Coming to UT Martin from a town outside of Atlanta, Ga. was a big change for Alisha Erves, but with the support of her volleyball teammates and with her heart set on becoming a sideline reporter, Erves has found her place at UT Martin.
“Coming in from Georgia, I had no clue. I had met one girl on my visit here. I didn’t know anyone. But the [volleyball] team was very welcoming. My first few weeks here, they took all the freshmen in and we all got to know each other.”
Now that Erves has settled into her community at UT Martin, she’s discovered, “Everyone’s like family here. I really enjoy it.”
Erves learned about UT Martin when Skyhawk Volleyball coach, Darrin McClure, recruited her during her senior year of high school. Compelled to learn more about UT Martin, Erves scheduled a campus visit. She said, “I came here spring break of my senior year. I sat down with Coach McClure and the department chair of communications and I toured the campus. I looked around, looked at classes and he [McClure] gave me maybe two weeks to decide. I went home, talked to my family and prayed. I realized that God spoke to me and I was like, ‘I need to be here’ and this is where I am. I love UT Martin.”
Erves, a broadcasting communications major, is exploring her options in her major with her sights on one day becoming a sideline reporter. The communications department offers students a wide variety of classes to help them discover their strengths. Erves said, “With the classes I’ve taken already, I feel like I’ve got a touch of everything because I’ve taken public relations, media design; classes that let me know that even if I don’t get the job I want right off the bat, I can still help write something or edit something. They’re preparing me well.”
With a passion for sports and an interest in broadcasting, Erves looks to her favorite sideline reporter for inspiration. She said, “Maria Taylor used to play for UGA volleyball. She is from Alpharetta, Ga., and now she reports for ESPN, and she’s a sideline reporter. I just like to follow her and watch to see what she does because, with her being from Georgia, we’re along the same path. I have the same dreams that she did and she made it. So, I’m just seeing what she did so I can get to where she is.”
Looking ahead, Erves is excited about getting more experience through internships and hands-on learning opportunities in her classes to ensure that she will have the skillset to follow her dreams. “I want to do something that makes me happy, “Erves said. “I want to go to work every day and do something I enjoy.”
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