Everyday Champion - Stephanie McGregor
Jan. 27, 2010
Stephanie McGregor of the gymnastics team was drawn to the campus of Oregon State University and the city of Corvallis by the intense love of all things related to Beaver Athletics - throw in outstanding academics and there is a recipe for an everyday champion.
McGregor, a native of Calgary, Canada, dreamed of continuing to compete in gymnastics at the collegiate level knew she'd need a scholarship from an American university.
'Without a scholarship from BASF, I would not be attending Oregon State University right now,' she says. 'There aren't athletic scholarship opportunities in Canada the way there is here. Having a scholarship allows me to continue gymnastics and study for an excellent degree at the same time.'
Since her arrival at OSU in the fall of 2008, McGregor has taken advantage of OSU's University Exploratory Studies Program and the university's Honors College to discover that Bio-Engineering in her future. Although she's unsure of where a degree in Bio-Engineering will take her (perhaps medical school) her near-4.0 cumulative GPA has her headed toward great heights to be sure.
McGregor has been a fixture in the Beavers' vault and floor exercise lineups since her arrival and she fully expects to help lead the 2010 team back to the NCAA Championships in April.
How did you arrive at Oregon State?
'I came upon Oregon State (in high school) initially when I sent out information to schools; it had a really good program gymnastics-wise and academically. When I came for my official visit I loved the team, I loved the coaches and the whole atmosphere surrounding sports in Corvallis was really what sold me here.'
Looking back, do you think this was the right decision for you?
'I know that coming to Oregon State was definitely the right decision for me. I feel like now that I'm a sophomore I've really adjusted, and it's great being here where everyone really cares for you not just as an athlete, but as a whole person. And I love my team, so that really helps.'
What helped you to make the adjustment to being away from home?
'Coming to Oregon State was definitely an adjustment for me, especially with being from Canada. There was not only the moving away from home, it was adjusting to a different culture as well. I think what really helped me was having other Canadians on the team that I could relate to. Also the coaches did a wonderful job of helping us as freshman know what to expect and helping us get used to things down here.'
You study in the Honors College, where does the importance of academics come from?
'Academics have always been really important to me; I think that came from my parents. Their rule was that if my grades weren't good then I had to skip practice, and I would never want to skip practice so I just made sure I kept my marks high. Now I just expect it of myself.'
You've chosen to study Bio-Engineering, what led you there?
'When I first came to OSU I was in the University Exploratory Studies Program because I wasn't really sure of what I wanted to major in. I've always really enjoyed math and science so I was kind of leaning towards engineering. Being so involved in sports, I've always been amazed by the human body, so that's what led me to bio-engineering.'
What has been your favorite class at OSU?
'My favorite class I've taken so far was the Honors Lab for Biology 211. What made this class so unique was instead of doing just labs we got to do our own research and write up a whole project. Also it was honors, so it was with other students who had similar interests.'
How involved are you in community service?
'I would like to get more involved with SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee). I've been attending the meetings on a regular basis this year and throughout last year. Currently the gymnastics team already has two representatives but since L-A (Laura-Ann Chong) and Whitney (Watson) will be graduating this year, I'd really like to take on their role next year. Community service is so important, to be able to give back to the community - I feel like I personally have gained so much through sports that it's only right that I am able to help others. I've been trying to become a lot more involved in SAAC and would like to be a gymnastics representative next year. I would like to help out with the various SAAC community service activities. Recently we did the Haitian Relief Fund and helped collect and pack the over 8,000 pounds of donations that we received.'
Why was it important for you to receive a scholarship?
'Without a scholarship from BASF (Beaver Athletic Student Fund) I would not be attending Oregon State University right now. Having a scholarship allows me to continue gymnastics and receive and study for an excellent degree at the same time. Also, just having the goal to achieve a scholarship when I was in high school really kept me focused and dedicated and is why I continue to work so hard on my schoolwork and in gymnastics.'
What will you do with a bio-engineering degree?
'I chose bio-engineering because I feel like it's a degree where I can keep my options open, so if I want to go on to graduate school or even med school I have that available to me. Also I figured if I'm capable of taking those higher level classes and still do well, I want to go for it because the last thing I want to do is sell myself short. I figure I still have time, but since athletics have been such a huge part of my life I can't really see myself not involved in sports. Another reason I might want to go into bio-engineering is to maybe design prosthetics to help people who are physically disabled experience the joy of athletics.'