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COPYRIGHT NOTICE This Oral History is copyrighted by the University of South Florida Libraries Oral History Program on behalf of the Board of Trustees of the University of South Florida. Copyright, 2008, University of South Florida. All rights, reserved This oral history may be used for research, instruction, and private study under the provisions of the Fair Use. Fair Use is a provision of the United States Copyright Law (United States Code, Title 17, section 107), which allows limited use of copyrig hted materials under certain conditions. Fair Use limits the amount of material that may be used. For all other permissions and requests, contact the UNIVERSITY OF SOUTH FLORIDA LIBRARIES ORAL HISTORY PROGRAM at the University of South Florida, 4202 E. Fo wler Avenue, LIB 122, Tampa, FL 33620.
1 USF Florida Studies Center Oral History Program USF 50 th History Anniversary Project Narrator: Kerine Black Interviewer: Danielle E. Riley Current Position: Works for JP Morgan Chase Location of Interview: Tampa Campus Library Date of In terview: May 4, 2004 Abstractor: Daniel Bertwell Editor: Danielle E. Riley Abstract Completed: July 6, 2004 Date of Edit: July 8, 2004 Final Editor: Jared G. Toney TOPICS OF DISCUSSION Growing up Ms. Black grew up in Jamaica, where she did one year of high school and ran track and field. She decided to move to Ft. Pierce, Florida and live with her father because she wanted to see the world. After finishing high school at Ft. Pierce Central High School, Ms. Black decided to come to USF. She didn't know anything about Tampa at the time, nor did she know that USF was here until one of the school's representatives came to her high school. While she was accepted at other universities, she decided to come to USF because she was able to begin classes dur ing the summer. Ms. Black also considered Florida A & M. She had been offered track and field scholarships for schools up north, but did not want to do track anymore. She was invited to the U.S. Juniors Track and Field Championships in California. Th e event was to take place at a school that offered her a scholarship, but because this was around the time that there were frequent earthquakes in the area, she decided not to go. She had been doing track since she was nine years old and had grown tired o f it. She wanted to go into business. Her parents are both business owners: her father owns a store and her mother owns a business in Jamaica. While growing up, Ms. Black's mother had about three businesses; she was put in charge of some business aspe cts of her mother's entrepreneurial pursuits because her mother wanted her to learn about it. First Time at USF She came here with all her stuff and was ready to move in. Initially, Ms. Black went to the wrong side of the campus and got lost. It was v ery hot, which was good because she is not very happy with the cold weather up north. She was supposed to be at the orientation at Argos and she had to walk all the way there, which was a long way. Ms. Black stayed on campus the first year and spent th e summer prior to her freshman year living on the campus. They stayed in Delta Hall over the summer and the program was a lot of fun and was a "great experience." The first day there were a lot of people who were upset and wanted to go home. Everyone ha d a roommate and suitemates.
2 They all ended up being best friends and they stayed close throughout school. They went to movies, clubs, and parties together and had a lot of fun. She loved going to the lobbies and playing card games against different sui tes. They also enjoyed having cookouts in the kitchen. This was fun because everyone was from different cultures. This changed a little when the fall rolled around because the number of students rose considerably when school started. Classes Her classe s were good because they were relatively small. She declared her major sophomore year. She graduated with two majors, Management and Information Systems (MIS), and finance. Ms. Black finished her first degree in 2000 with the MIS degree, but she had ano ther year of eligibility on track. She had taken finance classes and only needed about six hours to finish that degree, so Ms. Black decided to stay and finish the extra degree and run track. Track and Field She had decided to not do track in college. I n her sophomore year Ms. Black read an article in the Oracle concerning the track team. She had not realized that USF had a track team. This particular article said that one athlete had done very well at a meet at FSU. The girl had triple jumped a littl e over thirty eight feet and this was a new school record. Ms. Black realized that she had done better than that in high school. She called her father and told him about the track and field team. He encouraged her to join. Ms. Black went to the athle tic department and approached the head coach. When she told him that she had done better than that in high school he told her that a lot of people think that they can do better than the people on the team. She decided to not bother with the idea any furt her. Ms. Black called her father again and he encouraged her to go back one more time. The track and field team was going to have a December trial. The coach decided to have Ms. Black train with the team and then go to the trial. If she did well at the trial, she would make the team. No one paid much attention to her during practice because she did not put too much effort into practice. On the day of the trial Ms. Black was nervous because she hadn't jumped competitively since high school. Her fi rst jump was measured at forty one feet. The jumping coach then had her do the long jump. The record was just over seventeen feet and Ms. Black jumped eighteen feet. In both events she broke school records on her first jump. They allowed her onto the t eam. Once she went to a few meets and got into a competitive mindset her interest came back. Many of her friends from Jamaica were recruited to go to U.S. schools, so Ms. Black got to compete against them as well. Practicing was different for her than a nyone else. The coach would send everyone for a run and Ms. Black would feel tired so she would stop. She "just hated practicing" and "didn't work hard." Ms. Black feels that she only "put fifty percent" into her practicing. When she first came here sh e didn't lift weights or run. She has always hated practice. They had practice every day from Monday through Friday and they had races to run on
3 the weekends. The coaches know your schedule the whole time. She started as a jumper and ended up sprinting as well. This was a lot of work, but it was fun. Ms. Black had been a runner in high school, but didn't tell her coaches in college because she hated running. She preferred to jump. They needed some sprinters and she tried out for the 100m and the 20 0m. She went to the conference championships. She may have not practiced very hard, but Ms. Black hates losing and works "110%" during the competitions. She did the 200m and the 100m and broke both school records. Once her coaches knew that she could r un and jump they had her do both events. Her coach wrote a newspaper article after he left about turning her down at their initial meeting. It was something they could both look back at and laugh about. People on the team today She is still in touch wi th Greg Theil, the current head coach. She goes to meets from time to time and keeps in touch with some of the current players and some national qualifiers who might go to the Olympics. When she watches it on television there is some desire to get back i nto track and field, but once the television program is over that desire goes away. She has always been nonchalant about track and there are a lot of people that put everything they have into it, it is their one desire. She was an alternate on the Jamaic an Olympic team, which was a neat experience. This built her confidence. At first, it was intimidating to go against Olympians, but when she was successful it was a great confidence booster. Olympians are very serious and Ms. Black doesn't think that li festyle is for her. If she cannot have fun with track then she does not want to do it. She respects Olympians a lot and appreciates that they all work very hard. She didn't travel with the team because she was an alternate. USF Records She was always s o nonchalant about track that whenever someone made a big deal about her records it didn't seem like a big deal to her. She has a lot of plaques and medals at her house (under the bed). At the time Ms. Black was focusing on going through school and becau se she wasn't 100% dedicated to track and field she didn't get as excited as someone who had dreamed about it. She is proud to be part of USF history, but track and field was a part of her life then and not now. USF Community In 1996 the school started t he football team but Ms. Black did not pay attention to athletics very much then, until she read the track and field article in the Oracle. Her friends weren't involved in sports. But when the football team began playing a lot of people got involved in a thletics. Some of her friends played intramurals but they were pretty uninvolved. Once she got involved in track and field people became very supportive. When people found out that she was going to try out they were a little skeptical, but they became less skeptical over time.
