Penn State Women’s Golf Coach, PGA Professional
Mentor Spotlight Q&A with Denise:
Why do you do what you do?
I Coach with the hope to make a positive influence on young people’s lives and help prepare them for a life of impact.
Name someone who has had a significant impact on you as a mentor? Why and how did this person impact your life?
Mary Kennedy Zierke was my Coach in College. She helped prepare me for life after College through various lessons during my collegiate career as a student athlete. She believed in my abilities and encouraged me to stretch my limits. She impressed upon me the importance of discipline and following through. Mary is a very generous person with her time and anything she posses. I was always impressed with her unselfish ability to help anyone.
What does leadership mean to you?
Leadership to me is a “verb”. It is first and foremost “action”. Leadership is about setting down the steps that you hope people will emulate. It is bringing out the best in those you are hoping to lead. Demonstrating in your actions what you say with your words.
What is something about your expertise that took you years to learn?
Slow down and appreciate where you are today! Everyone has something to contribute. Everyone has value. I am still learning. There is no end to what we can do, learn, and give.
What do you know now about living a fulfilled life that you didn’t know when you were in your twenties?
Not to panic, that things will work out as they should. Every up and down has a lesson to be learned.
What do you feel is the most helpful thing your parents did for you that you cherish today?
They constantly exposed me to new things. They gave me opportunities to experience many sports, travel, arts, there were no limits!
What do you do for yourself and how do you stay centered?
It is not always easy , but I am at my best when I take time to start each day in prayer and a thoughtful reflection. I breathe.
What are you doing daily to ensure your growth and development continue?
I keep an open mind, I read daily something even if for ten minutes, I look for workshops or classes that will add to my skills.
Top five favorite books?
The Peaceful Warrior – Love, Medicine and Miracles – The Boys in the Boat – Extraordinary Golf – To Kill a Mocking Bird
Name your top five songs?
Lady – Sweet Baby James – House at Pooh Corner – I want to see you be Brave! – Landslide
Have you ever had a now or never moment?
I believe these happen more than we may realize. We make decisions everyday that change the course we are on or keep us on course. We have to believe and trust the process.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned?
To take time to breathe before giving your opinion.
If you could send a message to the world, what would you say?
Love, simply love, especially when it is most difficult.