Columbia College senior Iman Blow is graduating next month. The neuroscience and behaviors major has made an indelible impression on the Columbia Lions. Over the course of her college fencing career Blow won three Ivy League Championships, two team NCAA Championships (the most recent last month) and one individual NCAA Championship.

For Columbia University’s fencing team, it was a 16th national title and third in five years. “Every year is a different year. They like to say that at the beginning of each season no matter what you did last season,” said Blow, who competes in foil. “Coming off of last season, winning the NCAA individual title, I was hungry and ready to once again prove my tenacity.”

She had a rough start in the NCAA tournament, but her teammates helped her focus. Blow and sophomore Sylvie Binder were the best performing foil team and an integral part of Columbia’s ultimate success. “It was a great feeling to do something for something bigger than myself and step up to complete the task for my team,” said Blow, a First Team All-American selection.

Blow grew up in Brooklyn. Family friends invited her to join the Peter Westbrook Foundation’s fencing program. She did it once a week for a year and then received a scholarship to train in the afterschool program.

Collegiate fencing is different than international competition. Blow said it forced her to think about fencing on a smaller scale, and also taught her the power of teamwork. “The surprise and pleasure of being able to support someone else and see how much they can do when you give them that support,” said Blow, who is proud to be an example of the determination and excellence of Columbia student-athletes.

“We can do both,” said Blow, who applies competition mentality and confidence to studying and exams. “The worst thing you can do is doubt yourself.”

Blow has the goal of attending medical school, but will spend the next year pursuing a spot on the 2020 U.S. Olympic team. Even with finals and graduation approaching, in May she will be competing in two international tournaments that are Olympic qualifiers—one in Germany and one in Shanghai.

“I get back from the grand prix in Shanghai a day before I graduate,” said Blow, who will have some time to rest and train at the Fencers Club in Chelsea after that. “Undoubtedly, a Columbia woman is going to end up on the Olympic team.”