University of Mary Washington senior Tina Brehm is a three-year starter as goalie for the Eagles. She was a first-team All-CAC standout in leading the Eagles to the 2009 CAC championship and a berth in the NCAA Tournament. But her passion is to help others, donating time to the SPCA and charitable events such as the American Cancer Society’s Relay For Life, and hopes to pursue a career in veterinary medicine after his UMW playing career. INTRODUCING … Tina Brehm.
Briefly, what is your background in the sport you play? I started playing soccer when I was 4 years old in a regular rec league. My dad was the assistant coach. I first joined a division 3 club team in middle school and after two seasons joined a division 1 team. I ended up playing with them for six years. I played four years of varsity soccer in high school and I’ve played three full seasons with UMW, going into my fourth now!
What is your favorite spot on campus? The “fish bowl” in the science building is a popular study location with a full wall of dry erase boards. I’m a nerd so I love studying in there with the other crazy biology majors.
Outside of your home and campus, where is your favorite place visit? My favorite place outside of campus is the Fredericksburg SPCA, where I volunteered last semester and this summer. I love the people that work there and the dogs and cats that live there. My best friends this summer were a shepherd/collie mutt named Lexy and a three footed, 9-year-old hound named Ivan.
Other than your team, what organization (s) do you participate in (on campus or off campus)? I have leadership positions in several clubs and honor societies on campus, but my real passion is Relay for Life, a fundraiser for the American Cancer Society. I was a member of the committee last year and I loved planning the event. Off campus, I volunteer at the local SPCA and an equine rescue.
Briefly describe the most memorable experience during your collegiate athletic career. My most memorable experience during my collegiate athletic career would probably be sophomore year, first round of the CAC tournament against St. Mary’s. The fields were so bad that the field maintenance crew was blowing inches of standing water off the field with leaf blowers before the game. We tied it up with about a minute left in the game, and then won within the first few minutes of overtime.
What is the most important societal issue facing college students? Binge drinking is scary, and a lot of bad things happen when people have too much alcohol in their system.
If you could change any one item in the world (in your personal life, school, community, amateur or professional sports, national/international issue, etc.), what would it be, why, and how would you do it? I would say find a cure for cancer, but realistically that one still has years of research involved. A simpler problem to address would be the water problem. I’m a huge fan of charity: water and bringing clean safe drinking water to populations in third world countries can be done with the construction of wells.
What is your major in college, and what is the most important thing you learned in that discipline? As a biology major I’ve learned that I’m not a fan of plants or photosynthesis, and not many other biology majors are either. Plants are nice to look at and eat but what goes on inside them at a cellular level isn’t all that interesting. As a psychology major I’ve learned that with enough reinforcement you can teach an animal, and sometimes even humans, to do just about anything (Skinner taught a pigeon to play a tune on the piano for food).
Other than your family members, who was the most influential person in your life? When I first started going to the vet with my family dog in first grade I knew I wanted to be a veterinarian. Whoever that first doctor was helped me pick my career, and I just submitted my applications to Virginia-Maryland Regional (Virginia Tech), Cornell, Tufts, and Tennessee’s vet schools!
What is your favorite form of entertainment? My favorite form of entertainment, besides the obvious one (both recreational and competitive sports), is watching TV on the rare occasion that I have free time. My weird taste in shows includes Bones, Breaking Bad, Gilmore Girls, and How I Met Your Mother. After watching a couple seasons, you really get to know the characters and it gives you something to look forward to each week!
What is your favorite source of information (TV, book, magazine, website, friends in dining hall, etc.)? I like watching Al-Jazeera with my dad because it’s so honest, and you see the problems that exist in the world up close and personal. It’s interesting to see news from the U.S. broadcast by other countries, too.
If you could give one piece of advice to elementary school children, what would that advice be? Studying is a skill you need to practice; if you don’t try hard in school when you’re young, high school and college are going to be rough.
Outside of the Capital Athletic Conference, who or what is your favorite sports person or team? It’s a tie between (soccer players) Brad Friedel and Tim Howard for the men and Briana Scurry and Hope Solo for the women. They just have such a presence on the field that I admire, and they have always been my role models. And I met Brad Friedel in person!
Name three (3) people, real or fictional, living or dead, that you'd like to have dinner with? Hagrid from Harry Potter because I think he would have a lot of funny stories to tell and he could give me one of those gigantic bear hugs that basically swallows Harry whole; Christopher Nolan so I could talk to him about Inception; Neil Patrick Harris because everything that man says or does makes me laugh.