Where Are They Now? Lisa Shank `08 - Tennis and Crew

Where Are They Now? Lisa Shank `08 - Tennis and Crew

As part of a monthly segment that debuted in fall of 2016, MIT's Communications, Promotions and Marketing team will be bringing you a series titled, "Where Are They Now".  Where Are They Now will highlight former MIT student-athletes from all 33 varsity sports, asking questions that dive a little bit deeper into each individual's time as a student-athlete and how those experiences shaped their current professions.

1. What year did you graduate? 2008

2. What was your course name and number while at MIT? Management Science, 15

3. Have you obtained a higher level of education since graduating from MIT? I earned my MS in Psychology in 2013 from Drexel University, and my MS in Medical and Clinical Psychology in 2015 from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. I am expecting to earn my MPH in Public Health in 2017 and my PhD in Medical Psychology in 2019, both from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences.

4. Where is your current place of employment? I am currently a graduate student at Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences and a special volunteer at the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health.

5. What is your current job title and what does this position entail? I am a doctoral candidate in Medical Psychology. My research primarily focuses on disordered eating and weight in youth, and my dissertation is examining the relationship between acute stress, salivary markers of inflammation, and physical health in adolescents with and without disinhibited eating. I chose a research career because I wanted to spend my time conducting research, teaching, and mentoring. Ultimately, my career goal is to advance the understanding of disordered eating and obesity across the lifespan in order to inform prevention programs and interventions, thus improving health outcomes.

6. How did your time at MIT prepare you for your current position? My time at MIT taught me that I could balance so much more than I ever expected- and that hard work was worth it! I gained appreciation for seeking knowledge and conducting research, both of which led me to my pursuing higher education and a career in research.

7. What piece of advice would you have for current MIT Student-Athletes? Make the most of your experiences at MIT- both athletically and academically- while you are at MIT!

8. How did your athletic involvement aid in the path that you chose following graduation? Looking back, I think the biggest things that my athletic involvement at MIT taught me is: 1) teamwork will get you through more than what you can do alone, and 2) there is always time to be active and for self-care, no matter how busy or stressed you are with school or work.

9. What is your most fond memory of MIT athletics? During one of our tennis matches, I was playing singles and had a particularly long and close tennis match. The rest of the team finished before me, and sat on the sidelines of the MIT tennis bubble. Even though it had been a long day, it was getting late, and everybody was tired, they were paying close attention to the match and cheering me on at every step of the way. I don’t even remember if I won or lost the match, but I remember how great it felt to feel like part of a team that cared so much about each other!

10. What would you say is your greatest athletic & academic accomplishments during your time at MIT? I don’t think I have one greatest athletic or academic accomplishment during my time at MIT. But I am particularly proud of the fact that I got out of my comfort zone so much while at MIT- after playing tennis for most of my life, I decided to join the crew team my freshman year, which was a sport I had never done before. Even though I decided to join the tennis team my sophomore year, I appreciated my time on the crew team freshman year and made some incredibly close friends. Similarly, I came into MIT expecting that I would love engineering, and when I realized it wasn’t the right career path for me, I had to re-examine what I wanted out of a career and seek out new experiences and opportunities. Neither of these experiences were easy processes, but I learned a lot about myself along the way. Most importantly, I also learned that with hard work and great teammates (on and off the court), just about anything is possible!

11. If you can recall, why did you choose to attend MIT? I decided to choose MIT for two reasons: I loved the people, and I felt like at MIT, people could learn and accomplish so much.  I wanted to be around people who were curious, passionate, and loved to learn.

12. What was your favorite non-athletics activity here at MIT? I’m not sure I have a specific non-athletics activity, but I will say that the friendships I forged at MIT have stayed incredibly strong since I left MIT… I feel lucky to have met the most amazing people while at MIT, and they have all gone on to do incredibly interesting and meaningful work!