SOAP brings greeting card artist in time for the holidays


Personacards. Haley Dick

The cards featured were created by artist Paul Kleba for his business, Personacards. (Photo by Haley Dick.)

Gull Life Editor

Salisbury University’s Student Organization for Activity Planning (SOAP) brought in artist Paul Kleba to make personalized greeting cards free of charge Monday.

Kleba started his own personalized greeting card business, Personacards, and has been traveling to colleges and universities since 1993 to provide students with his service, according to his website. He has been to SU two other times before this event.

“I always wanted to be a cartoonist in some capacity, so it was just an idea I started,” Kleba said. “In less than a year I was doing it full time from referrals from one school to another.”

SOAP set up a variety of card samples, and Kleba created the cards from scratch for students to see the process. Interacting with the students and being on a college campus often inspires Kleba to create new punch lines to fit his target market.

“The best way is I hear students say things,” Kleba said. “I hear how words jumble together and then I figure out how to play off them.”

A previous SOAP representative organized the event because she wanted to give away something that is not the same for everyone, Kleba said.

SOAP President Jenna Russo said she was especially excited about the event as the holidays are nearing, though she was not involved in the planning process.

“I hope that [students] find [the cards] enjoyable and can share them with their friends,” Russo said.

Julia Luebs, a student worker for the Guerreri Student Union, was looking for a card for her friend’s 21st birthday. It took her a while to sort through the variety of options Kleba provided before selecting a card.

“It really looks like something that is bought at the store,” Luebs said.

Kleba mentioned how the invention of Facebook has changed the way greeting cards are thought of today. He thinks that social media has extended the life of greeting cards, though he has not conformed to selling his cards online.

“I like the physical presence and interaction of what I do and seeing how people react to my work,” Kleba said.

SGA partners to increase sustainability efforts


Recycle Madness. Megan Campbell

Photo by Megan Campbell.

Gull Life Editor

CAMPUS—Salisbury University’s Student Government Association (SGA) and Student United Way teamed up to combine Recycle Madness with the first annual SU Shred Day.

Students, faculty and staff members met in Red Square Friday to get rid of their recyclables in friendly competition. All recyclable materials were weighed on a scale and the weight was then added to the total weight of recyclables for the donator’s club or organization of choice.

SGA will award the organization that generated the heaviest weight of recyclables with $150, the second place group with $100 and the third place group with $50.

SGA VP of Sustainability Julia Lavarias said Recycle Madness is about bringing the campus together and really encouraging recycling. She believes the incentive helps draw more participation from clubs and organizations.

“I think it is so successful because we advertise it and because organizations make it a thing and advertise it also,” Lavarias said. “I think that’s why they are encouraged to recycle.”

Lavarias said Recycle Madness dates back to 2012, unlike her position, which was just recently created.

“The position of sustainability actually didn’t exist a few years ago,” Lavarias said. “One of the professors told me it was created so that the environmental organizations would have more of a connection and involvement on campus.”

In fall 2016, 8,783 pounds of recyclables were collected in total. 37 organizations were recognized for donating 75 pounds or more each, though more groups participated and contributed to the grand total.

The recycled metals were taken to Salisbury Scrap Metal, and all other recycled materials were taken to the Route 5 Transfer Station before being delivered to Delaware Solid Waste Authority’s processing facility, according to Lavarias.

SU Shred Day is expected to increase the amount of recyclables donated by allowing students, faculty and staff to throw their old papers into the shred truck to be put on to the scale.

“I think there will be more participation because faculty have a lot of papers to shred,” Lavarias said. “I think that the only thing that’s kind of discouraging everyone is that you have to pay 80 cents [per pound], but other than that I think it is a good collaboration.”

The shredding event was organized by the Student United Way and all proceeds went to the United Way of the Lower Eastern Shore.

