The College of Applied Science and Technology (CAST) at Illinois State University is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. This series, CAST 50×50, is designed to highlight 50 faculty, staff, students, alumni, and organizations within CAST that make the college special. These notable people will tell you that every day in CAST is a great day to be a Redbird!

#CAST50 serves you an ace in junior volleyball player and CAST student, Elianna Lovejoy.

What is your major, minor, and what year are you here at ISU?

I am a junior and my major is engineering technology. I am also pursuing a minor in business administration.

You are a student-athlete so your schedule is a little busier than the normal student. Can you give us an idea of what that is like?

In-season and off-season can be very busy in their own ways. In-season we are more focused on our sport and getting better on the court, whereas in the off-season we are working on getting bigger, faster, and stronger.

In-season we work out about two times a week, have a two- or three-hour practice every day and compete every weekend. A typical day in season would be a weight session in the morning, go to class, come home and do some homework. Around 3 p.m. or 4 p.m. I will head to the gym. Depending on the day we might have a film session to scout our opponents for the weekend which will last about an hour. Before or after film we have to do training room stuff such as rehab and get our ankles taped then we are off to practice. After practice we stretch and head home for dinner, homework, and hopefully some time to relax. Then we do it all over again!

Off-season we work out 4 days a week from 6-7:30 a.m. and practice only two hours in total for the week. In the off-season you are more on your own schedule, besides lifting and a few practices you are more in control of your time. We also will have additional requirements such as rehab, study hall hours, and meetings similar to what we have in-season.

If you were not a volleyball student-athlete what other sport could we find you playing? Do you have any special talents for another sport or in general?

Surprisingly volleyball is the only sport I have played competitively! It kept me busy because I would play it year-round from high school, to club, to sand in the summer. I would maybe consider pursuing sand volleyball more or even rowing (which I have never done before) but I think it could be a fun challenge.

I don’t really have any super-cool, special talents, but I do love weightlifting. Lifting gives you a chance to push yourself past your comfort zone and do things you never thought were possible.

Defensive specialist Elianna Lovejoy doing what she does best!

Your teammates are asked to describe you. What do you think they would say?

If my teammates were to describe me they would probably say I am positive, hard-working, and determined. Most people can find me with a smile on my face and that is because I try to see the good in every situation. My teammates know that I am always there to help them and keep them going even when they may be struggling. I provide the team with energy by continuously talking to my teammates and giving them feedback. I am hard-working because I consistently give 110 percent effort in everything I do whether that is on the court, in the weight room or academics, I am striving to do the best that I can. And finally determined because I am always looking for ways to better myself. That might be getting extra reps after practice or filling my schedule to the max with activities in order to get a full college experience and to help me reach my goals in the future.

What is your favorite part about being an engineering technology major? Do you have a specific career path and any ultimate career goals?

My favorite part about being an engineering technology student is the variety of classes we get to take. The program exposes us to many different things that our field can offer from robotics, to PLCs, to different manufacturing processes and so much more. There is a lot of opportunity and I feel very fortunate to have such great classes, a ton of hands on experience and knowledgeable professors to learn from.

I don’t really have a specific career path; I am currently doing an internship with Bridgestone-Firestone here in town which I am really enjoying. My ultimate career goal would be to work for Apple. They are a great company that creates so many cool products and I would love to be a part of helping design or build a new iPhone or Apple product.

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