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Nikki LongNikki Long ’18

San Antonio, TX

Meet Nikki Long. This UTSA scholar-athlete has excelled in the classroom and on the UTSA Women’s Golf Team. Now she’s preparing to take the knowledge and skills she’s learned as a Roadrunner to law school.

Long grew up in San Antonio, where she began playing golf in the seventh grade. She continued playing at Johnson High School and, with dedicated practice, sharpened her skills.

“I realized my sophomore year of high school that I had a chance to earn a scholarship,” Long said. “So I worked really hard and here I am.”

Long received several scholarship offers before choosing to stay in her hometown to attend UTSA.

“I wanted to go to a university where I could excel academically and athletically. UTSA offered a top-tier education and the opportunity to play golf,” Long said.

In high school, Long took dual credit courses, so when the economics major arrived at UTSA in Fall 2014, she dove straight into her business classes.

Her hard work paid off. Guided by her mentors, she was named a Distinguished Business Student last year, representing the top 1.5 percent of UTSA business students. She was also named the 2016-2017 Conference USA Women’s Golf Scholar Athlete of the Year.

“I took three classes with Dr. Kenneth Weiher,” she said. “His passion for economics made me want to learn more and more.”

She also received academic support through UTSA Athletics.

“One of the greatest things I always tell people about UTSA is no matter what aspect of your education or athletic career, there are people who are here to help,” Long said. “My academic advisors, Colin Howlett and Beth Noteware, have been instrumental in helping me understand how to be successful.”

Now, the UTSA senior wants to build a career to help others.

“I want to pursue law because ultimately I feel compassion when I see people who are exploited or treated unfairly when there are laws that should protect them,” Long said. “I want to be the one who helps bring justice to their misfortune.”

Long says representing UTSA on the golf course has been priceless.

“Being part of a team is really special,” Long said. “Going to tournaments and saying I’m fighting for UTSA is what drives me to come to practice every day and to get better. It’s been an incredible experience.”

Long has also made time to get involved on campus. She’s the president of the Student-Athletic Advisory Committee and president of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes at UTSA. She’s also a member of the UTSA chapter of Omicrom Delta Epsilon, an international honors society in economics.

“This group really helped prepare me for a professional environment – how to look the part, dress the part, be on time,” Long said. “It was just one more opportunity UTSA afforded me.”

With a 3.97 GPA and just one B at UTSA, the golfer is confident that her economics degree will be an asset in law school, due to the philosophical nature of economics and the business background that is required of attorneys.

As she looks forward to applying to law schools and to graduating in the spring, she says she will always value her time at UTSA.

“UTSA is quickly rising to be one of the best universities in Texas and the nation,” Long said. “The opportunities here to excel are endless. There are so many people here who want to help you. If you want to succeed, you will succeed at UTSA.”

Story by Cortney Clevenger