Fresno State Commencement a Big Day for Flood Family

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    Former Bulldog equestrian rider Rebecca Flood will share her graduation with some very special people in her life: her three brothers.

    Flood, graduating in Food and Nutrition with an emphasis in dietetics and food administration, will attend commencement ceremonies on Saturday on the Fresno State campus. Joining her in receiving degrees are brothers Erik, Timothy and Steven.

    As all four Flood children receive their degrees on the same day, their parents, David and Susan, will be present for the commencement ceremonies. As unique as the circumstance is, it will be nonetheless a proud day for the entire family.

    Rebecca has long been admired as a tireless worker on a squad that not only practices and competes in their beloved sport, but also must care for the horses on which they ride. Feeding, grooming and cleaning stalls are as part of their daily routine as attending classes and studying for tests.
    2063970.jpegIn typical Flood fashion, she signed up for 20 units in her final semester which meant she took seven final exams this week. However, she only needed nine of the units to compete her degree. She just wanted to take a few more classes for the experience. Rebecca's never been one to take the easy way or any shortcuts on her road to success.

    She was a member of the Bulldog equestrian team for four years competing in Western Horsemanship. She served as a team captain during her senior season and was a nominee for the athletics department's Bulldog of the Year Award, which goes to the top student-athlete for their athletic accomplishments, community service and academic achievement. She helped the Dogs reach the Varsity Equestrian National Championships during her career.

    "Rebecca is a hard working and driven person," said her coach, Dr. Becky Malmo. "She's one in a million. She's dedicated and committed to everything she takes on. That comes from her family and her upbringing. Even though Rebecca wasn't competing this year, her mom still came and helped us score every home match. They are a terrific family."

    Flood completed her eligibility after the 2008-09 season, and while finishing school as a fifth-year student-athlete, she worked part-time in Fresno State's Compliance Department.

    Having four children in the same graduating class is unique. The four Floods children are just three-years and three-months apart in birth. Twins Erik and Timothy are the oldest siblings, followed by Steven and Rebecca is the youngest.

    What got them on the same graduation stage in the same year was part luck, part circumstance and a huge dose of a healthy sibling rivalry.

    When the older brothers realized baby Rebecca was on track to graduate before any of them, they quickly picked up the pace in the classroom. Timothy will earn his degree in Ag Business, Erik in Livestock Management and Steven in Mechanical Engineering. According to Rebecca, Steven made a robot out of scraps as one of his final projects.

    "We are all very close," said Rebecca. "Since we are all so close in age, we grew up a close family you could say. We've always been competitive but in a good way. We all get along very well."

    The four recently got together for a graduation photo shoot, and were able to joke and reminisce about growing up.

    "It was too much fun," she said.

    After a little break from a busy semester, Rebecca will be looking for a job as a food inspector, preferably working for the USDA.

    A native of Auberry, Calif., a beautiful small town in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains, she's eager to experience a change of scenery and lifestyle. Unlike many California natives, she enjoys colder weather and is looking for a job in a small community. She's been applying for jobs and internships in some "cold weather climates".

    Reflecting on her career as a Bulldog student-athlete, Flood has fond memories of traveling with her teammates and coaches and building many life-lasting relationships.

    "I truly miss it," said Flood of being a part of the Bulldog equestrian program. "Being a student-athlete was such a privilege and taught me great things about leadership. It gave me the drive I needed to be able to finish school and be able to move forward with my life. Even in the middle of this semester when I was really stressed out, I could draw on that strength. I wasn't going to quit."

    Congratulations to the four fantastic Flood children and thanks, Rebecca, for your lasting contributions to the Bulldog Athletics Department.

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