Shonda Letchworth

University of California San Diego
What “Breaking away from the expected” means to me

A combination of two things:
1) asking the right questions before offering up a solution and
2) showing empathy and understanding before taking action.

Something most people might not know

I went scuba diving in near-freezing water to swim between the North American and Eurasian tectonic plates in Iceland. The experience was worth every bone-chilling minute.

My favorite motto

“It’s supposed to be hard. If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard is what makes it great.” – Jimmy Dugan, A League of Their Own

The most valuable piece of advice I’ve ever received

Run your own race. Don’t look side-to-side and compare yourself to others. Instead, focus on your own path and your own growth.

At the top of my bucket list

Snorkeling or scuba diving with whale sharks.

When I was last outside of my comfort zone

Yesterday. A few years ago, I listened to a keynote by Carey Lohrenz, the first fully qualified female naval aviator to fly the F-14 Tomcat in the US Military, where she challenged us to do one thing every day that takes us outside of our comfort zone. It doesn’t have to be an earth-shattering activity – but it does have to make you embrace discomfort. I’ve tried to live by that challenge ever since.