Alumna Profile: Cameasha Turner
Last Updated on September 09, 2019 at 10:00 AM
Originally published September 09, 2019
By UC Staff
Cameasha Turner made the most of her time as a member of The University of Texas at El Paso women’s basketball team.
In addition to being part of some of the most notable teams in Miner history, including the 2014 squad that reached the NCAA Women’s National Invitation Tournament final, Cameasha was also a standout in the classroom. In 2016, she earned her bachelor’s in criminal justice. That same year, the NCAA named her a finalist for its Woman of the Year Award for her achievements in academics, athletics, community service and leadership.
Cameasha said some of the same traits that made her successful in the Don Haskins Center helped prepare her for a different kind of court.
On May 18, 2019, she graduated from the University of Notre Dame Law School, marking the culmination of a lifelong goal. The Dallas native subsequently returned to Texas and has since passed the state bar exam. She joined Locke Lord, a Dallas law firm, in September. Cameasha said UTEP provided the springboard that vaulted her to where she is today.
Name: Cameasha Turner
Current job title: Associate
Company: Locke Lord LLP
Year graduated from UTEP: 2016
Degree earned and major: B.A. in Criminal justice
Were you the first in your family to earn a college degree? Yes, I’m the first in my family to earn a college degree and the first to earn an advanced degree.
From what high school did you graduate? Lincoln High School in Dallas, Class of 2012
What accomplishment are you most proud of in your career so far? Graduation from Notre Dame Law School was one of the biggest moments. The proudest moment for me is just continually staying the course. There were so many times throughout my life, even at UTEP, where I had to learn a lot of lessons. It wasn’t always an easy journey. There were challenges because I was a first-generation college student. I kind of had this village. I had to learn lessons on my own from coaches, from friends and just be in the moment and learn in the moment. Just having the grit, the resilience and the confidence in who I was to not feel that people cared about me when they critiqued me, or tried to help me, not get to down on myself. I always kept a fine balance of not being too cocky and not being humble enough to accept those lessons. I stayed resilient, confident and just dedicated to my end goal.
How did your time at UTEP help you in your current job? UTEP has literally been the springboard to where I am today. It’s one of the greatest decisions I ever made. It helped me grow, it helped me see who I was as a person. I thought I went to UTEP knowing that. UTEP gave me the tools and confidence to go off to law school and be OK. It wasn’t just basketball but the lessons I learned off the court, the lessons I learned from my professors, from faculty and all the people who helped with the sports program.
What is the most important thing you learned at UTEP? Learning to be resilient, to fight through all odds, having pride and a sense of community. UTEP instilled all of that in me and showed me what it meant. It was so transformative for me.
What advice would you give your freshman self? I wouldn’t change my experience for the world. But I would say you have to learn how to follow before you can lead. That’s been the biggest thing. The second thing is something my coach always would tell me: “Play it cool.” There are going to be moments where you’re going to be down on yourself, moments where you feel like you’ve lost. The best response is to figure out areas of improvement, play it cool, keep a good attitude, and revert your passion into a positive. Learn how to follow, how to take constructive criticism. Then you’ll be that leader that you always knew you could be.
What is your favorite place on campus? The Haskins Center is where you’d think I had the most memories. But I will say the Foster Stevens Basketball Center. That building provided more of those moments where I had the resources to be a great basketball player. That’s where those relationships were built.
What is your best UTEP memory? The year we sold out the Don Haskins two games in a row (during the final rounds of the WNIT). When we finished the game, Coach Adams got on the mic and said she had a lifelong dream to sell out the Don Haskins Center. That moment was so surreal. I would compare that to the moment I walked across the stage at graduation. It was history, it was purpose, passion, family. Those people were there to enjoy that moment with us.
What is your favorite UTEP event, and why? Minerpalooza! It was really good my first year. It’s a chance to meet everyone because the community and the fans come out. It’s a big celebration.
Why do you feel it is important for alumni to give back to the University? UTEP taught me about being a family and understanding that in order to keep what we have going, establishing those support systems is very important. We’re family. We keep this together. We continue to provide for each other through resources in whatever way that is, whether it’s money, whether it’s coming back and speaking, whether it’s putting on an event or mentoring a UTEP student.