Emily Taggart, sophomore representative for the Student Nurses’ Association (SNA), thinks Recycle Madness is important for bringing the clubs and organizations on campus together for the better of the planet.

She oversaw the organizing and advertising of the event to the members of SNA.

“I’m a huge supporter of trying to reduce our carbon footprint and I think events like this bring that awareness to campus while also making it a fun ‘competition’ between the different organizations,” Taggart said. “The last I was told we had 178 pounds of recycling which is pretty amazing!”

The Outdoor Club was the first place winner for two consecutive years in 2015 and 2016, but were outweighed this year by the Graduate Student Council.

The results of this year’s Recycle Madness showed a total of 9,656 pounds of recycling collected.

Endless opportunities with SU’s Volunteer Center


Gull Life Editor

Community service opportunities are not hard to come by thanks to the Volunteer Center here on campus.

The Volunteer Center is run by graduate student and former SU Field Hockey player Katie Hastings, and provides students with a wide variety of community service opportunities and ways to get involved locally. It is a subsection of Career Services.

“I just want to find ways to shine the light on the good that students are doing,” Hastings said. “I know, as far as the community, because you are surrounded by a college, that we can maybe sometimes put bad out for the community, but I want to kind of just reflect all the good that students are doing and how much they are volunteering.”

An upcoming opportunity to volunteer through the center will take place on Nov. 16 in which a group of SU students will partner up with the Chesapeake Housing Mission, or CHM, to participate in a ramp build. According to their website, the CHM was formed “to provide vital housing repair services through Christian Mission to low-income families living in the Chesapeake Region.”

“It is a one day project, but it takes a lot of hands on deck,” Hastings said. “At the end of the day we get to meet the family that we are building the ramp for.”

There is no prior experience needed to aid in the construction of the ramp build and transportation will be provided. The build will be capped at 15 volunteers.

Student United Way Fundraising Chair Katelyn Mader has participated on ramp builds with Chesapeake Housing Mission twice. She had no prior construction knowledge.

“I think the biggest take away was finding out that you could go into this thinking you don’t really know how to build anything, but you realize it is actually not that hard,” Mader said. “They told you how to do it and made it simpler.”

Hastings is currently coordinating an opportunity for students, faculty and staff to be able to adopt an angel from an Angel Tree and be responsible for buying Christmas gifts from a wish list. The volunteer center will be responsible for distributing those gifts to the Salvation Army, who will then hand them out to the specified students.

The volunteer center has plans of sponsoring a volunteer trip in spring of 2018, but it is not confirmed if it will be financially feasible.

SU Spotlight: Nelli Balkarova takes the principles of Perdue abroad


Nelli Balkarova headshot. Tom McCall Photography

Headshot of Nelli Balkarova by Tom McCall Photography.

Gull Life Editor

Senior Nelli Balkarova, a double major in international business and marketing, embodies the principles of the Perdue School of Business and takes her learning outside the classroom as a Student Business Leader.

The Perdue Student Business Leaders, or SBL, are a resource for business students to utilize to get any questions they have about the business program, or SU in general, answered. They also assist with various job fairs and networking opportunities to help connect students with local businesses, serving as a middle man between the two.

Balkarova’s biggest advice for students is to fully immerse themselves in classes and in the information they are learning.

“Don’t go into class and memorize things,” Balkarova said. “Go into class and actually take it in.”

Balkarova moved from Russia to the US at age 11, facing her first challenge: the language barrier.

“I remember sitting in sixth and seventh grade, because I went to middle school here, and it was very hard to understand everything,” she said. “It’s like putting you in a room and everyone speaks a different language and are talking about things like environmental sciences and English, and it was difficult.”

Having grown up in another country she can sense the differences between the two.

“I feel like a lot of time I am split into two people because I grew up there, but live here,” Balkarova said. “I always say I have two minds in one body because I have the half where I was raised there and the last 10 years I’ve lived here, and the two clash sometimes.”

