Tessa Mendoza (BS ’21 Kinesiology and Health, Computing Applications) is a high-achieving undergraduate student with diverse interests and a unique educational path. In May of 2021, she will graduate summa cum laude with a degree in Kinesiology and Health, a certificate in Computing Applications, and a minor in Psychology.
Growing up in Grimes, Iowa, Mendoza developed a love for Iowa State at a young age. She could often be spotted cheering on the Cyclones from the hill at Jack Trice Stadium, as part of the Jr. Cyclone Club, and it is with this spirit that Mendoza remains committed her educational pursuits and involvement in the Iowa State community.
In her time at Iowa State, Mendoza has engaged in numerous professional and research experiences. Her participation includes working as a data science intern for professional financial investment managers, providing patient care in a hospital setting, and a position as a sports analytics intern for the Center for Sports Analytics at Samford University. Driven by her passion for both health and athletics, she collaborated with leading health professionals to produce COVID-19 return to sport guidelines. Following this work, the Chief Medical Officer overseeing the project referred to Mendoza as “the best intern he’s ever worked with.”
As a research assistant in the Neurophysiology Lab, Mendoza has completed research in areas including Parkinson’s disease and concussion education and has presented her research at the Undergraduate Research Symposium for three consecutive years.
Amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, Mendoza has approached the unique 2020–2021 school year with a mindset of gratitude, adaptability, and perseverance. In her latest research study examining fatigue and sports performance, she has embraced the challenges brought forth by COVID-19 and has utilized wireless electroencephalography (EEG) technology to creatively conduct her research. This technology has expanded the potential of science and has opened the door for future research at Iowa State.
In addition to her educational efforts, Mendoza is a distinguished leader and high-character representative of Iowa State University. Hand-picked by former ISU president Steven Leath to join the President’s Leadership Class, Mendoza learned from some of the best leaders in the state of Iowa, and she hopes to carry that forward into her career in data science and sports analytics.
“My time at Iowa State has shaped me into the person I am today. Thanks to Iowa State University, I am a better communicator, leader, learner, and scholar than I was four years ago, and I believe this sets me up for success in all aspects of life.”
Mendoza has a “lifelong learner” mentality. Constantly pushing herself to learn and grow, she enjoys reading, playing piano, and running a bakery business with her younger sister, Isabel. She looks forward to representing the College of Human Sciences as university student marshal in the Spring 2021 graduation ceremony and celebrating the future accomplishments of Iowa State!
Nomination: “Through adversity, she has demonstrated her will and determination to succeed and exhibited considerable strength of character.”