Student Profile: Payton Shubrick ’15

'I wanted a competitive, Division I athletic conference coupled with rigorous academics'

NAME Payton Shubrick ’15

HOMETOWN Springfield, Mass.

ACADEMICS Political science with concentrations in Africana Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies

DISCOVERING THE HILL Payton, a high school track star, first heard about Holy Cross from fellow Springfield native and former women’s basketball standout, Brisje Malone ’14.  Athletics wasn’t the only driving force in her decision. “I chose Holy Cross for two reasons: track and academics. I really wanted a competitive, Division I athletic conference coupled with rigorous academics.”

A LEADER ON AND OFF THE FIELD A four-year member of the track and field team, Payton excels in both sprint and distance races, and was a member of the relay team that set new school records. Her leadership skills are evident across campus. After participating in student government as an underclassman, she decided to run for co-president of the Student Government Association. “There’s a quote by Maya Angelou that I really like, ‘If you don't like something, change it. If you can't change it, change your attitude.’ College student government is really different than high school student government in the fact you actually can make a difference and change things.” As co-president, Payton says her efforts in rebranding the student government into Support, Grow, Advocate (SGA) is one of her proudest accomplishments. She has also held leadership roles in the Black Student Union, having served as co-chair and secretary.

DEVELOPING A PASSION Always drawn to law and government, Payton says her political science classes and campus involvement have helped her see an even bigger picture. “I’ve learned the importance of communication skills, in particular how to express myself more effectively through both my writing and oral presentations. That’s given me a heightened sense of awareness for team building while working with  a diverse group of people in track, student government, and the whole student body.” She says Professor Michael West encouraged her to build upon her political science major. “My ‘America Freedom, America Slavery’ class truly helped me develop my interest in Africana Studies and Peace and Conflict Studies.”

LIVING THE MISSION Payton worked with a group of Holy Cross students and Robert Jones, associate director of the office of multicultural education, on the Verizon Wireless Mobile Learning Lab which offers Worcester high school students the chance to advance their learning capabilities with the help of mobile technology. The Mobile Learning Lab was a retrofitted school bus equipped with its own generator and 4G LTE connectivity. “Five to six Holy Cross students would board the mobile lab two days a week and head to local high schools,” she explains. “It was great to work with the students on their SAT prep and introduce them to learning on tablets and mobile devices.”

BEYOND THE HILL Her interest in new technologies and learning will continue after graduation.  For the past four summers, Payton has held various internship roles at the MassMutual Financial Group in Springfield, including working as a business analyst intern, process analyst intern, and, most recently, a research and development intern. “I’ll return there to work as a research and development specialist focusing on new technology.”  She also hopes to attend law school in the future.