A spirit for service

May 14, 2013 11:00 AM

Johanna Gretschel

There are people who seem as though they can do it all, and then there are people who really do. Graduating senior Allie Evans not only has balanced the hectic schedule of an athlete on the Tulane University swimming and diving team with a public health workload, but she also is dedicated to community work.


Green Wave swimmer Allie Evans

Allie Evans, a member of the Tulane swimming team, receives her undergraduate degree in public health on Saturday (May 18). She also earned a Conference USA Spirit of Service Award. (Photo by Parker Waters)

Evans spearheaded the Athletic Women’s Association and volunteered year-round with community activities. Luckily, as a standout swimmer, she knows when to come up for air.

She was likely the only one shocked about her distinction as one of 12 recipients of the Conference USA Spirit of Service Award. The honor represented C-USA's winter sports athletes.

Her coach “had asked me about community service earlier but I thought he was just curious,” Evans says.

Evans, from St. Petersburg, Fla., has quite a community service resume. She has volunteered with Walk With Me, Catholic Charities Adopt-An-Angel Program, Second Harvest Food Bank and the Jessie Rees Foundation. As the community outreach chair for the public health student government for two years, Evans coordinated events and created a monthly newsletter.

The Tulane swimming and diving team is a philanthropic group. The athletes team up annually for Relay for Life, and get involved with a charity during their annual California training trip. This year’s choice was the Jessie Rees Foundation; the team filled “Joy Jars” with stuffed animals and coloring pads. “The child can look at it and see the joy from every angle,” she says.

The aspiring nurse typifies the qualities of leadership, determination and independence that mark every swimmer recruited to jumpstart the program's return in 2009.

Her advice to incoming student-athletes: Branch out and experience everything Tulane has to offer. “If you love it, you’ll be able to balance it somehow. You’re only here for four years, and it’s not a long time.”

Johanna Gretschel received a bachelor’s degree with an English major from Tulane in 2012, and she will graduate on Saturday (May 18) with a master’s degree.


Tulane University, New Orleans, LA 70118 504-865-5000 website@tulane.edu