I began my journey at Ship in 2013. I was a wide-eyed first-year student, happy to have made it to a school that would fulfill my dreams of running at the collegiate level and receiving a college degree. What I would do, what I would learn, what I would experience over those four years went far beyond what I ever pictured for myself. I enjoyed time with some of my closest friends and I met some of my most helpful mentors at Ship. I have created memories and connections to just about everything on our campus.
To give you a little background, I graduated from Ship with a Human Communication Studies Bachelor’s degree in 2017. I was an honor student graduating Summa Cum Laude. As a student-athlete, I ran four years of cross country and track and field, competing in everything from the 800m run to the 10k. In 2016, I became a cross country All-American and in the same academic year, was named the 2016-2017 Female Student-Athlete of the Year by the Shippensburg Department of Athletics. This was one of my most prized honors as an undergraduate student here, as it recognized not only my athletic accomplishments but my accomplishments in the classroom as well.
Currently, I am in my second year of the Counseling and College Student Personnel graduate program. I am a GA in the Office of Admissions, an intern for the Raiders Academic Center for Student-Athletes and a volunteer assistant coach for cross country and track and field. I have also worked for Orientation and was an undergraduate tutor for the writing studio. If you are thinking, ‘Wow she sounds busy,’ I can assure you I do still have time for Netflix and my cat. My well-rounded experience at Ship makes me one of its best experts, and in my admissions role, I get to tell prospective students about the amazing experiences I have had often, something I love doing.
Looking back to two years ago, I was a newly minted graduate, trying to find my place in this big world. I had everything at Ship. I was in a great academic program, I was a top athlete, I had all my friends within walking distance of me, and even my significant other, who I met through running were all things I had suddenly lost. I felt hopeless and without a purpose. By reaching out to others and researching my options, it occurred to me there was a place, memories, that I wasn’t quite done creating in a place that felt like home. Ship was the place that wrapped me in its arms when I decided to go back to school. I had people willing to take me on immediately and given me a new kind of Ship experience. That’s how I was granted my first position as an undergraduate writing tutor. It only got better from there. I have worked with so many knowledgeable and outstanding individuals here over this past year and a half and each of them have made me feel like I had a place in this world again, a purpose. I mattered! They wanted to see me succeed again just as much as I wanted to see it for myself. This came to light specifically last semester when I became the recipient of the Carl A. Naugle Family Graduate Fellowship. Receiving this has been a true honor and an incredible help to getting me through my final year of graduate school. Even more importantly, being the recipient of this fellowship has shown me that my efforts, both past and present at Ship have been noticed. There is no better feeling than being recognized for this. The impact from my time here will carry me through the rest of my life no doubt. Despite planning to move out to the West Coast post-graduation where I hope to find my path in student-athlete development, I’ll always remember the place that taught me that mattering comes from within and that being a Raider means you are part of this family for life. So, with that, Go Raiders! Thank you.