From underdog to Jaguar: Student athlete shines on the field and in the classroom

Emily Bergstrom

Growing up in El Campo, University of Houston-Victoria softball pitcher Emily Bergstrom described herself as the perpetual underdog. But it was that outside doubt that helped motivate her to get where she is today.

“No one thought I would make anything of it, of playing softball, but I worked hard and kept going,” she said.

That hard work helped her land on the softball team at Hill College in Hillsboro. Soon after, her skills on the field were noticed by UHV softball coach Keri Lambeth, and last spring, she transferred to UHV as a sophomore.

“The transition has been great; everyone has been wonderful, the coaches especially,” she said. “The girls made me feel welcome right away, and I feel like I’ve been here for three years already. I like the team bonding and the togetherness you have as a team. There’s only so much you can control of the game, so you have to trust in your teammates. I’ve made so many lasting friendships through softball, and that’s something you can’t replace.”

But Bergstrom isn’t just a jock with a killer curveball. The 20-year-old, who started playing softball at age 8 and began pitching at 10, is also a double major in biology and psychology, and the secretary of the UHV Student Senate.

“I’d done student government in high school and at Hill College, so when the opportunity arose, my teammate, who was already involved, encouraged me to join,” she said.

So how does the junior find time to get everything done?

“I kind of just go day by day. I always seem to be doing something,” she said as she laughed.

Managing her hectic schedule will come in handy for her future endeavors, however, which include going to medical school.

“I’m definitely applying to medical school,” she said. “I’ve wanted to be a doctor since I was a little kid. Everyone always said I’d probably change my mind, but I never did. I want to do orthopedics and set up a practice in my hometown.”

The UHV Outstanding Student is an online feature highlighting the exceptional students who attend the University of Houston-Victoria. To nominate a student, contact UHV Communications Manager Paula Cobler or call 361-570-4350.

The University of Houston-Victoria, located in the heart of the Coastal Bend region since 1973 in Victoria, Texas, offers courses leading to more than 80 academic programs in the schools of Arts & Sciences; Business Administration; and Education, Health Professions & Human Development. UHV provides face-to-face classes at its Victoria campus, as well as an instructional site in Katy, Texas, and online classes that students can take from anywhere. UHV supports the American Association of State Colleges and Universities Opportunities for All initiative to increase awareness about state colleges and universities and the important role they have in providing a high-quality and accessible education to an increasingly diverse student population, as well as contributing to regional and state economic development.