Prairie Stars on the Move: Jane Carter


Jane Carter shows that it is possible to stay connected to the things we love, even after it seems they have ended.

She is currently a Graduate Assistant with the Human Services department.  Before that, she was one of the best tennis players to walk the campus of UIS.  Recruited from New Zealand, she started attending UIS and playing tennis.  She was named the GLVC conference Freshman of the Year her first year, and played on the All-GLVC team all four years of attendance.  She also holds the record for the most wins, with 131 as of April of 2018.

While playing tennis very successfully, she was also able to maintain her academics.  She graduated with a degree in business and a psychology minor.  Using this degree and experience, she was able to get into graduate school for a masters in communications.

She said that after so many years of playing tennis and so many hours dedicated to the sport, it was incredibly difficult to set down the racquet and walk away from the sport she loves so much.  This is why she signed on to be a volunteer assistant coach for the UIS women’s tennis team.

She said this position is mutually beneficial to both herself and the team.  The connection to the sport fills that gap that was left after she graduated and left the team, and the team gains the knowledge and skill of someone who was such a successful player in recent years.

Despite being an unpaid volunteer, her involvement is quite intense.  She shows up to four practices a week and sits in on many of the games as well.  During the games, she helps guide the players in techniques, strategies, and game plans to offer insight that only a recent player can offer.

Although many people, athletes in particular, have to give up the things they love once they graduate, it is possible to stay connected and help others as well.  Jane Carter is a perfect example of this.  Her volunteer work with the UIS tennis team can be seen as an example to all students who are looking at graduating.  Students do not have to walk away from the things they love, there are ways to stay connected.  Most organizations value past members very highly, as they have a large amount of useful experience.  There are many different forms this continued connection can take, for Jane Carter it took the form of a volunteer assistant coach.