She grew up in Howard County, and was attracted to Salisbury University because it was in-state and the perfect size.

“Salisbury was one of those universities that was small enough to have that one on one interaction with the professor and the ability to get the most out of your classes, and then big enough where it is not too small,” Balkarova said. “Then they had the international business program which, since I lived half of my life in another county and half of my life here, is really interesting to see where I could go with that.”

Balkarova spent the Spring 2017 semester in Grenoble, France, studying abroad at a partnering school called Grenoble Ecole de Management, or GEM. After wrestling with the choice between Europe and Australia, Europe was the chosen destination.

Learning at the GEM was an entirely different experience, Balkarova said.

“When you take classes in Europe, they give you your schedule for like 10 weeks straight and your classes never repeat the same week,” she said. “This is because the professors have to fly in from other countries and teach you.”

This is different from the way our universities work because we are given a weekly schedule of classes for the entire semester, and they occur at the same time on each scheduled day of the week.

“The coolest thing about it was that the professors that would fly in are not just professors, but work for companies,” Balkarova said. “The professors have the experience in the industry and they come in and teach on their time, and the students schedules get adjusted to it, so anything that changes in the market you get a constant insight on it because they are in the field.”

Understanding the cultural aspects of business in different countries can be difficult to grasp in the classroom, but are brought to light in an international setting.

“All of those things you learn in the classroom, there you get to experience because there is people from all over the world who are studying abroad or pursuing their master’s there so when you really get a group project growing you get to experience all of the culture differences, which was really cool,” Balkarova said.

She travelled all over Europe during her semester abroad, visiting places like Italy, Barcelona and her favorite, other than France, which was Greece.

Balkarova currently works three jobs on top of being a full-time student and a SBL. One of her jobs includes working as the front-end coordinator at Marshalls.

Following graduation Balkarova hopes to attend graduate school or land a job in either the corporate world or in the European market.


SU adds to Smithsonian exhibit for Downtown art gallery


Gull Life Editor

The Smithsonian Traveling exhibition, “The Way We Worked,” made its way to the city of Salisbury, and SU’s Edward H. Nabb Research Center for Delmarva History and Culture added a localized component at the University’s new art gallery in Downtown Salisbury.

downtown gallery 2. haley dick.png

The exhibit as a whole focuses on the role of labor in American society, and how a strong work ethic has held strong throughout American history. The Nabb Center’s portion focuses on the local industries of the Eastern Shore, specifically dealing with manufacturing, lumber, agriculture and water.

“We met early on to decide what the basic material we wanted to cover was and that was when the real work began after that with the research, development and design,” said Dr. Creston Long, director of the Nabb Center.

Janie Kreines, the Exhibits and Artifacts Curator for the Nabb Research Center, spent a lot of time digging through the archives to pull information, artifacts and photographs to enrich the exhibit.

“It was really cool when I was going through the archival collections to look for pictures and things to go along with the content,” Kreines said. “I think there is a lot that we have in the collection that really, with the context behind it that we brought in for this exhibit, makes it even more exciting and appealing.”

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Kreines did not do the work alone, but had help from sophomore Jaclyn Laman, the curatorial assistant for the center.  Laman worked with Kreines on the project during the summer by researching the topic and creating the text displayed on the panels at the exhibit.

“I compiled all of the information and eventually wrote all of what you see on the panels,” Laman said. “I was in charge of all the sections except the introductory panel and one of the panels for manufacturing, which Dr. Long wrote.”

As with many research projects over a long period of time, complications arose.

“It was hard to find information for some topics, especially for the time period I was working in, and to find pictures and objects to go with it,” Laman said.

The complications were overcome and the exhibit opened with a ribbon cutting ceremony and opening reception during the Third Friday celebration on Sept. 15, which drew in a large crowd.

Dr. James Buss, dean of the Honors College, was one of many SU community members in attendance.

