Tennis Helps Alumna Realize Her Dreams
Zamira Vasquez has wanted to be part of the medical field since she was young. Following in the footsteps of her father, Vasquez has done the impossible.
“The main thing is to study and go for what you love. If you are really interested in learning the material and are passionate about what you are going into, and what you’re going to become, everything comes easy.” Vasquez said. “Choosing what you really want to be and what you really want to put all of your energy into is the main step to success.”
Vasquez received bachelor’s degrees in both dietetics and nursing. In addition to her busy school schedule, Vasquez was part of the Idaho State University tennis team.
She grew up in Armenia, Columbia where she resided until high school. Towards the end of high school she received an opportunity for a full-ride scholarship to Idaho State University through tennis coach Bobby Goeltz.
Shortly after Vasquez arrived in the United States she was welcomed as family into the home of Dr. Julio Vasquez and Idaho State University assistant professor, Dr. Monica Mispireta. She has been part of the family for four years. Vasquez has attended family vacations and spends many holidays with Mispireta’s family.
“She is a very smart girl with a good heart. We invited her over to our house for dinner and my kids immediately connected with her,” Mispireta said. “They see her not only as an older sister, but a role model.”
Vasquez works to keep a good balance in her life between family, friends, school, tennis and work. Vasquez finished her dietetics degree in May and finished her nursing degree in December with a grade point average of 3.7.
Tennis was and continues to be a lifelong hobby for Vasquez to relax and enjoy her spare time. Vasquez played tennis every day in Columbia. In addition, tennis allowed her to meet her best friend Maria Tangarife. The two knew each other in Columbia, but were not close. Their travel to the United States and tennis brought their relationship to a lifelong friendship.
“I would have never thought tennis would bring me so many benefits, I just did it for fun,” Vasquez said. “It is a sport that is going to accompany me my entire life. Besides giving me my education it has brought me great friends. It definitely helped me as a person and to be more disciplined. It will be with me my entire life.”
Last year Vasquez was not able to play much because she was wrapping up her degrees and working towards graduating.
Today, Vasquez is a nurse at the Vanderbilt University Medical Center in the cardiovascular intensive care unit.
“Zamira is a ‘shining star’ for the School of Nursing. She has been accepted to a nurse residency program at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, in Nashville,” said Dr. Nancy Renn, interim director for the School of Nursing. “Based on her experience here at ISU, she will be an asset to the profession.”
Vasquez has centered her career path on following in the footsteps of her father, who passed away from a myocardial infarction (heart attack).
“My dad passed away two months before I decided to come to the United States. He was a surgeon, and I definitely grew up with him putting the law of medicine into me,” Vasquez said. “He was the main force behind helping me to gather everything I needed to succeed in a different country.”