SHU student-athletes balance their schedule

“The key is to prioritize your time so that you can be successful,” said Noah Davis, a junior student-athlete at Seton Hill University (SHU).

Noah Davis sits and reads Selected & New Poems by Jim Harrison in his dorm. Davis normally reads at night before he rests his eyes.

Noah Davis sits and reads Selected & New Poems by Jim Harrison in his dorm. Davis normally reads at night before he rests his eyes.

It is often said that the best days of your lives are in college or university. Whether it is four years or five, depending on if you took a redshirt season in your sport or simply did not receive enough credits to graduate on time, these years can either make you or break you.

For student-athletes – Noah Davis, Zach Herman and Christine Palmeri – the journey has not been an easy one to say the least while here at SHU. The days have been rather long; often times they have each had to sacrifice their social lives or simply going out in order to stay on top of their academics and athletics, which can be seen as a challenge for many.

Herman handles some of the forensic equipment during class. "Each day is like something new in this field of study that I enjoy," said Herman.

Herman handles some of the forensic equipment during class. “Each day is like something new in this field of study that I enjoy,” said Herman.

Davis is not your ordinary student-athlete; he is a 6’6 tall power forward on the Griffins basketball team with a 3.93 cumulative grade point average (GPA). What you may not know about Davis is that he is an English literature major with a certificate in Secondary Education, and is also the Men’s Basketball’s SAAC rep and the English Club’s treasurer. Davis is one of only two male student-athletes a part of the English major here at SHU, alongside Christian Strong, quarterback on the Griffins football team. Davis started and played in 24 games this season. In these games he was third on the team in points with a total of 327 (13.6 ppg) and led the team in three-point field goal percentage (.433). When Noah is not on the court tweaking his jump shot or working on his post moves, he is reading a book or writing a piece on nature’s beauty and all it has to offer.

“I write about nature because it’s what I love, it’s what I read about and it’s what I know,” said Davis, who has had four poems published, two of which were nominated for Pushcart Prizes: “Mending” by Poet Lore and “Saint Francis” by Natural Bridge publication market. “You write well when you know the subject well.”

Palmeri received her white coat at SHU's annual ceremony that marks the student's transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences.

Palmeri received her white coat at SHU’s annual ceremony that marks the student’s transition from the study of preclinical to clinical health sciences.

With only one season of eligibility left in basketball Davis said, “I hope to find a teaching job then move on to grad school, specifically an MFA (Master’s in Fine Arts) in poetry and then on to pursue a PhD in English literature so I can one day become a college professor after my athletic career is done.”

Fellow roommate of Davis for three years now is Zach Herman. Also on on the Griffins basketball team, Herman plays point guard and balances a biology major with the LECOM affiliation program. While here at SHU, Herman has earned a cumulative GPA of 4.0 and has also become part of SAAC, an independent organic chemistry research rep and a campus ministry volunteer.

“As far as managing everything, I think making a schedule is important. Knowing what you have to accomplish each day and getting it accomplished makes you feel productive at the end of the day,” said Herman, who plans on attending medical school after graduation. “Before I go to sleep at night or before I get out of bed in the morning, I try to play out my day, based on classes, practices, research and homework and studying.”

A local from Greensburg, Pa. Herman unfortunately battled injuries this past year that only allowed him to play in a total of 15 out of the 27 regular season games. However, he has seen action on the court ever since he was a freshman for SHU and recorded his career high 11 points against Clarion University in his sophomore season.

Changing sports and gender here, we now look at junior Griffin, Christine Palmeri of the women’s lacrosse team at SHU.

Palmeri is in the BS/MS Physician Assistant program, and is currently in her first semester of grad school, while balancing being in-season right now. Though she is not playing the remainder of this season after suffering from a torn ACL injury in the first game of the season against Tiffin University, Palmeri still goes to each practice and game to support.

With a cumulative GPA of a 3.55, Palmeri plans on graduating in the spring of 2018, and hopes to have a job right out of school.

“I would just tell kids that they have to find that balance between school and other activities. With a major like mine, you don’t get much time for fun activities, but you have to still allow yourself time to relax and unwind,” said Palmeri, who has been a starting midfielder for the Lady Griffins ever since her freshman year. “I’ve been able to manage pretty well because of the fact that my coach is so supportive, and she knows that school does come first. I’ve been lucky enough to be able to continue to play the sport that I love. It’s definitely not easy, but it’s completely worth it!”

In just two seasons of play, Palmeri has a career total of 80 points, with 57 goals and 23 assists. She has also had a total of four game-winning goals and is a high intensity player on the defensive end too, causing 21 turnovers in her career so far.

Herman, #10 for the Griffins, dribbles the ball up the court with his head and eyes up. This is important in basketball to avoid turning over the ball.

Herman, #10 for the Griffins, dribbles the ball up the court with his head and eyes up. This is important in basketball to avoid turning over the ball.

“She is a great competitor,” said teammates Sophia Grack and Eden Olson, who also have caught her studying in the locker room, breaks in the weight room and even during the dodgeball tournament that SHU hosted recently. “Yes, I have to admit that you will find us PA majors studying at weird times and in weird places. It just comes with the territory,” said Palmeri.

There are many student-athletes across the nation, yet alone SHU, who proudly embark on the importance of time management and balancing out priorities. For Davis, Herman and Palmeri academics is just as, if not more important than athletics, but each are the reasons why they are in school so why not excel in both?

Photo courtesy of Davis, Herman and Palmeri

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