“It showcases the talented students, faculty and staff of SU because part was made by the professionals of Smithsonian and part by students and faculty,” Dr. Buss said. “You couldn’t tell the difference between the two and that speaks volumes.”

The Publications Office helped the Nabb Center design a similar appearance of the panels to closely match the Smithsonian’s portion, according to Kreines.

“The colors matched up pretty well, but also the local part was serious and had a good selection of photographs and texts and that made it look a lot like the Smithsonian work,” Dr. Long said.

The exhibit focuses on critical aspects of the Eastern Shore that many people who are not locals of the area are not aware of.

“One of things at the opening was that a lot of people were walking around and saying, ‘I never realized how much industry was in this area,’ and I think that’s something that is kind of exciting to show people something that is no longer around but can be seen in a lot of buildings that are still around and have been repurposed,” Kreines said. “I think that was kind of neat to allow people to learn more about this landscape and where they live and how it used to be used.”

The Maryland Humanities Grant funded the transfer of the Smithsonian exhibit throughout Md. and the promotion of it, according to Dr. Long.

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A convenient time for students and other members of the SU community to tour the entire exhibit is during Third Friday on Oct. 20, but it will be up at the gallery until Nov. 3.

When the Smithsonian Traveling portion leaves in Nov., the Nabb Center will bring their panels back to SU for further display.

SU Spotlight: Eleanor Brown gives new meaning to community outreach


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Pictured: Eleanor Brown by Lifetouch.

Gull Life Editor


Eleanor Brown, junior social work and political science major, changes the meaning of student involvement on campus and in the surrounding community.

Aside from her academic focuses, Brown is active on campus as president of student United way, co-leader of the Honors College’s Ambassador program and a student worker for the Honors College.

Brown has an obvious knack for community service, including but not limited to going out on Habitat for Humanity builds, building ramps with the Chesapeake Housing Mission and making trips to God’s Kitchen.

Her volunteerism reaches outside the realm of SU as an intern at United Way through a grant from the governor’s office of service and volunteerism.

Brown previously went to India on a service trip where her calling to education and service was deepened, which was covered Mar. 2017.

Honors students typically start developing their thesis junior year and get it in full swing throughout senior year, but Brown got ahead of the curve and pounced on the idea that came to her when visiting the Eastern Correctional Institute (ECI).

“I was approached fall of 2016 by Associate Department Chair Dr. Jennifer Jewell about going with her to ECI, located in Westover Md. about 30 minutes away to go in and shadow her,” Brown said. “She does book groups with about 20 male inmates at the state prison.”

Brown left the ECI with intentions of forming her own book groups.

“Through doing the book group I have realized that there is a lot of issues for the guys both on the inside and on the outside and when they are released they don’t always have the resources to secure stable and long term employment because they have a criminal background.”

This realization sparked the foundation of her thesis.

“Basically my thesis is trying to pull out what is the presence of employee and employment discrimination for returning citizens, which is the new term for previous incarcerated individuals on the Eastern Shore of Maryland focusing on Wicomico, Worcestor and Somerset counties.”

“No study has been done in this region on the presence of employment discrimination,” Brown said.

Her goal is to show people that there is indeed.

“I have been trying to get employers more open to hiring individuals,” Brown said. “Md. has a ban the box initiative on the state level saying that no state job can discriminate against you through your background unless you’re working with a vulnerable population such as children, elderly, hospitals, prisons, etc., and I basically want to bring that sort of idea to the Eastern Shore of Md. focusing on the lower 3 counties and make people more aware and understanding that if you provide someone with a job they are more likely to be able to provide for their family, stay on the outside and be a contributing citizen to the community.”

Brown is looking into pursuing a masters in social work and possibly public policy, particularly focusing on macro social work, following her undergraduate degree.

“I want to go into working for a legislator proposing policies or writing legislation supporting social issues,” Brown said. “Possibly working for a non-profit who focuses on advocacy, but somewhere in that field.”

