polo - University's Top Of The Class
90 Student-Athletes Eligible For Commencement