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Volleyball captain one of 13 national scholarship winners

Sarah Willey, NCAA Women's Enhancement ScholarshipBy Alyssa Yancey, News Promotions

Many college students can’t imagine starting their day before the sun comes up, but Sarah Willey, above, can. For the past four years Willey has started most of her days with a 5:30 a.m. trip to the gym.

Willey has been a standout on the volleyball court and in the classroom. The senior from Wichita, Kan., was a two-year captain on the Mean Green volleyball team. She also was an exceptional student in the Teach North Texas program, which allows students to simultaneously earn a degree in math or science and a teaching certification.

Managing the time commitment of being a student-athlete with a challenging academic course load came naturally to Willey, who will graduate May 12.

In addition to responsibilities on the court and in the classroom, she also coached volleyball and served on the Student Athlete Advisory Committee. Willey maintained a 3.7 grade point average, and was one of 13 students nationwide to receive a Women’s Enhancement Scholarship from the NCAA.

The scholarship will give Willey $6,000 toward her first year of postgraduate studies. Willey will pursue a graduate degree in sports management at Wichita State University, a career inspired by her experiences as a student-athlete.

“Being a part of athletics really let me see behind the scenes and what people do in development and marketing, and I decided that I would enjoy working in a collegiate setting or even being a coach and athletic director at the high school level,” says Willey.

Willey, who was a student teacher at The Colony High School this semester, says she isn’t changing her original plan to eventually teach math. She also says that her experiences with the Teach North Texas program have helped her develop a number of skills that will help her succeed in either career.

“Teaching is a great long-term career, so I can see myself teaching down the road,” says Willey. “TNT and volleyball have taught me a lot of leadership and organizational skills. There are a lot of things that go into teaching, a lot of things that go into the end product, so I think my experiences will help me be successful throughout my life.”

(Photo by Michael Clements)

Posted on: Wed 02 May 2012

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