A man of many talents
Junior psychology major Michael Twigg enjoys the outdoors on a nice day. Left paralyzed from a motorcycle accident six years
ago, Twigg still enjoys extreme sports as a spectator.
Photo courtesy of Michael Twigg
Bringing a new meaning to determination
For many college students,
getting up for early classes and studying into the night are the biggest
obstacles to success. Honors College
student Michael Twigg, however,
proved that a high level of determination can put even the most daunting
tasks within reach.
Twigg, a junior psychology
major, entered the university in the
Fall Semester of 1999, after moving to
Houston from his hometown of Reno,
NV. It wasn't until his sophomore
year, however, that he entered the
"I didn't learn about the
Honors College until late in my first
year, but I saw it as a chance to be
something more than mediocre,"
Twigg said. "In high school, I was
never a great student; I didn't even
think I'd be going to college."
After graduating, Twigg
joined the Navy, but he was hardly the
determined individual he would later
become. He headed home shortly
thereafter and began working for a
It was nearing Twiggs 21st
birthday when his life took a dramatic turn that ultimately made him
stronger. While racing motorcycles
with friends, he experienced a serious
accident that left him paralyzed from
the chest down.
"I had a really bad attitude
when the accident first happened, but
I began to appreciate my life a lot
more. I'm a very lucky guy," Twigg
As a result of the accident, he
made it a priority to enjoy every
moment of life. Beginning his first
semester of college, Twigg maintained a 4.0 grade point average. As
the end of his junior year approached,
his plans included applying to the
Harvard School of Education and
possibly becoming a high school
Although he named psychology as his major, Twigg's interests
spanned a broad range. He began his
first book, which he described as science fiction with a religious theme,
influenced by Anne Rice, Stephen
King and C.S. Lewis.
A talent for web page design
also surfaced when Twigg made it one
of his hobbies following the accident.
His small business, EPhire, has
designed pages for the Honors
College and Texas Adaptive Aquatics.
Family was also a major part
of Twigg's life, especially since he
became a husband and father. He
and his wife, Elizabeth, were married
in August 2000 and had a daughter,
Isabel, just over a year later.
"I love hanging out with my
wife," Twigg said. "A lot of guys say
that just to say it, but I'm serious.
She's my best friend."
The Honors College honoree
for outstanding 2000 - 2001 newcomer, Twigg also considered Psi Chi, Phi
Kappa, National Collegiate Scholar
and National Merit Scholar to be
among his major accomplishments.
"There is so much more to
life than I ever knew," Twigg said. "I
work a lot harder now. A few years
ago, you'd never have believed I'd be
Mr. Go-Getter today."
by Cortney Martin