DURHAM, N.C. - Nick Tsipis is a junior on the men's soccer team and one of the most well-rounded and involved student athlete leaders to be part of the Duke Leadership Program. Currently an upper class mentor for our First Year ACTION program, as well as a two-year member of Student Athlete Advisory Council, Nick will be taking over as the student coordinator for our annual Holiday "Project Share" Community Outreach. Nick has a history of service and involvement across campus. In addition to spending his 2009 Spring Break with students from Duke as part of the Community Service Office's "Alternative Spring Break" program in New Orleans, Nick has developed a close relationship with the Duke University Medical Center and Duke Children's Hospital. One of Nick's first interactions with the medical center was early last Fall semester when Nick, along with his coaches and one teammate, visited a 17 year old patient and soccer fan at the Duke Medical Center. This relationship did not end with one visit; rather Nick and his soccer team continued their relationship throughout their soccer season, visiting and inviting the soccer fan to their games and checking in on him.
In addition to service leadership, Nick was asked to and has attended the NCAA APPLE Leadership (Peer Education Drug/Alcohol Issues) Conference as a Duke University student-athlete representative. Although weekends free of practice are few and far between for student-athletes, Nick sacrificed one of his free weekends to represent Duke University and acquire additional leadership skills. This speaks volumes to his commitment and interest to doing the right thing and learning more how to encourage others to do the same. Most recently, Nick was selected last May to represent Duke at the NCAA National Student Athlete Development Conference in Orlando. Finally, as a result of his commitment to service and leadership across campus and nationally, Nick was the recipient of the Lars Lyons Volunteer Service Award at the Duke Student Affairs "Distinguished Leadership and Service Award Ceremony" last spring. In a society that more often than not tends to scrutinize and often publicize any "negatives" surrounding college athletics, Nick Tsipis is just one of our Duke athletes who has chosen to use his athletic role more as a positive platform in which to serve and lead not only his peers, but many local and national populations as well.
Tsipis sat down for a quick Q&A session...
What is your major?
Nick Tsipis: Pre-Med-Biology Major; History Minor; Chem Minor
What are your future goals?
NT: When I finish my undergrad studies, I am excited about the opportunity I will hopefully receive to enroll in medical school. My ultimate dream is to become a doctor who is active in international humanitarian relief work, possibly through an organization like Doctors Without Borders or the International Red Cross. It is my passion to one day possess the tools to be able to help those brothers and sisters of mine in our world today who unfortunately do not have access to even the most basic health care.
What is your favorite part of SAAC and why do you do it?
NT: I am very grateful to be a part of SAAC for a couple of reasons. First of all, I am humbled to have the privilege of being a voice for my team within our athletic community and to the Duke community in general. Second of all, I always relish any opportunity I have to interact with the leaders from the other teams on campus and to continue to learn more about my incredible fellow athletes.
Why are you a mentor?
NT: I am a Mentor because I remember when I was a freshman that I cherished the opportunity to meet people from other teams and to be able to interact with upperclassmen in my first couple of semesters at Duke. I know I appreciated the advice that my mentors gave me and I hope that I can provide some amount of support or advice to my group. I know that I certainly enjoy my time with them!
Who is a person that has had a positive effect on you?
NT: I cannot say enough about the lessons my family, and in particular my parents, have taught me about unconditional love and sacrifice and I am eternally grateful to them for that. I also thank God everyday for the time I get to spend with my teammates; the spirit, camaraderie, and brotherhood that we share inspires me every day and makes me grateful that the family that I love so much has been expanded to include these 26 guys.
Name five things you love to do.
NT: 1) Spend as much time with my family as possible
2) Attend Catholic Mass on campus
3) Dance in the locker room (I'll leave the judgment of its quality to my teammates)
4) Sing boy-band and John Mayer music with Cole Grossman-he's really good
5) Cheer on the always-exciting and ever-successful Cleveland Browns (and Cleveland sports in general)-because there's always next year...
If you could spend an hour with anyone, who would it be?
NT: You may think I'm kidding, but I would honestly say my teammates. I truly cherish each and every one of them and the unique personality and vibrancy that each of them brings into my life. In particular, I would want to spend an hour with our seniors, because as we're nearing tournament time, I want to do everything in my power to maximize the time that I have with them. They've done so much for our program and we're looking to send them out right with our performances in the upcoming ACC and NCAA tournaments.
What is your favorite part of Duke Athletics so far?
NT: I am most grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by student-athletes who actually embody that term on a daily basis, who strive for excellence and demonstrate integrity both in the classroom and on the playing field. Being a Duke athlete forces me to extend myself and push my limits in all the walks of my life and I'm very grateful for that unique opportunity.