Brown is thankful for the early start on her thesis because it allowed her to get started on the IRB approval, which is needed for researchers to approach members of the community for data analysis and research.

“I am basically wanting to go out into the community and survey individuals that have been previously incarcerated to prove that there is employment discrimination and then from those surveys lead focus groups,” Brown said. “Going through the research board is going to take a while and I have basically been working on my proposal all year and will be submitting it in the next two weeks to the IRB board and from there hopefully I will be able to start the whole ground work research aspect of the thesis.”

Brown is headed to Cape Town, South Africa this winter for five weeks of volunteer work. Half the time will be spent doing surf outreach by getting elementary and middle school children comfortable in the water, and the other half will be spent working with a childcare program essentially advocating that lower childhood education is critical.

Brown demonstrates how students at SU can follow their passions and give back to the community in doing so.



Technology Transcending the Classroom


Gull Life Editor


The Patricia R. Guerreri Academic Commons, or GAC, is housing an interactive exhibit called “Our Transdisciplinary World: Technology, Science and the Humanities” from now until Dec. 22.

The exhibit was created to demonstrate how SU creatively utilizes technology and features multiple devices, including the 3-D printer MakerLab located in GAC, software that analyzes the messages in Shakespearian plays, and geographic information systems, or GIS, all of which allow students and faculty to expand upon ideas presented in the classroom. The primary idea was crafted by Janie Kreines, the Exhibits & Artifacts Curator at the Nabb Center, according to Dr. Michael Scott, interim dean of the Henson School.

Posters are displayed around the exhibit to explain the purpose of the featured equipment, coupled with multiple computer stations that visitors are encouraged to click through and watch, to help paint a better picture of how the technology works.

The exhibition was a collaboration from professors across the disciplines, including Dr. Michael Scott, interim dean of the Henson School, Chris Woodall of SU Libraries, and Dr. Randy Cone of the Computer Science and Mathematics Department.

The technology is not limited to the confines of the classroom.

“We’ve got folks in most of our academic departments using the power of GIS,” Dr. Scott said. “I just created a map for the Nursing/Health Sciences folks that display all of the locations across the United States where SU has placed clinical students.”

Students can utilize the equipment for personal purposes as well.

“Besides their work in classes, students often make personal maps of their favorite bike rides, their planned trip across the country—all sorts of possibilities,” Dr. Scott said.

In terms of the MakerLab, which houses the 3D printer, the creative possibilities are endless.

“You don’t even have to be affiliated with SU at all,” Chris Woodall said. “We do charge a small fee, which is the same for everyone and varies by the size of the object.”

There are minimal restrictions on what can be printed, including categories like guns.

Like many other colleges across the nation, Salisbury University has made it a priority to incorporate technology into the classroom. Whether it be using slideshows, orchestrating clicker quizzes or facilitating online discussion boards, technology has become a crucial part of the college learning experience.

Gullfest 2017 Recap

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Gull Life Editor/Editorial Editor

For this year’s annual Gullfest event, SU’s Student Organization for Activity Planning (SOAP) aimed more for a festival style show and, based on student reactions, it was a success. The show was hosted by the lively crew from MTV’s Wild N’ Out and kicked off by funk-pop group Ripe, followed by pop singer Niykee Heaton, with Hip-Hop artist and headliner D.R.A.M. to close.

Admission encompassed a t-shirt as well as access to outside games like cornhole and ladderball with a creative addition—free body painting. Food and clothing vendors were also set up at the festival and available to students for purchasing.

Students gradually trickled in after the doors opened, and Wild N’ Out got the crowd hyped up before the performances, as well in between the first and second acts, with crowd participation and friendly competition. Similar to their show, there was a lot of roasting to be had.

Despite technical difficulties regarding the microphone and the amplifiers, as well as three power outages, Ripe used their stage presence and creative improvisation to keep the show alive. The band acknowledged their power problems, and thanked the audience for being awesome and bearing with them.

