August 15, 2011
KANSAS CITY, Mo - - Emily Hamblin always could be considered the quintessential Avila University student – a dedicated scholar in art education, enthusiastic participant on the school’s cheerleading squad, well-liked by her peers and professors alike.
Now Hamblin, a senior, can consider herself among the elite collegiate cheerleaders in the United States.
Hamblin, who hails from Melbourne, Fla., recently was named to the 2011 Collegiate All-American Team by Inside Cheerleading magazine, which featured some of the most talented collegiate cheerleaders in the country. Each year, the magazine names an All-American team of 20 cheerleaders after evaluating nominations from cheerleading coaches coast to coast. The All-Americans are featured in the June/July 2011 issue of Inside Cheerleading.
As one of the 20 collegiate All-American cheerleaders, Hamblin is included among a group of her peers that cheer at such institutions as the University of Alabama, University of Georgia, Indiana University, Louisiana State University and San Diego State University.
“It was really exciting,” Hamblin said. “I didn’t think it was that big a deal at first, but it actually got me a job.”
True, after seeing the recognition in the magazine, directors at the Shockwave Cheerleading Team in Lee’s Summit invited her to be an instructor.
Though the people nominated for All-American were all collegiate cheerleaders, Hamblin said it was a coach from the all-star team in Florida she’s competed on for years – and, a former cheer teammate from high school - who submitted her nomination. Having started in cheerleading at age 10, she ranked first in numerous national competitions while competing with Freedom Athletics in Florida.
Her first year at Avila, she helped the cheer team to fourth place in a national competition. The next year, the team improved to second. This past school year, Hamblin and her Avila teammates performed in an open competition, against cheer teams of schools at all levels and sizes, and achieved a first-place ranking for the team and as a five-woman stunt team.
Hamblin said she has three semesters of course work remaining at Avila and two seasons of eligibility left in cheerleading. She said she’ll most likely make this season of cheer her last, however, so that she can concentrate on finishing up her degree in art education in the fall of 2012.
“That’ll probably be a really busy time, getting everything all finished,” she said. “My parents want me to come home to do my student teaching, which I think Avila is going to let me do. I hope to get a job (in Florida). I want to teach high school art.”
That said, Hamblin said she’ll miss Avila, which she chose because of its art education program and strong cheerleading program.
“My best times here were at nationals, going down to Florida and competing with my team,” she said. “My first year here, we won conference.
“But, I also loved my art courses, especially classes with Marci Aylward. She took us all over, to museums and exhibits. They have really good education teachers here.
“I like that Avila is such a small school. You have teachers over and over again, so you get to build relationships. Hopefully, many of those relationships will last the rest of my life.”
Avila University is a private, co-educational, values-based liberal arts institution founded by the Sisters of St. Joseph of Carondelet, offering undergraduate, graduate, and adult degree programs. Avila University is located at 119th and Wornall Rd in southwest suburban Kansas City, Mo.