Student Spotlight

Taylor Deese

Taylor Deese

Taylor Deese is always on the go - literally.

The sophomore education major is training to run a half marathon. She dedicates herself to running between three and six miles every day. Much of that is done at home, but she also takes advantage of the indoor track at the Campus Recreation and Wellness Center.

Her goal is to complete the half marathon by the end of the year, then run a full marathon sometime after that.

"It's going to be tough, but I think I'll be able to do it," she said.

When she's not running and attending classes, Deese works at the Barnes & Noble @ University of Houston in its new home in the recently renovated University Center. It's a job she's held since the first semester of her freshman year.

She works in the store's finance office and when needed helps behind the counter at the registers. Other times, she walks the floor and helps customers find books and other materials they need.

"It's been a great opportunity for me. I really enjoy it," Deese said. "I'm so glad I applied for it." Felix Robinson, the bookstore's general manager, said she is an excellent employee.

"Taylor is able to handle working in our busy finance office, while training other student booksellers on the register, and can manage most department task with very little supervision," Robinson said. "She has a great personality and will be an asset to any organization."

The job fits well into her schedule. She attends classes in the morning, then three days a week works at the bookstore for four hours before heading back to class. Afterward, she hops in her car and makes the short 20-minute trip home. It's that short commute between home and school that was one of the biggest reasons she decided to attend UH.

Deese is a graduate of Channelview High School, where she participated in cross country and track all four years. She also played volleyball. When she graduated in the top 10 percent of her class, she already knew she wanted to pursue a career as an elementary school teacher.

"I've known since about my junior year in high school that this is what I wanted to do," she said. As the first member of her family to attend college, her parents and other relatives are extremely supportive and proud of her.

Although her passions are running and pursuing a teaching career, she's discovered something else that has her hooked: disc golf.

Just about every weekend, she and friends head over to a park in Baytown that has a full 18-hole disc golf course and spend the afternoon playing. Disc golf follows the same general scoring rules as golf, but instead of hitting a small ball with a club, players toss a disc much like a Frisbee, only heavier.

"I heard about it from one of my best friends in high school. It sounded real interesting so I went and tried it out with her. Now I play it almost every weekend. It's so much fun," she said.