After the first performance, freshman computer science and business double major Ralph Mehitang shared his thoughts on what he saw; he thought Ripe was really good, and Wild N’ Out were hilarious.

“So far, I’m really enjoying [Gullfest.] Of course, more students should make the decision to come, but from what I’m seeing, I am really enjoying it.”

Niykee Heaton, more commonly known for her modeling, played a few new tracks not yet released, and the crowd garnered a positive reaction. Her biggest verbal message for the audience was, “If you have a team, you have everything,” after sharing her story of how her best friend helped her achieve her dreams of becoming an artist.

D.R.A.M. took the stage as the closing act of the event, with Salisbury marking the conclusion of his college campus tour, as well as his stay on the East Coast. The majority of the crowd kept a continual high level of energy throughout the entire lineup, but D.R.A.M.’s performance and motto to “spread love” gained the most reaction.

“D.R.A.M. was great,” freshman physics major Elliot Hirtle said. “He really knew how to hype up the crowd, and he is a great performer.”

Madison Baber, sophomore elementary education major, thought last year’s artists were better, but this year’s event definitely ran smoother and was more enjoyable.

“The artists [last year,] Breakfast and Jason Derulo, were better to me just because they were people that I knew and actually listened to their music,” Baber said. “That being said, I really enjoyed the atmosphere of Gullfest this year, with it being outside and the fun new experience of body art. This year was also better because the artists were there on time, and did not show up hours late.”

SOAP had a set limit of 3,000 tickets, yet only around 550 were sold. The cause of this is undetermined, though last year’s complications may have played a factor.

Despite the lesser turnout, the students who attended seemed to have a genuinely good time with constant high energy and art-covered bodies, and remain optimistic for what SOAP will provide in Gullfests to come.

“Everything We Keep” is everything a reader wants


Gull Life Editor

In “Everything We Keep,” author Kerry Lonsdale keeps the reader captivated page after page through a dense plot filled with unexpected events, romance and strong character development.

It is an adult fiction novel listed as a top Amazon bestseller of 2016 and a Wall Street Journal bestseller that breaks the reader’s heart just to build it back together again, only to tear it right back out by the next chapter.

Lonsdale sets the stage in the first chapter with heavy heartbreak, in which the protagonist, Aimee Tierney, is attending the funeral of her fiancé, James Donato, whom she had been dating since she was eight years old. Talk about a tear-jerker.

Later in time, Aimee discovers that James is indeed still alive and the reader follows her in uncovering the mystery of what happened to James at the hands of his dysfunctional family, as well as the journey Aimee takes through her loss and recovery from love.

The novel’s strengths lie in its unique plot twists that leave the reader both relieved and irritated as the story comes to a close. The journey to the end of the book pieces the characters together in an invisible web that makes sense once the conflicts are resolved, though some may argue that the ending is too much of a cliffhanger.

While the novel is impressive, it does have setbacks. The author provides too many obvious clues that can leave the reader guessing what is going to come next, but she does still leave the element of surprise in some instances.

The title itself, “Everything We Keep,” reflects the major theme of secrets that is present throughout the storyline, for most of the characters in the novel grapple with something or someone they have lost in the past.

The sequel, “Everything We Left Behind,” will be released in July 2017, and will continue the tale of what happens after the epilogue of “Everything We Keep.” The question readers are asking will hopefully be answered: will Aimee be tempted to fall back into the arms of James?

This book is ideal for mature readers, as some of the conflicts pertain to situations college-aged readers can grasp. Some of these concepts include career obstacles and medical diagnoses. The characters in the novel, especially Aimee, teach the reader lessons on how to overcome uncertainty, set and accomplish goals and continue forward after losing someone foundational.

The Flyer gives “Everything We Keep” a 9/10.

