Tara Rempel’s energy can be described as a force of nature, motivating all those within her sphere to set and reach ambitious goals. How does she do it? One word: Leadership.

Garnering a Catholic University of America Merit Scholarship and a Cardinal Fund Scholarship to attend the University, she has played volleyball all four years. Tara’s leadership ability quickly became evident; in both her junior and now in her senior year, Tara has served as head captain of the women’s volleyball team. Catholic University selected Tara for the Landmark Conference All–Sportsmanship Team, and she is one of the members representing volleyball on the conference’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee.

For Tara, volleyball has become a metaphor for setting and reaching life goals. One of her winning strategies? Putting her goals — and a plan to reach them — in writing. When she reaches a goal, she puts a checkmark beside it. The visible sign of completion creates a powerful sense of self-efficacy. Knowing that hard work and persistence pay off, she can then move beyond her current level of performance to set a new goal. “I feel I’ve grown by working to meet my goals,” she explains.  

Tara’s positive energy motivates her teammates to give their best. Striving to reach and surpass her own individual goals serves as an exemplar for her teammates.   

Off the court, evidence of Tara’s leadership continues. Majoring in psychology and minoring in educational studies, Tara currently serves as a research assistant in the Psychology Department’s Child Cognition, Affect, and Behavior Lab, where she analyzes the effectiveness of a group therapy program for children with deficits in social skills and regulation.

Tara’s service to the community grows apace; just a few examples include a mission trip to the Dominican Republic; team leader at Relay for Life; site leader at the MLK Day of Service; volunteer with Special Olympics DC; tutor to students in the DC Reads program, and the list goes on. During a 2017 internship, she created a health and wellness resource hub for DC Schools’ Early Childhood Division.

The University has recognized Tara’s academic and athletic excellence with two of its most prestigious awards. In 2016, she won the John J. Convey Award, the highest sophomore award at Catholic University. In 2017, she received the Mary J. O'Dwyer Flynn Memorial Award, the highest honor for a junior female. She also serves as president of Pi Gamma Mu International Honor Society in Social Sciences.