She didn’t plan to attend Lipscomb, but when Miki (Grisham) Swift took a last-minute campus tour in 2005 “it just felt right.” Miki became a four-year cheerleader for the Bisons and an ideal representative for the university. We caught up with her this week when she sat down for a brief conversation with LipscombSports.com.
What years did you represent Lipscomb?
I cheered for the Bisons from 2006-2009, and Amy Benefield was our coach.
What teammate was most memorable, and why?
I don’t know if I could pick just one teammate, everyone brought something different to the table that made my experience memorable. My stunt group (Hillary Lowe Burgoyne, Shawn Beaver Despot, Brittany Miller McCallum and Mallory Miller) stick out most in my mind when I think back on my years cheering at Lipscomb. The encouragement and positivity that these women brought to the team made me a better cheerleader and teammate.
What degrees have you earned?
I graduated from Lipscomb University in 2010 with my bachelors of science in nursing degree. I was part of the Lipscomb/Vanderbilt nursing partnership program. Since graduating Lipscomb, I have obtained my masters of science in nursing as an acute care pediatric nurse practitioner from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
Why did you attend Lipscomb?
I had multiple friends from church that had already started at Lipscomb and shared loving it, but to be honest, it wasn’t really on my radar when I was initially applying to colleges. I was in Nashville touring another university and decided to book a tour at the last minute. From the moment I stepped on campus, it just felt right. I loved its strong Christian focus and the fact that it was a smaller university that was rapidly growing. I also was drawn to being in Nashville, which was just far enough away from home to feel on my own but an easy drive down I-40 to be back home in Memphis.
What is your favorite athletic memory at Lipscomb?
The Battle of the Boulevard was always my favorite time of year to be a cheerleader at Lipscomb. These games were the highlight of the basketball season prior to the conference playoffs. I loved being in the center of cheering our teams on against our biggest and closest rival. No matter how the rest of the season had gone, we always managed to play Belmont extremely well and in my years at Lipscomb the scores were always within ten points. This made for extremely exciting games that had everyone on the edges of their seats the entire time!
Who influenced your athletic career at Lipscomb?
Amy Benefield was not only a great coach but also an amazing mentor. She fostered my growth as a cheerleader, and she was also a practicing nurse who was a source of support throughout my nursing school experience.
What’s your favorite non-athletic memory from your time here?
My favorite non-athletic memory from my time at Lipscomb is becoming a part of Delta Sigma social club and making lifelong friendships with my pledge sisters. A specific memory that comes to mind is taking a camping trip over the summer for my best friend/pledge sister Sarah Thacker’s birthday. A group of six of us loaded up our cars with a paddleboat in tow and drove to Old Hickory Lake. We took the boat with all our things to a little island on the lake and camped out. The weekend was full of laughs, particularly when trying to figure out how to get off the island the next day when the wake of other boats/jet skis was more than our little paddleboat could handle. Thankfully we found some lovely people that pulled us to shore!
What is the most valuable lesson you learned in your time at Lipscomb?
One of the most valuable lessons I learned was how to truly foster friendships that are grounded in the Holy Spirit. These friendships have not only lasted well beyond college but also have strengthened my relationship with the Lord.
Who were your favorite professors?
Walter Surdacki was one of my favorite professors. I took his course on Disciplines of Christian Living and it was the first time that I truly learned how to develop a meaningful relationship with God through purposeful prayer and priority time. This is something that I have carried throughout my life since college, and I am forever grateful to him for helping me build that foundation.
What do you do now?
I work as a pediatric palliative care nurse practitioner at Le Bonheur Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN. I help to coordinate the care of medically complex children and serve as a voice for their families as they navigate the health care system.
Tell us about your family:
I married Evan Swift in April 2015, and we live in Memphis. He works as a physician assistant (PA) in the Baptist Desoto emergency department. We love running, trying new restaurants and hanging out with our two-year-old West Highland Terrier, George.
- Favorite TV show or movie: This is Us
- Favorite scripture: Hebrews 12:1-2 – “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
- Favorite sports team: Tennessee Volunteers
- Favorite season: Fall
- Dream vacation spot: Italy