Nieves, Falcone continue WLAX season across the pond this summer


Gull Life Editor/Sports Editor


The Sea Gulls have their eyes set on the NCAA Tournament after receiving an automatic bid with their CAC Championship win. Hannah Wichrowski photo

While her Sea Gull career may end on the final whistle of a game soon, Salisbury women’s lacrosse senior middie Gabbi Nieves will continue her collegiate career across the pond this summer alongside her teammate, junior goalkeeper Gianna Falcone.

After sifting through 7,600 candidates, the U.S. National Team selected the two Sea Gulls as part of their Division III team. They will trek across the Atlantic Ocean to play in Guildford, England as part of the ten-day 2017 Women’s Lacrosse World Cup Festival this summer.

The Federation of International Lacrosse (FIL) welcomes in teams from 25 nations across the world to play in their tournament to be held at Surrey Sports Park. The Salisbury students are just two of 30 DIII athletes selected for the team.

“The feeling of being selected is indescribable. It will be about learning to play with different people and adjusting to different situations,” Falcone said, “and that’s kind of how it is here when we get new players coming in each season. You have to learn to mesh and work with people and cope with your environment.”

In contrast to Nieves, for Falcone, the opportunity is a pit stop this summer as she continues her solid Salisbury University career. The trusted hand inside the cage has received many honors over her time as a Sea Gull, rising from Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) Rookie of the Year in 2015 and building up to an Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Coaches’ Association (IWLCA) Third Team All-American nomination a season ago.

The Florham Park, N.J. native has not let up a beat in the 2017 season, rallying for a 7.25 goals-against average and a 46.8 save percentage over her 15 starts. For Falcone, the experience garners a perfect chance to work on her craft and enjoy the moment.

“I am looking forward to travelling and experiencing this with one of my best friends, and just working and focusing on me and playing against other countries and teams and seeing a lot of different types of shots,” Falcone said.

Instead of a stop along the way, the selection is a capstone to a strong Sea Gull career for Nieves. The Centreville, Va. native has accumulated 90 goals and 21 assists to total 111 points over her career. As a complete player and middie, Nieves also has recorded 80 ground balls, 71 draw controls and 56 caused turnovers across her four years.

SU head coach Jim Nestor looks back fondly on Nieves’ career at Salisbury and her growth over four years.

“I love just seeing her grow from self-protocol to now helping lead the team to, hopefully, another CAC Championship, and just watching her mature over time,” coach Nestor said.

Over her four-year career, the Salisbury middie sees fond memories both at the very start and towards the end of her career

“My first year and our team winning a national championship and last year being named [IWLCA] First-Team All-American was something I didn’t see coming, and felt really great,” Nieves said.

Despite all the accolades and success on the field at Salisbury, the selection is a reminder of what athletics and sports are all about at their core for both players and their head coach. Nieves and Falcone spent three years together on the team as key players to the squad.

“I am just looking forward to being able to go and have fun playing lacrosse because that’s all we want to do,” Falcone said. “Sometimes you forget about that and you have to bring that back and I think it will be a really great opportunity to get to do that.”

The friendships cultivated from coming from a close-knit group is also what Nieves will miss most after she graduates.

“The friendships that I’ve made on and off the field…I feel like our team is especially close, so I will definitely take that with me when I leave SU,” Nieves said.

Hidden beneath this high accolade is the mission to spread the sport of lacrosse across seas to other nations. One hot-bed is Europe, specifically the United Kingdom, where the festival is set to take place.

Coach Nestor sets his players on their way, reminding them of the deeper importance and meaning behind their trip.

“[I hope they enjoy] being overseas and representing our university and the U.S. in that positive lacrosse way and just gaining the experience of how other cultures view lacrosse, especially women’s,” coach Nestor said.

As members of the national team, the two women’s lacrosse stars become ambassadors for the greater nation, but they have surely also become proud ambassadors of the Sea Gulls that fly through Sea Gull Stadium each spring.