“It’s better to have more heads than one,” says premed student Vené Richardson-Powell. The rule applies whether she’s in the classroom or on the playing field.

The best part of being on the varsity field hockey team, the rising sophomore says, is its group aspect — joining a constellation without pressure to shine more brightly than the neighboring stars. 

“Unlike other sports,” she says, “in field hockey there are more people on the field, and you all rely on each other. You actually have to count on everyone on the field. Everyone gets playing time, and you don’t have to feel like any one person is being singled out or put on a higher pedestal than others.”

Her belief that everybody deserves equal time in the spotlight reflects her sense of fair play. In addition to field hockey, she’s a runner on the track team. She enjoys watching her teammates achieve something that they didn’t expect to achieve.

“I think the greatest things come when you’re not trying to force them,” she says. “They kind of just happen, and everything falls into place.” 

Balancing academics with athletics, she finds, can be tricky. But she’s not afraid of hard work. She has planned to become a doctor ever since her paternal grandparents became ill when she was a child, and she’s determined to succeed.

“I always say if it wasn’t hard, then everybody would do it,” she says. “My goal is being a doctor, and nothing’s going to get in the way.”

With so much determination to spare, Richardson-Powell is devoting herself to another project, apart from sports or academics. She plans to reopen the campus chapter of the National Society of Black Engineers (NSBE).

“I want to help other people get a foot in the door,” she says.