A Scholar & An Athlete: Stowell’s Success Story

March 09, 2018

Kendra Parks

When most students start their undergraduate career, they are busy trying to determine how to balance both their classes and social life, while being on their own for the first time. When you add the responsibilities of being a student-athlete into the equation, for some, it can become even more difficult.

For UM senior and men’s basketball player Chris Stowell, he will tell you that managing his time as a student-athlete is difficult, but to the rest of us, he makes it look easy.

Stowell, who is graduating in May with a degree in entrepreneurship and a triple minor in business technology, international business, and sports administration, currently has a perfect 4.0 GPA.

From the start, Stowell entered UM as a star, and was recognized as such by being named a UM Foote Fellow. The Foote Fellows Honors Program “recognizes the most educationally accomplished incoming students at the University of Miami. Foote Fellows have distinguished themselves both inside and outside of the classroom at their previous schools, are self-motivated, and think independently,” according to the website.

Stowell does give credit to the Foote Fellows Honors Program for helping him to stay on top of his classes.

“UM has made it very easy for me through the Foote Fellow Program, and I have loved my classes. I know that not everyone gets that opportunity, but I think it’s really important to try your best to enroll in classes that interest you,” said Stowell. “You only get to do your undergraduate once, so you might as well use the experience to explore interesting topics and learn about things that interest you.”

Stowell also gives a lot of credit to his parents for the student he has become, as well as his girlfriend, whom he says helps to keep him focused and motivates him to keep working hard through her own amazing work ethic.

Though Stowell may not get as much playing time as some of the others on the men’s basketball team, he is a well-respected leader among his teammates.

“Chris is probably the smartest student-athlete at the University of Miami,” Coach Jim Larrañaga recently said in an interview with the Miami Herald, in which Stowell was one of three graduating seniors featured in the article. “He’s brilliant. He came in at 6-6 and 185 pounds and lived in the weight room, got so much stronger, became a much better basketball player, and whether he ever bounces a ball after college or not, he’s going to be a huge success because he has a fantastic work ethic, great attitude, is a great teammate and leader and one of our captains because of all those qualities.”

“Chris has a can-do attitude that is so much a part of him that he makes everything look easy.  Every task put to him, he takes on with a smile and an air of quiet confidence that one just knows it will get done. Period,” said entrepreneurship professor Susy Alvarez-Diaz. “His intelligence and analytical skills are among his strongest traits.”

Stowell also had some kind words to say about Professor Alvarez-Diaz.

“The most influential person in the (Miami) Business School for me and my studies has been Professor Susy Alvarez-Diaz. I was connected with her a few years ago to work on a research project regarding athletes in entrepreneurship. She guided me through the project and got me connected with some great people. I learned a lot from Professor Alvarez-Diaz, and I had a great experience from the project,” said Stowell.

Besides being a project mentor to Stowell, Professor Alvarez-Diaz has also taught him in three of her classes.

“(Professor Alvarez-Diaz’s) entrepreneurial experiences combined with her fun-loving attitude makes her classes wonderful, and I have learned a lot of things that I will use in the future to start my own business,” said Stowell.

When it comes to his future entrepreneurial plans, he has them on hold for the moment. After graduation, he will be working at Citi in New York, as an analyst in the company’s treasury and trade department. Before venturing out on his own, Stowell wants to obtain some more work experience and see how business runs within the corporate world.

When speaking with Stowell about his overall college experience, the one response he kept mentioning was how grateful he is for all of the opportunities he has been given during his time at UM.

Out of all of his various experiences during his undergraduate years, he said he has enjoyed being a part of the basketball team the most.

“It’s definitely what I will miss the most. I have very close bonds with my teammates, and I spend a ton of time with them,” said Stowell. “The memories and experiences I’ve had in college basketball will be the things I remember for the rest of my life.”

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