UNF student published in national magazine

Spinnaker

By Greg Parlier
Alexandra Marshall has overcome an obstacle that caused many learning difficulties throughout her life.

The nursing sophomore was diagnosed with dyslexia when she was 6 years old. Rather than allowing it to turn her life upside down, she overcame the disability and became a superb student.

She was recently published in the national online literary magazine produced by The National Society of Collegiate Scholars (NSCS), “The Collegiate Scholar,” for her autobiographical piece, “Dyslexia.”

“Marshall’s ‘Dyslexia’ was chosen because of the courage and determination it took to write an autobiographical story about a disease many are embarrassed to admit they have,” Janine Deegan of NSCS said.

Marshall details in the piece how her teachers discovered she was dyslexic and how she came to accept herself after this life-altering discovery.

“I wrote ‘Dyslexia’ in a high school English class for a college essay and later submitted it to the NSCS publication when I heard about the opportunity,” Marshall said.

According to mayoclinic.com, dyslexia is an impairment in your brain’s ability to translate written images received from your eyes into meaningful language.

In first grade, Marshall saw and even wrote things backward without knowing there was a problem. But through tutoring and hard work, she has mostly put the disability behind her.

“Every once in a while, I’ll still see something backwards,” she said. “But I generally don’t have trouble anymore.”

She isn’t afraid to admit to her disability, though. In her short piece, she said she realized dyslexia was her golden ticket into an elite group of individuals who also had dyslexia, including Albert Einstein and Leonardo Da Vinci. She found dyslexia is a part of her and doesn’t have to be a negative thing.

Marshall took that positive determination and applied it to school, where she is a very successful student. She is a recipient of the Florida Medallion Award and a scholarship from The Players Championship. She plans to attend graduate school to become a psychiatric advanced practice registered nurse. On top of that, she was inducted into the NSCS in October.

NSCS is a part of the Association of College Honor Societies and is the only interdisciplinary honors organization to invite first and second-year college students. It generally honors the top 20 percent of the student body of a school, said UNF NSCS president Matthew Pittman.

Currently, UNF’s branch has 423 active members. They put on various events on campus to help members get professional advice, build their resumes and transition from college to the real world. While most of their events are only open to members, which are personally invited to join based on grade point average and class standing, UNF NSCS is going to have some club meetings this semester open to everyone, Pittman said.

One of the opportunities NSCS provides its members is to be published in “The Collegiate Scholar,” which recognizes in three yearly issues members who combine their creative and academic pursuits.

“NSCS is happy to provide members with an opportunity to be published,” said NSCS CEO and founder Steve Loflin. “We hope that Marshall’s work will inspire other members to share their creativity with the NSCS community.”

Marshall said she is happy with her membership with NSCS, and she hopes being published in their magazine will lead to more opportunities to write in the future.