By Bob Vazquez, Assistant Athletics Director, Strategic Communications
Northridge, Calif. – This is the incredible story of Kristin McLaughlin, former water polo player (2007-10).
McLaughlin, who excelled in the pool as one of the top players in CSUN history, has her name peppered throughout the school record book.
But what's more impressive were McLaughlin's distinguished accolades in the classroom. The long list includes Academic All-American (three times), CSUN's Dean List, Big West and MPSF All-Academic selection (three times), the National Society of Collegiate Scholars, and Big West Scholar-Athlete of the Year (2010).
After graduating in 2010 with a degree in Political Science, her academic goals remained focused. She received full tuition scholarship offers from many of the top law schools in the nation.
McLaughlin wanted to stay close to home so she decided on attending the prestigious Loyola Law School in Los Angeles.
Fast forward to May, 2013. Kristin McLaughlin graduated from Loyola Law School.
And just recently, McLaughlin received news she passed the Bar on her FIRST TRY.
Kristin McLaughlin is ONLY 25-YEARS-OLD.
She is now an attorney specializing in civil litigation.
"I think the competitive drive that I had in the pool carried over to my academic career," said McLaughlin, who during her studies at CSUN also included mentoring and tutoring Matador student-athletes, working as a student assistant in the Center for Teaching and Learning, and as a volunteer in the Teaching, Learning and Counseling Consortium at CSUN. "Marcelo (Dr. Marcelo Leonardi, CSUN water polo head coach) really emphasized academics as much as competing and winning in the pool. He wanted us to be successful in the classroom. That carried me through law school.
Asked if she can still play water polo despite her hectic schedule, McLaughlin simply laughs. "I try to go to the gym, but let's be honest, I don't go anywhere near the pool. Except for today's alumni game."
McLaughlin recently helped the Alumni to an 11-6 victory over the Varsity.
"It was really a pleasure and honor to coach Kristin (McLaughlin) and watch her develop into the individual she is today," said Dr. Leonardi. "Kristin is a leader in today's world. She was one of the cornerstones during her four years in the CSUN water polo program. She represents what the academia and the athletic department at Cal State Northridge wish to instill in its student-athletes. We are proud of Kristin and her family."
McLaughlin also gives credit for CSUN's water polo success to another group.
"The presence of the parents of the team members at the games played a huge role in our success," said McLaughlin without reservation. "We had a lot of family support cheering for us at the games. It really makes me feel proud as an alum. I can proudly say … 'Yeah, I went there (CSUN)'.