A Graduation Story - Change A Snap For Karly Brown

For Karly Brown, she experienced changes and challenges in her two years at San Jose State.

The one-time Chico (Calif.) High School soccer player became one of the Spartans' all-time best swimmers.

She split her college years between Santa Rosa Junior College and San Jose State. And now, the 2012 graduate will have a bachelor's degree in business
administration after pursuing a nursing degree in junior college.

"I like excitement; I like changes," says Brown. "I feel like I adjust really well to that change. When you're told you can't do something it makes you more excited to do it. I was told I could never be a soccer player and then I did it. And then, 'you can't play water polo.' I played water polo my sophomore year in college. It's more fun when someone says you can't do something and you do it anyway."

Brown did not find her swimming specialty, the breaststroke, until her senior season. But she succeeded and now is among the top-10 all-time in the Spartans' record book in four different events this year.

"Something sparked, I don't know what it was," says Brown. "I think it's just the training that you have. You don't even realize you're not just training for one event.

"I think that's why the improvement was made. Because not just in the pool, but in the weight room and mentally (the coaches) tone you down to think that you can do any other event. And I changed my event my senior year. So that was kind of cool. I liked that part about it."

As a community college transfer, Brown had to adapt quickly, but by graduating on time and succeeding in the pool she has shown that is not a problem.

"It happened really fast, but I liked it," says Brown. "The program is really good. Academically, it went super-fast, too. My fall semester, the busiest time for swimming, I always do better because I'm so busy."

Brown was named the San Jose State swimming and diving team's Most Improved award for 2011-12. She more than doubled her points output at the Western Athletic Conference championship from the previous season, helping lead the Spartans to their first-ever WAC title.

"It's unbelievable (winning the WAC championship)," says Brown. "We won our state championship at Santa Rosa, but it was nothing like winning WAC. It was exciting. It was a great accomplishment, but winning WAC - you work so much harder. You train so much harder. You go through ups and downs in the season, and then there's the 'Happily Ever After' story, especially with it being my senior year. I couldn't ask for a better season."

Now Brown will look toward the future for her next challenge. Armed with a
two-year degree in nursing from Santa Rosa Junior College, the idea for a career in that field has not yet left her mind.

"I probably will end up going back to school for nursing," says Brown. "It's ultimately what I want to do. I can't go back and do sports. It was either now or never, and I can always go back to school."

Whatever life throws her way, Brown has proven she can handle it. In fact, she handle it as a 2012 San Jose State University graduate.

Graduation stories
121 Student-Athletes Eligible For Commencement