Sammy Gutierrez is from Riverside, California, and because part of her family is from Michoacán, Mexico, she grew up in a Spanish speaking household with her three sisters. Gutierrez played softball throughout her childhood, and started playing tennis in high school. Sammy was recruited to play softball for UMN Crookston, but after switching her sport to tennis, she says that she “couldn’t be happier.” She is also extremely proud to have been honored as a member of the NCAA NSIC All Academic & Athletic Team.

Although moving to Crookston has been a big change from city life, Gutierrez has fallen in love with both the University and the city of Crookston. She has found that Crookston is what you make of it, and she has already made quite a bit.

Gutierrez is majoring in Exercise Science and Wellness while also minoring in Communication. As a first generation college student, her family couldn’t be more proud of all the hard work she has put into her studies, athletics, three on-campus jobs, and her job at Riverview Health. Gutierrez’s independence and strength have not gone unnoticed by those around her. Despite hardships her family has faced, they have instilled in Sammy the belief that nothing is given for free, and you have to work hard. Gutierrez considers her family her greatest support system even though they are far away from Crookston.

Gutierrez is very appreciative to everyone at UMN Crookston who has welcomed her and made Crookston feel like a home away from home. Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month means a lot to Sammy.

“I am very humbled and blessed to have lived the bicultural life I've lived, it has truly made me who I am today," said Gutierrez. "I am proud to be a Mexican American."