If you’re looking to strike up a conversation with Markie Alaniz, catch her if you can.
The University of Houston-Victoria freshman plays midfielder for the Jaguars women’s soccer team and spends most afternoons sprinting through the fields at practice.
“We practice every day,” she said with a chuckle. “It’s a lot of work, but I really like the team. We all get along well.”
Soccer was always a way of life for the Kingsville native, who began playing the sport in second grade. In fact, it’s what drew her to Victoria.
“I was looking at schools and decided to look into soccer teams I wanted to join,” she said, adding that she previously lived in Victoria. “It was my mom who found out UHV was having tryouts and told me about it.”
When she isn’t busy at practice or studying for classes, Alaniz spends time swimming, drawing and even behind the camera lens. As a member of the Eye of the Jaguar, a student organization geared toward photography and video, she’s working to improve her picture-taking skills.
“It’s something I’ve always been interested in,” she said, explaining she photographed UHV’s Spring Carnival for the organization.
The education major hopes to eventually become an elementary school teacher. She enjoys working with children, and it would mean a lot to her to have an impact on their education, she said.
The 18-year-old has adjusted to college life and said she enjoys living in Jaguar Hall with her friends and teammates. The thing that took the most getting used to is being away from her family.
Although the coursework and other activities sometimes make for a hectic schedule, Alaniz picked up a tip or two during her time at school. She advised others to pace themselves when it comes to completing their work.
“At first, I tried to get everything done fast, even if it wasn’t due until the next week,” she said. “But I think it’s important to relax. Take your time, and turn things in when they’re due. It makes it easier.”
The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact Paula Cobler, UHV interim director or marketing and communications, or call 361-570-4350.