A proud member of Iona’s swim team, Willow Lopez-Silvers ’21, is also an honors student who is making an impact in and out of the Iona community. Heavily involved in Mission and Ministry’s volunteer efforts and working as a student tutor in The Samuel Rudin Academic Resource Center, Willow also finds the time to serve as the vice president of the Iona Singers.
Swimming competitively since she was 7 years old, this University Place, Wash., native excelled in high school and knew she wanted to pursue a Division 1 athletic career. She came to Iona specifically for swimming, where the MAAC offers her and her teammates a competitive environment that is evident in the team’s successes. But when she made her way across the country, she quickly fell in love with the small, involved school atmosphere of Iona.
As a peer tutor for math, this adolescent education major concentrating in math believes the Rudin Center is a great resource for all students, even those who just need a place to work. Willow shares, “Since I want to be a teacher, I love to help other people, especially when they're struggling in a class. I love watching the skills click.” She added, “I ask a lot of questions to help the students reach the answer on their own.”
Willow is currently working on the early stages of her thesis research project for the Honors Program. Though still in the development phase, she is considering focusing on analyzing demographics and other information from school districts, looking for patterns and correlations to reach conclusions to help improve the school system.
As an athlete, she also takes pride in supporting her fellow Iona athletes by attending as many games as she can. “My favorite experiences are always sporting events. I love seeing everyone come out to support basketball and the other sports. When I'm competing in the pool, I love seeing parents and students cheering us on. Everyone is so supportive,” enthuses Willow.
Her advice to new students is: “Make sure to find a home here. There's a place for everyone in sports or clubs or academics. No matter where you end up in life, you need a home to come back to.”