Nov. 9, 2011
Name: Dunja Antunovic
Sport(s): Women’s Tennis
Years Participated: 2005-2009
What does being a DePaul Letter winner mean to you?
It means a sense of belonging and a sense of purpose. DePaul helped me find my mission and in my years there I daresay I found my way of service.
Why did you choose DePaul?
I knew a few women who were already on the team. Bojana, my best friend, came a year before I did to play for DePaul, along with Bea Csordas whom I knew from tournaments in Hungary. I also played against Anja Mihaldinec prior to coming to DePaul, Most importantly, Mark Ardizzone showed a strong concern for his players' well-being and I knew he would contribute to my development not only off the court but also on the court.
What was your favorite memory while at DePaul?
Ah there are way too many. Singing silly songs with Bea in U-Hall definitely would qualify, reaching the finals in doubles with Kirsten Gambrell, cheering for our women's basketball team, ... If I had to pick one it would be beating Syracuse at the Conference tournament in Florida. It was emotional and intense. We played for each other and I do not remember us feeling a stronger desire to win than we did in that match.
What did receiving a scholarship from DePaul mean to you?
DePaul gave me what I was dreaming of since childhood: the opportunity to study in English. At the same time I was also able to continue playing, which would have been extremely difficult had I gone to college in Hungary.
What was your funniest memory at DePaul?
Getting yelled at by Jill Hollembeak for being late for LifeSkills. If you know Jill, you appreciate just how funny that sentence sounds. It was also memorable not only because Jill became a major source of motivation for me (and remains to this day) but that very LifeSkills session ended up encompassing one of the most influential moments of my DePaul career. Jill told us "You don't want to be average. Always strive to be above average." To this day I think of that lesson and I am inspired by Jill's words to do better, set my goals higher and work harder.
Brief Summary of your life from graduation till now:
I stayed at DePaul for two years as a graduate assistant coach to complete my Masters degree in Journalism. Currently, I am a research assistant and a PhD student in the College of Communications at Penn State University.
Is there a recent highlight that you would like to share with Alumni and friends of DePaul Athletics?
I guess my ongoing highlight since August has been working with Dr. Marie Hardin, an outstanding sports media scholar and a wonderful mentor. Last week, I had the privilege to present our research at the North American Society for the Sociology of Sport conference, which was my first academic conference. What I learned from that experience is that being a student-athlete at DePaul prepared me well for a doctoral education and that Dr. Joel Whalen's Effective Business Communication class is a must-take!
What advice would you give to a current or future student-athlete?
Take a moment to look around and realize just how blessed you are to be at DePaul. If you really play attention, you will be overwhelmed by the love around you. I heard Jeanne (Lenti Ponsetto) once say, "at DePaul, you will have a shoulder to lean on when times get tough." Notice you have that shoulder, but never take it for granted.
Travel destination: I don't get to go home that often so it would be Szeged, Hungary.
Books: The Famous Five, Harry Potter series, Michael Messner: Taking the Field, Christine Brennan: Best Seat in the House
Author: bell hooks
Movie: Mona Lisa Smile, Valami Amerika (Hungarian movie)
Sports movie: I am yet to find a good one. :)
Quote: "And yet through all the change, one ancient and beautiful moment will continue – that moment when a student sits in a classroom, a library, a laboratory, a studio, or even at an electronic screen, and learns. For in the end, everything we do is in service of that moment." - Fr. Dennis Holtschneider