Written by Sarah Bergstrom, USC blog contributor
USC athletes are more than just champions on the field, court, diamond, and pool, they're champions in the classroom as well. Each week, we will get to know one of these scholarly Trojans a little better in our student-athlete spotlight.
Name: Alexa Stonish
Sport: Women's Sand Volleyball
Major: Fine Arts
Sarah Bergstrom (SB): You're majoring in Fine Arts, have you always had a passion for art?
Alexa Stonish (AS): I was actually majoring in Sports Business at my first school but I've always seemed to have a camera in my hand. It's always been fun for me to mix my two passions, sports and photography, so I decided to apply here for the Fine Arts program. When I got in I had to come.
SB: What types of things do you like to shoot?
AS: I love to shoot landscapes if I'm not doing something sports related. But that's what I really love. When we travel as a team I often take photos for our team blog. I love taking action shots.
SB: Is volleyball your favorite sport to take photos of?
AS: Definitely. That's how I got into it. I've had a camera forever but I remember really first beginning to take photos when I began playing volleyball in sixth or seventh grade.
SB: How was your experience doing Artletics last year? What did you make?
AS: It was really cool. I didn't even know we had an art show for athletes and I didn't realize that so many other athletes actually take art classes. It was really fun to get to see each other's work. It was awesome to see that athletes can make art. I did a sculpture for mine. I had never taken a sculpture class before but I made two volleyball players out of packaging tape and Saran wrap. It turned out pretty good.
SB: Being a fine arts major means you probably have to take a variety of art classes maybe out of your comfort zone. What kinds of classes have you taken?
AS: That's so true. It's been really challenging. For example I can't draw, I can only draw stick figures, so when I have to do work in those classes it's hard. Or when I had to take sculpture I didn't even know what that meant! I emphasize in ceramics and so I figured it would be similar but it was totally different. It's fun to learn in those new classes though and see what other art students can do.
SB: Do you know what you're interested in doing down the road after you graduate? What do you want to do in the world of art?
AS: I would love to do something sports related but I'm also kind of hoping to do an internship with National Geographic. I love following their work. Travel is something I'm really interested in. If I were hired by National Geographic I would love to go to Africa. That's my dream.
SB: So being a student at USC how has it been balancing art, which takes a lot of time and effort, and sand volleyball which also takes a lot?
AS: I think being an athlete actually helps with my academics because I think when you have a lot going on you really have to be responsible for getting things done. If I had a lot of free time I would probably put all my work off. As an athlete you have to be on top of your work and stay on a schedule to get things done.
SB: What has it meant to you to be a student-athlete at USC?
AS: It is amazing. Just walking through Heritage Hall or the John McKay Center makes me realize what I am a part of. It's crazy. There is so much that USC has to offer. My first school was small and kind of in the middle of nowhere. Here there are endless opportunities.
SB: What has it been like to be a part of a new program and to get to lay the foundation for what USC sand volleyball will be in the future?
AS: It's probably been the coolest part of my experience here. Being a part of the first ever sand volleyball team was really great and then even more started to come together. We got a stadium, we've grown as a team and this is our first year that we really have a true recruiting class. It's all falling together and going from here, soon we will be chasing a conference championship and a national championship. It's going to be great to see where this program goes in the future.
SB: You are getting incredibly close to the start of your season, what is the outlook for this year?
AS: Coming off of last year when we came in third, we are all really hungry. We have a lot of new young girls which adds to our team. We want to bring home a national championship, that's our number one goal. We're just excited to get started.