Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Swimmer Arianna Petrovia
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // February 19, 2023
Petrovia is majoring in Marine Biology
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther women’s swimmer Arianna Petrovia, a junior who is majoring in Marine Biology.
Having made the journey to Melbourne from Langhorne, Pennsylvania, Arianna’s top finish so far this season came on January 14th at Lynn, when she placed fifth in 1000 Free.
Petrovia was named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll following her freshman season in 2021.
Before the Panthers departed to compete at this week’s SSC Championships, we talked with Arianna about what she’s enjoyed the most about being able to have real-world experience with her major.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech, and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
I’m a Marine Biology major here at Florida Tech and growing up as a little kid, I loved being in or around the water, whether it was a pool or the ocean. Then I started looking into sea life, looking up YouTube videos, and kind of just stuck with it.
■ Growing up in Pennsylvania, what was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
The weather, it’s a lot warmer! Being near the beach also is a good weekend activity and that’s good for my major as well.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
I think I want to go into research or coral reefs specifically. I really like looking at them and setting them. I’m in a lab here for coral reef preservation right now. Eventually, maybe I’ll go to NOAA or one of the other organizations and be able to give people information about the environment.
■ Normally, we ask our subjects what projects they have enjoyed working on in the classroom, but you actually get to go out and be in the field, what’s that been like?
Yeah, it’s really cool! We recently had a lab that took us to Turkey Creek Park in Palm Bay, where we collected data samples. Last year, I did a ghost crab abundance experiment for my ecology class, and I pretty much came up with the whole experiment. I had to go to the beach to collect my own data, it was really cool.
■ Your season can run between five and six months long with a lot of practices and road trips in between, how do you keep everything balanced once the season starts?
It’s mostly time management. If you have like an hour of free time, just try to get some stuff done.
If it’s 9:30 P.M. and your friends want to watch a movie, but you know you have practice at 5:30 the next morning, you should probably go to sleep instead of staying up to watch the movie. It gets your priorities straight, making sure you have enough time to do all your work.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the pool that you apply to your studies?
It’s instilled into me to never give up, I feel like. If I’m having trouble with my classwork, I usually go find help to push through. You know you can do it if you put your mind to it.
I think the same applies to swimming during a race it can be hard, but if you push through, you’ll finish.
■ What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Marine Biology?
I would definitely recommend coming here. The athletics here are really fun, I personally love being on the swim team here and my coach has been really understanding when I have too much work to do, I could take the practice off to get the work done and make it up another time.
The academics are amazing, we have a lot of opportunities, and the professors all recognize me when I walk around campus so I feel like they really care.
■ What have you enjoyed the most about your time with the swimming program?
I really like the whole team aspect of it, like we’re one big family. We get along really well, I’ve made my best friends on the swim team. I live with five other swimmers, so it’s the bonds we make. I also love the beach practices.
■ What expectations do you have for the team at the SSC Championships?
I hope to see a lot of personal best times from our team. We’ve been putting in a lot of hard work these past couple of weeks since we got back on January 1st and hit the ground running with winter training. So, I hope to just see a lot of time drops and have fun as well.
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