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UMD Darland All-American Hannah Keil: Leadership Exemplified

UMD senior Hannah Keil with Chancellor Black  
UMD Darland All-American Scholarship recipient Hannah Keil with Chancellor Lynn Black at the 2013 Duluth & St. Louis County Days.  
Being a successful UMD student-athlete is hard work. Balancing studies, practices, travel, and game day performance takes a special kind of person. Add in extra curricular activities such as an active role in student government and only a few people will rise to the top. Senior Hannah Keil has mastered all of these and as a result is one of only four UMD students who received this year’s Darland All-American Scholarship.

Two individuals nominated Keil for the 2014-15 Darland All-American, which rewards recipients with a $5,875 scholarship for their academic achievements and leadership contributions. Alan C. Roline, associate professor in the Department of Accounting in the Labovitz School of Business and Economics, highlighted Keil's academic record. "Hannah is one of those rare students who possess the combination of academic ability, emerging leadership skills, and a strong work ethic all rolled into one. Her academic record speaks for itself: she has been on the Dean's List in LSBE continuously since 2011," he said.

Head Soccer Coach Greg Cane has been very impressed with her ability to lead. “Hannah aspires to leadership,” he said. “She is very focused and very determined. She demonstrates all the qualities that you want as a role model for your team. She's full-in, not only on the field, but in how she’s gotten involved with student government and committees,” Cane stated. “When I was recruiting her, she was captain of her Club soccer team and they were overachievers. That came, in part, from their captain. We want those who aspire, those who achieve and lead. Those qualities were one of the reasons we had such tremendous success last year,” he said. UMD's soccer team advanced to the quarterfinal round of the NCAA II tournament for the first time last year.

Getting the Most Out of Her Education
Keil is pursuing two majors: one in Human Resources and the other in Finance. “Business and working with people have always been interests of mine. My older sister majored in Human Resources at UMD and my mom is in Human Resources,” she said. “I knew in order to get the most out of my education I wanted to double major. I asked people in HR, including my mom, ‘what’s the one thing you'd recommend while pursuing a degree in HR Management’ and a number said 'understand the numbers by complementing it with a finance degree.' And, of course, it has a lot of applications – both in business and personal.”

She is also minoring in Political Science. “Keeping up on politics has always been a hobby for me,” she said. This interest led her to become involved in UMD student government through the Student Association (SA). In her sophomore year, she was the vice president of External Affairs. She and other students lobbied at the Minnesota State Capitol at such events as Bulldog Day and Support the U Day and spoke to legislators on issues important to UMD students. They also traveled to Washington D.C. to meet with government officials there.

This year she is UMD's student representative to the U of M Board of Regents and was elected Chair of the Student Representative Committee. She meets with other U of M campus reps and together they decide on which issues are important to students and what they want to focus on. They, in turn, present these issues to the regents. In fall 2013, she reported to the regents on public-private business partnerships at UMD. Last spring she reported on the need for student financial literacy.

“The regents want to understand what students think is important,” Keil said. SA shares findings and information with UMD students through social media on both facebook and twitter.
UMD senior Hannah Keil  
Hannah Keil (left) plays inside midfield, and this year is a co-captain of the UMD soccer team. Photo courtesy of  

Net Gains
In addition to her studies and work with SA, the Wayzata native is also a member of the UMD soccer team and has been since she was a freshman. She plays inside midfield, and this year was chosen as one of two team captains.

The rewards of playing soccer have been immense for Keil. “I learned the majority of my life lessons playing sports: dedication, time management, working with different personalities. It’s all really contributed to my performance in the classroom, in SA, and in my internship last summer with Target. It’s definitely shaped me as a leader,” she said.

On the team, leadership takes many forms including mentoring younger players. “We have ten seniors on our team this year, which is a lot. We’re expected to step-up and help younger team members. The team has a sister program where each younger team member is paired with an older team member. It’s an opportunity given to us by the coaching staff to help mold younger team members in the areas of time management and scheduling. I had a ‘sister’ my freshman year who really showed me the ropes of UMD when I first arrived,” Keil said.

Because the soccer team travels so much, teammates spend a lot of time together. “I’d say I’m with my teammates probably five times as much as I was with my high school teammates. On the road, we really get to bond on so many levels: school-wise, family-wise. It helps solidify the team,” Keil said.

Working with younger players, Keil is able to impart some of the wisdom she’s gained over four years as a Bulldog. She offers some advice to any student. “I know it’s a cliché, but get involved in as many clubs and organizations as you can. Don’t be afraid to take on a leadership role. If you don’t believe in yourself, no one will. Share new ideas and roll with the punches. There will be setbacks.”

Keil isn’t slowing down. After interning at Target over the summer, she was recently offered a job with the corporation. She’ll soon be starting a full-time position (that’s 40 hours) after school as an executive team leader at Target.

Although honored and rewarded, she remains humble and grounded. "Above all, my faith is the most important thing in my life. God has blessed me with wonderful family and friends, and without Him, none of my success would be possible," Keil said.

UMD"s Those who can, Duluth
  Hannah Keil (center, in blue shirt) with the other 2013/2014 student representatives to the Board of Regents Committee. Photo courtesy of University of Minnesota Twin Cities



Written by Kathleen McQuillan-Hofmann, September 2014

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