Being an international student from Malaysia, Shereen Vallabouy was slightly nervous about coming to Winona State University in Minnesota.
But since day one, Vallabouy says she felt welcomed by the community, students, professors, coaches, and her teammates.
As Vallabouy reflects on her college experience as WSU, she’s thankful for her time on the WSU Track and Field team and for all the support her Warrior family has given her over the years. It has helped her achieve her dreams, shaped her into the person she is today, and helped grow meaningful relationships with teammates, coaches, and professors.
Vallabouy earned four different individual NCAA Division II National Championships while claiming over 10 different All-American honors in her Winona State career.
“Shereen will go down as one of the great Track & Field athletes in Winona State history,” Track and Field Coach Mason Rebarchek said.
Being on the WSU track and field team gave Vallabouy the support she needed to succeed as an athlete. It also gave her the opportunity to create meaningful bonds with teammates and coaches.
Vallabouy said it was at Winona State that she learned what it felt like to have a strong sense of community.
“I knew this is the college I am assured to pursue my education and athletics career,” she said.
It also taught her the value of being there for others who need it.
“My professors and coaches have pushed me to be a better version of myself,” Vallabouy said.
Having support has been crucial for Vallabouy when times got crazy. With her hectic schedule for track and field, Vallabouy would sometimes struggle with classes, but her professors were always there for her to make sure she finished successfully.
After college, Vallabouy is planning on pursuing her athletics at a professional level. She is a Malaysian National Athlete, and her goal is to qualify for the 2024 Olympics in the 400 meters.
“I have a five-year plan from now, to continue my track and field goals and fulfill my dreams in the professional field,” says Vallabouy, who is currently training in Florida with an Olympic coach.
Danica Perner, Assistant Athletic Director for Student-Athlete Services, said Vallabouy is an inspiration to many. She excels in sport, school, and in life, Perner added.
You never know how strong you are, so keep growing and pushing through it. Your time will come when you’re ready to shine!