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The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

The Official Student News Media of Southeastern Louisiana University

The Lion's Roar

Thais Lindemayer’s legacy at Southeastern

Bogi Csordas
Brazilian graduate student Thais Lindemayer Gomes represents Southeastern Pride and the community of international students at SLU.

When Brazilian student-athlete Thais Lindemayer Gomes transferred from a junior college in 2019, she never imagined she’d have such an impact on the community and atmosphere of Southeastern. 

Gomes has contributed to the growth and development of the Southeastern community with her leadership skills. In her journey from Brazil to Kansas, then finally Hammond, she’s taken on a litany of leadership roles, fostering unity and inclusivity among students from diverse ethnicities and cultures.

Gomes was born and raised in Porto Alegre, Brazil as the daughter of two track and field coaches. She was eight years old when she followed in their footsteps and became a track and field athlete herself, focusing on pole vault.  

“I see parents obligating their kids to do sports. That’s not how it worked for me,” Gomes explained.  “I enjoyed it and chose to come to the US through an athletic scholarship because of how much I love track.”

At the age of 19, Gomes’ dream came true and she went to the United States to do pole vault at Cowley College in Kansas. According to Gomes, she had great memories as a student-athlete there; however, this period made her learn what sacrifice and hard work were.

“I won the nationals twice for junior colleges but looking back, I had to go through so much to be able to experience that little moment. I cried both times because you just sacrifice so much as a student-athlete, as an international person and even as a normal college student. You give your best with faith and hope that the best results are going to come back later but it might not happen,” Gomes recalled.

During her two years as a Cowley Tiger, Gomes became the 2017-2018 Athlete of the Year and was named the April Female Athlete of the Month. In 2018, she won the indoor national championship in pole vault and led the team to a conference title and top 10 national finish. 

In 2019, she transferred to Southeastern Louisiana University to continue her sports career and academics at an even higher level. As soon as she got to Hammond, Gomes visited several organizations and said she immediately felt at home with the Lions.

As an international student herself, Gomes realized the positive effect of being part of a community, especially among others who share similar experiences. She became a member of many clubs and organizations, such as the Spanish Club and ISU, and started to build some useful connections.

Spanish professor and Spanish Club advisor Dr. Ruben Pereyra said he believes ISU serves as a bridge between local students and the world, where everyone shares their customs and traditions. According to Pereyra, the Spanish Club’s goal is to promote Hispanic cultural awareness, and they made a lot of improvements based on the suggestions.  

“Thais took charge of the planning and execution of many activities that raised awareness of Latin American culture. Her involvement in the club helped attract many students from different disciplines or majors. All of us feel proud to have had her as a friend in the Spanish Club and in our classes,” Pereyra said. 

In 2021, Gomes became the International Student Union president and held the position for two years. During this time, she was a pioneer in blending cultures and including American students in the organization.

“We wanted to have this mix, an exchange. The goal is always to be a safe place for international students. A place for everyone who is willing to learn about new cultures,” Gomes explained.

Italian graduate student Angelica de Vincenzis said she found a supportive and welcoming community through Gomes in ISU, and had the opportunity to experience American traditions and learn about other cultures from fellow international students.

“ISU makes you feel part of a community and it gives you the opportunity to find people who share similar experiences to yours and are going through the same path,” Vincenzis stated. 

According to Gomes, ISU and MISA’s goal is to provide a welcoming and understanding community for students who are far away from home. 

“I think that everyone can find a group at Southeastern. We are a little family. Students who don’t feel at home yet should look for organizations and get involved because there are people out there who they would get along with,” Gomes described. 

During her time in Hammond, Gomes built a lot of beneficial connections within the community of Southeastern and Hammond. In fall 2022, she was a member of the Homecoming court with Joshua Freeman. 

“Homecoming is an American tradition, and it was very important for me to be in the court to represent all the student-athletes, all the international students, all the students who are vegetarians,” said Gomes. “I was part of organizations that are interests of mine and I stand up for them.”

Gomes graduated from SLU in 2022 with a bachelor’s degree in human studies, concentrating in nutrition education and promotion. After graduating, she started her master’s degree in health promotion.

In 2022, Gomes won the Division of Student Affairs Outstanding Woman of the Year Award for her exceptional work in the Southeastern community. Alongside being ISU president, Gomes was an SGA senator, a Tinsley Learning Center tutor, and a member of the Spanish Club, Southeastern Vegans and Wesley Foundation. 

Gomes’ future plans are still indecisive; however, the Brazilian girl found herself in the United States, and she is planning to stay and follow her dream of inspiring others and creating something remarkable. 

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Bogi Csordas, Staff Reporter
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  • R

    Rodrigo PereyraFeb 7, 2024 at 5:42 am

    Excellent article! Thaís continues to have a positive impact among students and all our Southeastern family. Go Lions!

  • L

    LuckyyFeb 6, 2024 at 9:03 pm

    Go Thaís!!!! Keep being an amazing mentor to us all!!!❤️

  • T

    Trey TycerFeb 6, 2024 at 9:02 pm

    We’re blessed to have Thais in our community! Go girl.

  • S

    SymiahFeb 6, 2024 at 5:18 pm

    Thais is such a wonderful person and has made a significant, lasting impact on Southeastern. I’m so glad her hard work continues to be recognized. Amazing article!

  • M

    Martha Loureiro GomesFeb 6, 2024 at 4:15 pm

    Parabéns Tatá!!!!!!