SUU Blog | T-Bird Nation

Student Meets Olympic Idol While Furthering Education

By Cami Mathews on January 19, 2017 in

Students, Student Projects

Nico1.jpgNico Fonzi is a senior hospitality management major from Las Vegas, Nevada. He is also a pole vaulter for the track and field team at Southern Utah University. While at SUU, Nico has been given opportunities to go on business trips, compete in meets around the country, and most recently attended an automotive conference where he met his track and field hero.

The conference was the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) convention. The convention’s focus was on the automotive industry, showcasing the brightest minds and hottest products all in one place. The convention also provided educational seminars, product demonstrations, and special events.

“By attending the SEMA convention, I have come to the realization of what I am truly passionate about,” said Nico. “The convention opened my eyes to the automotive industry as a whole and educated me on how many opportunities are available for myself after graduation.”

While attending the convention, Nico was able to meet one of his track and field idols, Bryan Clay. Clay was the 2008 Olympic Gold Medalist and the 2004 Olympic Silver Medalist in the Decathlon.

“Bryan asked the audience who could name all ten events of the decathlon,” said Nico. “I answered correctly and was able to shake his hand, wear his two Olympic medals, and pose for pictures. I was proud to get the answer right and meet him in person.”Nico2.jpg

The entire experience would not have been possible had it not been for Brandon Armstrong, who is the career coach and employment outreach coordinator for the SUU School of Business.

“Brandon allowed us the freedom to explore the convention and participate in everything that was offered,” said Nico. “Without him, I don’t think we would have had that opportunity. He is a fantastic instructor, and I appreciated everything he did for the group of students.”

Nico’s future dreams include graduating this next semester, pursuing a career in the automotive industry, and to attend the SEMA convention once again. He also looks forward in assisting the SUU’s Men’s Track Team as they attempt to win the conference championship in the spring.