Share Your Story: Carol Makcuh (Szczechowski)
Carol Makcuh (Szczechowski)
I have so many wonderful memories - from my very first days, entering my new home, a dorm room, on a huge campus (I graduated from a small Catholic school) to my present life - I still keep in touch with some of the people I met at Michigan. These people were and remain a big part of my life! They and my entire experience in Ann Arbor helped make me grow into the person I am today - a strong, independent, disciplined, confident, and well-rounded woman.
Currently, I am an assistant principal at Wilson Middle School in Wyandotte, Michigan. I am married and have two sons. I have many great memories: athletic, social, and academic! Athletically, I recall breaking a single-game free-throw record; making it to the second round of the NCAA tournament (first time a Michigan team made it to the NCAA!); cracking heads with Ohio State star Nikita Lowry; having the entire team get food poisoning on our return bus ride from Ohio State (what a scene - what an experience!!!); playing euchre on road trips; bonding with teammates; being named "team hustler" three of my four years - and captain two of the four; receiving the "Marie Hartwig Scholar/Athlete" award in 1990; being selected as the first-ever recipient of the "Henry and Nancy Newlin Basketball Scholarship" (1990-91); and working my tail off during preseason conditioning! (Never knew I could run the mile in six minutes!) Each and every practice and game is etched in my heart forever. Socially, I met some wonderful people - from teammates to classmates to professors. I learned so much from these people - I became a better person who came to learn about and celebrate diversity.
Growing up in Wyandotte, I was not exposed to differences such as ethnic, religious, social class, etc. I currently keep in touch with two teammates, my former coach (Bud VanDeWege), one classmate, fellow-alumni Lisa Panetta-Craft (who played softball at UM a few years before I entered the UM scene - we also lived together for two years), and Henry and Nancy Newlin, generous contributors to the University of Michigan women's basketball program. Academically, I was challenged. The small Catholic school I had attended from second to twelfth grade prepared me as best it could, but did not quite equip me for University of Michigan-level classes! I had my struggles, but ultimately, I surprised myself and things worked out well...a long-term boost to my confidence! I graduated from the School of Education and my first year out of college, I landed a teaching position. I taught language arts and various social studies classes for eight years, and now, I am in my sixth year as an assistant principal.
I am so thankful to the University of Michigan - and to the Big Ten Conference as well with so many beautiful campuses I was blessed to see. When I was growing up playing basketball with my six older brothers, I didn't realize where my talents would take me. I simply played for pure love of the sport. I am happy to say that my collegiate experience not only kept that love alive but also ignited other passions and aspirations! It is my honor and pleasure to celebrate in this "25th Anniversary Celebration of Women's Championships" by sharing my story. May the 50-year celebration reach out to even more women.