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Kai Selvon

Sophomore, Industrial Design
College of Architecture, Design and Construction

Sophomore Kai Selvon is a student athlete who has competed internationally in track and field events. She won a Silver Medal in the NCAA outdoors 4x400 meter relay for her country, Trinidad and Tobago, at the Pan American 2011 Junior games this past summer. In September, Selvon competed in the IAAF World Athletics Championships in Daegu, South Korea, and made it to the semifinals where she ran her personal best and broke her country's junior record in the 200 meters competition. She and her Trinidadian teammates also broke their country's record in the 4x100 relay at Daegu.

While her athletic achievements are impressive, Selvon's academic accomplishments reflect performing at her personal best as well. This past summer - while competing for a week in the Pan American Junior games - she made the cut in Industrial Design's highly competitive summer program. The mandatory summer program is basically two semesters of work rolled into 10 weeks of intense and demanding assignments. At the end of the summer program the top 45 students are admitted into Industrial Design sophomore year, and Selvon was in that group. "This is an amazing accomplishment," said Bret Smith, Industrial Design program chair. The course moves so quickly - because of all the material that we cover - that if a student misses even a day, it can put her so far behind that she can't catch up. What Kai did was unprecedented in our program."

1. How did you decide to come to Auburn?

I came to Auburn because of Coach Henry Rolle and because there are other successful Trinidadian athletes who train with him. So I wanted to get some of the good work that he did with them.

2. Why did you decide to go into Industrial Design?

I like to draw so I decided to go see what drawing majors were offered. I went into the industrial design building (Wallace Hall), and from the time I stepped in and saw the work that previous students did, I thought it was cool and that one day I wanted to be able to do those things.

3. What do you hope to do with your degree in Industrial Design?

Because I'm in sports, I am hoping to design sporting products to help athletes perform better or to make the sport more fun. Maybe I will be able to get a job with a sporting company like Nike or Adidas.

4. You must be a great time manager. How do you juggle your athletic demands with your academic?

I must say that being a student athlete is hard, but it isn't impossible. I try not to procrastinate, and I always try to make good use of my free time. Every day I ask God to give me the strength to make it through because after practice I am very tired. So it would be right to say that it is by the strength of God that I am able to juggle demands.

5. Will you compete in the 2012 Olympics in London?

If I can remain healthy, and it's God's will, I will be competing at the Olympics.

Feb. 6, 2012