Howdy, folks! Bart the Cheer Operations Ninja here. Our latest Science Cheerleader interviewee is Theresa, the cheerleading coordinator for the Indianapolis Colts. I suppose you could say she and I have something in common in that 1) we were never cheerleaders, 2) we are fans of science, 3) we often do behind-the-scenes work for procheerleaders! Like our other Science Cheerleaders, Theresa has a science degree and a real passion for science. Take a look at what she has to say!
What turned you on to science?
Theresa: I always loved science. When I was 12 I started working for a veterinarian who would let me run labs and talk to me about the different cases we would work on. I loved it!
What is your degree in and from where?
Theresa: My degree is a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science.
Favorite and/or least favorite courses you took to prepare for your degree? Why?
Theresa: I loved Physiology of Reproduction. I had a fabulous professor and I like learning why things work the way they do. I actually liked most of my science classes although I guess I liked biology classes more than chemistry classes. My least favorite class was an accounting class. My other passion is for theater. I have never been a cheerleader. I got involved with Colts Cheerleading through my background with theater. I started helping with halftime shows and other performance shows and tours. Eventually, I became the coordinator.
What’s a typical day like for you?
Theresa:Today I spend most of my day working for the Colts but for awhile I was teaching science classes at a small private school. The kids loved to hear both my stories from when I was working with veterinarians and then my experiences with the Colts. I have done some appearances where I go to career days at area schools and they are amazed to hear I work with the Colts Cheerleaders but I have a degree in science!
Best part of your day job or studies?
Theresa: Appearances in the community.
What’s your take on the the general stereotype of cheerleaders?
Theresa: I think cheerleaders are definitely stereotyped. A few years ago we had a story about one of our cheerleaders doing a photo shoot. Some lady wrote in and was making a lot of derogatory comments. One of her comments was that she, the writer, had a master’s degree, implying that she was better than the cheerleader. I had to inform her that the cheerleader she was talking about had a master’s in chemical engineering and was working for a major pharmaceutical company and was heading her own team of researchers!
What advice would you give your 12-year-old self?
Theresa: Always leave your options open. You don’t have to be set in one world. I am a very creative person who loves theater and dance, but I also love science. In this case you can have it all! Bottom line: do what really interests YOU.
What are your plans for the future?
Theresa: For now I plan to continue to work for the Colts. After that, I might go back to teaching kids about science. Wouldn’t it be fun to have a class that was just science experiments and no tests!?
Best experience as a coordinator for the Colts cheerleaders?
Theresa: Traveling overseas to visit military and performing for them and their families, and of course being at the Super Bowl!
Best science/engineering-related experience?
Theresa: Working with kids and teaching them all the interesting things going on inside their bodies.
What’s one thing people might find especially surprising about you?
Theresa: People are usually surprised to find out that I am a dog show judge!