UPDATED: This story was updated Wednesday, April 15 at 11:14 p.m. to include results of National Championship in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
Swing left, swing right, knockout! For Teresa Browning, a legal studies and marketing major, passion packs a punch.
As president of the University of Miami Boxing Team and Club, Browning works to keep her organization in tip-top shape. Throughout her tenure, she’s focused on fostering the club’s feeling of community.
“To have a successful club, you need to have people who are not in the sport of boxing get interested and join,” said Shameek Mohile, a senior and vice president of the club. Browning’s done just that, according to Mohile.
Browning joined the club as a freshman, and Mohile joined as a sophomore. At the time, the team had precedence over the club’s community aspect. Between 10 and 15 people comprised the whole group, but when Browning became president that same year, everything changed.
Things like music during workout sessions, occasional free lunch at the Rathskeller and days at the beach became mainstay under Browning. The club’s membership quickly jumped from 10 people to more than 100.
“She makes the club more like a community rather than something you go to twice a week,” said Haley Welch, a freshman who’s in training to become boxing’s co-president next semester. Welch wishes to further promote the club’s feeling of community once she takes her role.
For club members who wish to try out for the team, Browning works to make the transition easier. The team trains at a gym in North Miami, but for people without cars, Browning coordinates rides. At the same time, she’s getting certified drivers for recently acquired club sport vans, providing more options for members without rides.
“The fact that I feel like I’m making a difference in things really inspires me,” Browning said. “To be able to see changes that I helped happen is like a personal achievement. People grow because of what I’m doing.”
One such personal achievement involves planning the National Championship of Men’s and Women’s Boxing in the spring of 2014. More than 100 boxers from 23 schools across the country went blow-for-blow in the Wellness Center. The event was a success, especially with four Miami boxers earning national titles.
“Everything ran smoothly,” Mohile said. “All the food, referees, doctors and the ring were fine and ran super smoothly. It was awesome to see how she took a concept and turned it into something tangible and successful.”
This year’s National Championship took place April 9-11 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Law student Jessica Welsh and freshmen duo Ali Rosen and Ilham Rzaev won national titles.
Overall, Browning gained considerable leadership experience from planning and coordinating the championship.
“I was given a task that’s not so easily defined,” Browning said. “I had to define my own things and make it how I wanted it to be.”
The next National Championship takes place April 9-11 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. A team of seven Miami fighters will compete, but 20 total club members are attending to show their support.
Browning’s campus involvement extends beyond boxing. Her roles include campus security guard, vice president of UM’s chapter of Alpha Delta Pi, Panhellenic chair of Greeks Advocating the Mature Management of Alcohol and member of the Omicron Delta Kappa honor society.
“She’s very hardworking,” Mohile said. “It just amazes me how much she can do and how successfully she does it.”
However, Browning, a junior, hopes to move on from her presidential role next semester. She and Mohile are on the Federation of Club Sports’ board, but Browning plans to run for chair of the federation.
According to Browning, the transition makes sense for the future of the boxing club. She wants to be around while next semester’s co-presidents transition and learn how to handle their positions. This way, Browning can be a guiding figure.
“It’s been a pleasure working with her,” Mohile said. “She’s changed the dynamic of the club, and it makes me proud to be a part of it. She is the reason why this club is successful, honestly.”