Hometown: Darnestown, Md.
The Upside of the Wave
|Caroline Queen found her passion at age nine. "Kayaking was a unique sport with new challenges. Even though the other kids were two or three years older with more experience, the hardest part was being patient with myself. Being impatient helped me, because I was always on the upper end of the learning curve, always pushing myself. I still strive to be as good as the best people." In 2011, she qualified for the first Olympic position for the U.S. in Women's Kayak at the ICF Slalom World Championships in Bratislava, Slovakia.
Having a Ball
Kayaking provided Queen's first view of Davidson life: Austin Kieffer '12 chose Davidson partly based on its proximity to the U.S. National Whitewater Center just 20 minutes away. "I thought if Austin can make it work at Davidson, it might be the right place for me, too. When I came to visit, he was just having a ball." Today the friends paddle together often, at USNWC and at Lake Campus. And, Queen adds, "Davidson's social life is very inclusive."
Doing Well, Doing Good
From her first semester at Davidson, Queen knew she was in the right place. A psychology major with a minor in education, she put her interest in behavioral economics to work in the Davidson Sports Marketing Association for efforts ranging from "Wildcats points" promotions to field hockey against breast cancer. "It makes me think creatively, and it does some good."
Paddling as Fast as She Can
In academics, Queen (nickname: Bam-Bam!) balances the rapids between patience and pushing through. "The distribution requirements encourage exploration into subjects you might not have pursued. Learning how to write about art was not something I had done." She pauses, laughing at a private memory. "Making a bad grade was not something I had encountered, either! I appreciate the way Davidson pushes me. I think it makes me better."
A Global Education
Sophomore year gave Queen the confidence to take a semester off to train for the Olympics-still dreaming of future study abroad in an Arab-speaking country. "It's the only region I'll probably never travel to for kayaking purposes."