Gina Phillipi skied for UCLA, graduated in 2016, and is a former NCWSA Female Leader of the Year award winner. Having never skied prior to college, Gina eventually went on to hold several leadership positions on her team, which showcases what a great experience collegiate skiing can be!
Favorite Event: Trick
Describe your ski team experience: I had never seen a water ski or a ski lake until my first year of college. I went out with the team on a recommendation from a friend, and immediately fell in love with the people and the sport. I was privileged to contribute to my team through a couple of different leadership positions, and used my time in leadership to focus on reaching out to brand-new skiers like me. Our team more than doubled in size over my college career, and I am proud of our efforts to grow as a competitive entity in our region and as a family amongst ourselves. That foundation was set by the captain prior to me, and continues to this day.
What are you doing now? I work for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) in Phoenix, AZ. At the CDC I am an epidemiologist working with tuberculosis control and prevention.
Favorite Ski Team Memory: A lot of fond memories of spending the weekend at the lake with the team blend together. One that stands out is when I was the tournament director for Western Collegiate Regionals in 2014. It was challenging to put together such a large tournament, but extremely rewarding to see all of the pieces come together.
Any advice for current skiers? Focus on improving to your best potential.
How can we get more college kids involved in the sport? I personally think the best way to do this is by supporting the development of college teams and their leaders. My team drew from a lot of people who had not grown up skiing, such as me, and any support from the NCWSA and AWSA makes cultivating those new skiers easier for emerging leaders.
Thanks, Gina, for sharing your ski team experience! If anyone else would like to volunteer as tribute, comment on Facebook or email firstname.lastname@example.org.