4 When she walked on to the team, she was the only walk on; everyone else was recruited. There were only a few walk ons that actually made the team. This might be the reason that so many people didn't take her seriously at first because so many people try out and fail. In the time between 1996 and 2001 people on campus started paying more attention to athletics campus and got more involved. Family Her mother's side of the family is still in Jamaica. Her mother only came to v isit on a couple of occasions. Her father came to a few track meets. He always wanted her to start track and field again. In 1996 Ms. Black was nominated to be a torchbearer for the Atlanta Olympics and he was very proud. He was very proud of her agai n when she made the team in her sophomore year of college. Dorm Life Ms. Black lived on campus until her senior year. She lived in the village, she lived in the co ed dorms, and she lived in the single dorms. She "absolutely loved" living on campus be cause it gives you a chance to learn to live with other people and understand other people's cultures and perspectives. This was a "great experience." Academics Because she had a double major and a student athlete, it was difficult for Ms. Black to keep up with her academics. This taught her time management because she had to go to a lot of track meets while keeping up with her schoolwork. Many weeks she would leave for a track meet on Thursday and come back on Sunday, so she would take work with her a nd have to meet professors on their office hours when she missed class. She didn't get extensions, because an athlete chooses to do athletics and so they are expected to keep up with school, but the professors were very helpful. The athletic department a lso has required study halls for eight hours a week that she was required to attend from the Monday to Thursday that she was on campus. This cut into social time, but it helped out a great deal, and her time management skills are critical for her job now. Her senior year was difficult because she went to the Olympic trials and graduated in the same summer. So she was taking classes and doing the Olympic trials at the same time. She missed the first two weeks of classes but the professor helped her keep up with her work. Her advisor was very good and helped her keep on track and keep focused on everything. Graduation day She was out of town just before graduation day and was very tired during the graduation ceremony. It was such a big deal for everyo ne, but there were so many people there that her family could not find her. They didn't see her until the next day. She was very tired, but it was really fun and "exciting." At that point she was really looking forward to finishing school. A lot of ath letes prefer to not walk because during spring there are track meets on the weekends, but this gave her family a chance to get together and celebrate.
5 Her family in Jamaica was sad that they didn't get the chance to go, but she got to visit Jamaica in the fall and shared pictures with them. Best experience at USF The first summer that she was here was a great experience. They were supposed to have a counseling meeting every Thursday for summer classes. They tried to avoid it however they could. The cou nselor would try to get them there on time, but they all purposely tried to be late. The counselor was so upset every time, but they thought that it was funny. Staying in the dorms that summer was a lot of fun. They played Spades and Truth or Dare all t he time. She would recommend any incoming freshman do this program because there are so few people on the campus over the summer and you get the chance to spend time with other people and make new friends. Her current job Now Ms. Black works for JP Morg an Chase Band in the Treasury Service. She stayed in the Tampa area because she spent a lot of time traveling during her years in track and field. While on the track team, she saw the entire United States but always loved coming back to Tampa. Ms. Black does not intend to leave any time soon. End of Interview
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interviewed by Danielle E. Riley.
Tampa, Fla. :
University of South Florida Tampa Library,
1 sound file (42 min.) :
digital, MPEG4 file +
e 1 expanded summary (digital, PDF file)
USF 50th (2006) anniversary oral history project
Interview conducted May 4, 2004.
Kerine Black, a former student and track athlete, discusses coming to the United States from Jamaica shortly before starting college. She also discusses her decision to come to USF and her time on the track and field team. Black was an alternate for the Jamaican Olympic team in 2000. She currently works for JP Morgan Chase Bank in the Treasury Service and remains in Tampa.
Mode of access: World Wide Web.
University of South Florida.
J.P. Morgan Chase & Co.
Track and field.
Riley, Danielle E.
University of South Florida Libraries.
Florida Studies Center.
Oral History Program.
University of South Florida.
y CLICK HERE TO ACCESS DIGITAL AUDIO AND EXPANDED SUMMARY