Written by: Stan Becton
Many student-athletes at Carnegie Mellon University have been able to transfer their leadership skills from athletics to other organizations on campus. A two-sport athlete in football and men’s track and field, sophomore Jimmy Nguyen is the president of the fishing club at Carnegie Mellon. Fishing is a passion he has had since a trip to his local lake, near his home in California, at the age of seven.
“I was originally at the lake to feed the ducks, but I was captivated by the local fishermen. I returned the next day with my dad with a rod and tackle box,” said Nguyen.
When Nguyen arrived at Carnegie Mellon fishing was a passion he looked to continue. This drew him to the fishing club his first semester on campus. However, he was disappointed with the limited number of outings and lack of participation.
With a president that was a graduating senior and a lack of commitment from members, Nguyen joined the fishing club as it was on its last legs. At the end of the year, he took over with the hope of reviving it from its dying state. Nguyen had to learn to navigate the difficulties of running a student organization and how to work with the SLICE office in a short time to keep the club alive.
“Once I realized that it was a dying club, I was motivated to keep it going,” said Nguyen. “I know people who love fishing just as much as me and I believed that with their help, we could get this club back on its feet.”
Now with Nguyen’s leadership, the fishing club meets on weekends for their outings. With a newly acquired boat, the three rivers surrounding Pittsburgh are of easy access to the club. When without the boat, they go to a local lake or creek. Members can bring their own fishing gear or the club will provide some for them.
With all the fun Nguyen has fishing he is still a two-sport student-athlete at Carnegie Mellon. Luckily, he has been able to balance all his responsibilities by relying on those around him. His co-president, football sophomore Max Martinez, has been able to help him keep the club running efficiently.
“Since we are starting from scratch, Max and I are trying to let people know that there is a fishing club on campus and encourage people to join regardless of fishing experience. We research the rivers, lakes, and ponds around Pittsburgh to find the best spots and times to fish so that our members won’t be skunked when they go fishing,” said Nguyen.
The cooperation between Nguyen and Martinez has helped the fishing club reach a place it hasn’t been for quite some time. When looking toward the future of the club, Nguyen wants to provide an opportunity for others to experience something he is passionate about.
“Fishing is a great hobby to pick up because it allows you to relax and be one with nature,” said Nguyen. “I hope that the club can help people who want to fish but can't due to inexperience or lack of gear.”