Le Fer Hall

Zon-Keith “Zon” Mendiola

What is your hometown?
Tacoma, Washington

What high school did you attend?
Washington High School

What is your major?
Mathematics with minors in Business Administration and Spanish

List what you’re involved in on campus (clubs, organizations, etc).
Student Senate Representative, Presidential Corps, Service31, President of Student-Athletes Advisory Committee, Men’s Volleyball Team and I also work in the Woods Café.

Why did you choose SMWC?
I chose SMWC because of the great opportunity to both attain my degree and pursue my athletic career at a higher level.

How would you describe SMWC?
I would describe SMWC as the place that brings many diverse backgrounds in and out of our community together with people from all over. SMWC does something different than just provide an academic and athletic environment. It gifted me a place like home.

What do you do for fun on campus?
For fun, I love to tour the school—I never got the chance before coming, I was only able to see what SMWC looked like from pictures. Also, my friends and I love to meet up and have game nights in our rooms or just watch movies and do crafts.

What do you love most about living on campus (only applies to students who live on campus)?
Living on campus has definitely been a plus since being so far home; I have access to the gym, LRC, and dining hall, all without having to leave campus. One thing that I would say is my favorite thing about living on campus is the wildlife and animals we already have; primarily after dusk, many nocturnal animals are seen throughout campus. From nightly critters like raccoons and possums to even majestic and rarely-seen ones like an owl or bats.

How is SMWC different from other schools?
SMWC is different from many schools in a number of ways; the obvious one would be the freshness of coeducation. Because of this, many students who would have been forced out of state/city are now able to stay closer to home giving them a more sense of belonging. Secondly, just because SMWC is on a smaller scale does not mean that it doesn’t compare to bigger schools. My favorite difference is the one-on-one experience; now, you may be thinking I am referring to one-on-ones with professors. However, I am referring to the one-on-one with thy neighbor despite the title before or after their name. With the student next to you, or the professor teaching the class, the faculty, or staff in the office, or even with the coach/teammate, etc. All of these people are here to meet and KNOW you.

What advice would you share with an incoming freshman or transfer student?
One piece of advice that I know and will now share here is this: Do not be afraid to just enjoy the smaller things. We as students are so caught up in wanting to be on the court/field, involved with so many organizations, clubs, events, etc., or are wanting to do so good in classes. Yet, we forget about the little things, like a nice 30-minute nap once in a while, a call home for an hour or even a self-care day alone. Being away from home is going to be the biggest challenge of going to college, but take some time to admire and bathe in the small things because they matter as much as the big accomplishments.

In a couple statements, reflect on your time at The Woods.
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College has helped me develop as a student, athlete and individual, excelling my skills and abilities beyond what I thought I was capable of. This campus has presented me with the likeness of home in Washington state and has given me the community as in Texas—big. Being here at and in The Woods has shaped me into a better leader, and will continue to do so in the coming years and even after I graduate.