Take for instance Harry Emerson, instructor of business, and his wife, Kathleen. Harry became one of Hayden’s most influential supporters — in the classroom, on the courts and throughout her career. Hayden surprisingly enjoyed his personal income tax course, came to know him as a fixture at tennis matches and most importantly embraced his mentorship.

“He was an amazing mentor and he helped me prepare for the interview and job that opened so many doors in my career,” said Hayden, now a senior tax manager for Bacardi.

“Ana is a great example of opportunity meeting determination,” said Emerson. “She was a determined young woman who made the best of her opportunities.”

After graduation, Hayden completed a six-month internship at Deloitte Tax in Charlotte, North Carolina. She then obtained her master’s degree — the Emersons attended her graduation — from the University of Miami. Hayden accepted a full- time position with Deloitte Tax in Miami, Florida, and worked there for nearly five years before becoming a senior tax consultant for Carnival Corporation.

One of the characteristics that makes the Winthrop experience unlike the offerings at other schools is the unique connection where students get to know faculty on a very personal level.

That was the case for Ana Simanca Hayden ’05, who made meaningful, lifelong friendships while being encouraged and supported on and off the tennis court.

At the age of 15, Hayden, of Bogota, Colombia, and her tennis skills were on the radar of Cid Carvalho ’81, ’89, the now retired women’s head


tennis coach. He would eventually recruit her to come play for Winthrop.

“I am forever grateful that Cid and Winthrop offered me the tennis scholarship because that is the reason I was able to fulfill my dream to study in the United States,” she said.

Carvalho was instrumental, Hayden said, in offering her support. For many student-athletes, particularly international students like Hayden, the support from others often morphs into a familial relationship that grows and evolves over their lifetime.

Like others, the Emersons have been watching over her from afar every step of the way. When Hurricane Irma was expected to hit Miami in 2017, Hayden’s family, like many Floridians at the time, knew they had to put an evacuation plan into place. The Emersons offered their home in the mountains as a place for the Haydens to seek shelter.

“That is one of many examples of how he and his family have been so important in my life,” Hayden said. Equally important were Pat and the late Dale Courtney, known in the tennis community for forging familial bonds with student-athletes and taking them under their wings.



Hayden, who still plays tennis, has become a triathlete and runs half marathons, said she learned as a student-athlete some of her biggest life lessons like teamwork (both on and off the court) and time management. “Having those skills helped me establish a frame of mind for setting and achieving more goals for the future,” she said.

One of those goals was having her own family with husband, Tim. After battling infertility, Hayden’s main priority now is being the best mom to her daughters: 3-year-old Zoey Valentina and newborn Silvana Grace.

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