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Junior Finds ‘Family’ at CSM Through Golf and Academics
Emily Faubel
Elverson, Pa.

Emily Faubel made a last-minute decision to play golf in college. It’s a decision that changed the trajectory of her academic career and led her to College of Saint Mary.

The junior from Elverson, Pa., began playing golf as a seventh grader in Texas, where her family previously lived.

“I was just one of those kids that wanted to play all the sports. Golf is next on the list. That’s how I kept myself busy,” she said. “I didn’t start taking it seriously until my sophomore year of high school. That’s when I started taking lessons and developing my swing and course management skills. There was a lot of hard work to get to where I was by my senior year.”

Emily won her district meets in her junior and senior years, which qualified her for the state meet. She finished tied for fifth at state her junior but missed out on the state meet as a senior due to her family’s move to Pennsylvania, where her father accepted a job with the railroad.

As a senior, Emily debated whether she would play golf in college. A last-minute effort opened the possibilities. That’s when Emily met CSM Flames golf coach Keri Rodriguez.

“I visited a lot of colleges, but Keri was the only one who made it feel like home,” Emily said. “I spent a lot of time with Keri. She gave me the tour. I loved the campus. It’s very beautiful. It felt like home, and Keri made it even better.”

Rodriguez, who is in her 13th year as head coach, offers plenty of support, Emily said.

“It’s like having a bonus mom,” she said. “Being away from family, certain things are difficult. I’m an adult, I need to figure these things out. But having my mom and dad so far away, it’s easier having Keri here.”

Joining the golf team also helped Emily with the transition to college.

“When you get to college, it’s a huge adjustment. You’re not living with your parents anymore,” she said. “Having the golf team here for me was a lot easier because you have a family waiting for you.”

Emily has found success on the course, too. This past year, she was the individual medalist in the Peru State Fall Invite, tied for first at the Peru State Spring Invite, finished third at the CSM Invite, and tied for second with a teammate at the Kaitlyn Erickson Doane Invite. As a freshman, she won the CSM Invite.

“I was proud of myself,” she said. “College golf is a lot different from high school golf. There are a lot longer yardages and more difficult courses. The courses are a lot different from those in Texas and Pennsylvania. That was an adjustment. Hitting off thick grass was a first for me.”

Emily also appreciates CSM’s facilities, which includes the Lied Fitness Center Fieldhouse, a golf simulator and Tiburon Golf Course in Gretna.

“Our home course is one of the Top 10 courses in Nebraska,” Emily said. “The golf simulator does what it needs to do. You can practice your swing and see where the ball goes. You can work on your putting. It’s very convenient and very useful.”

When she’s not hitting the links for the Flames, Emily is a biology major. During the recruitment process, Rodriguez told Emily about CSM’s prestigious Marie Curie Scholarship, which provides significant financial support and resources to outstanding young women pursuing STEM majors – biology, chemistry, math, or human biology. So, she applied.

“I was very excited, to say the least,” Emily said about her acceptance into the program. “I had tears in my eyes when I got the call.”

Marie Curie Scholars receive up to $20,000 annually for four years in gift aid. In addition to having access to substantial financial resources and facilities, participants also receive free tutoring, have opportunities for undergraduate research, and have access to top programs like the National Institute of Health and NASA research fellowships.

Through various seminars, Emily has determined she would like to attend pharmacy school after receiving her bachelor’s degree.

Her classmates in the Marie Curie Scholars program are another family for Emily. “It’s just a whole other group of people,” she said.

Emily welcomes the support she receives from her professors.

“I think we’re all pretty close simply because they keep a close eye on how we do in school. Based on what they see and how we perform, they do everything they can to boost your performance and your execution in classes,” she said. “It’s a very close, tight-knit program. They are there to support you.”