To some, Alexis Wright is known as a triple jumper on the Miami Hurricanes track and field team. Recently, she helped the women’s team win its third ACC Indoor Championship in school history. Wright is more than just a member of the track team, though, and she appreciates being recognized as such. The senior microbiology and immunology major is a Ronald A. Hammond Scholar, a member of Yellow Rose Society and Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, and was recently inducted into Mortar Board Honor Society, Omicron Delta Kappa Honor Society and Iron Arrow Honor Society, just to sample her resume.
Wright was a preferred walk-on when she first competed for the Hurricanes in track and field. She admitted initially feeling uncomfortable as a team leader, but grew into the role by playing to her strengths.
“I knew that I practiced hard. I knew that I wanted to be there. I knew that I would follow the rules. By that, I just did what I was supposed to do off the track and on the track and then people would listen,” she said. “I became the person that the coaches could go to when they needed to get everyone together and on the same page.”
Wright also became a mentor and friend to sophomore and fellow triple jumper Niara Hill. “Training with Alexis has been really fun,” Hill said. “Everything outside of track, [inside]track and field, whatever it is, I can go to her for advice. That’s been awesome.”
Senior year has been Wright’s favorite year by far during her time at UM. She is humbled to be recognized by her peers through her inductions into Mortar Board, Omicron Delta Kappa and Iron Arrow.
“To be someone that came in and only thought about track and field, only wanted success on the track, saw the Olympics … and to watch that all transform into really pursuing what I want to do when it comes to community service and becoming a physician and going to medical school, and then really getting invested into the campus culture, and then having people notice is a weird feeling,” she said. “I didn’t do anything for recognition … to still have people say, ‘Wow! We see what you’re doing, and we’re proud of what you’re doing, and we want to acknowledge what you’re doing,’ nothing can take that away.”
Wright is also thankful for the sisters she has gained through Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, which she joined in 2015. For her, the sorority is more than just community service and sisterhood alone; it’s the moments when she and her line sisters make sacrifices for each other. Wright reflected on how touched she was to have her line sisters cheering her on at her final home track meet of her college career, the Hurricane Alumni Invitational.
“To have people come to your track and field meet after three years where barely anybody came out …those memories are unimaginable. It touches my heart because I didn’t have that [until then],” Wright said. “To know that, no matter where I go, there’s possibly someone that’s going to be there – I don’t know, it’s just so hard to put a word or a phrase to talk about what Delta means to me. It’s so much bigger than what people imagine.”
Wright’s line sisters are also at a loss for words when describing how thankful they are to have her as a sorority sister. Senior Nickelle Decius briefly shared her thoughts on Wright. “She has such a warm spirit. Just being able to be around her and feel that spirit is just – words can’t describe it,” Decius said.
One of Wright’s biggest influences at UM is Kristine Stephenson, who advises her as part of the Hammond Scholarship Program. “She’s so invested,” Wright said. “She was that mom away from home, and that motherly figure that I needed while I was here at UM, especially since I couldn’t go home with track and field [meets]. She filled so many gaps – it’s unimaginable.”
Stephenson discussed a time when Wright solely focused on being a student-athlete. However, Stephenson wanted Wright to recognize that she had remarkable talents off the track as well.
“I told her she needed to realize that she has so much to offer and she was doing so many great things and that she should do what she actually feels like doing, and watch everything else fall in line,” Stephenson said.
Wright will return to UM in the fall as a Plus One Scholar to expand her education by studying sociology and communications for a year. “I want to apply that thought process of sociology to the medical profession,” she said. “I want to better understand communications because being a black physician will give me a platform to influence people in ways that I probably wouldn’t imagine.”