By SARAH R. SCHWARTZ ’10
Photography JOSH BLUSTEIN
Fall 2012 was full of triumphs for Chemistry major Lynn Beatty ’12. She earned a place in Arcadia’s Physician Assistant program and led Arcadia’s field hockey team to the Commonwealth Conference playoffs for the first time. Given her work ethic and academic achievements, Beatty’s acceptance into the PA program comes with little surprise. However, the fact that she never planned to play collegiate-level sports comes as a shock considering her skills.
On an unseasonably warm November afternoon, Beatty took a seat in the Commons to enjoy a light lunch and discuss her life on campus and career path. Surrounded by fellow students chattering about final projects, upcoming events and spring course selection, Beatty, who will graduate in December, naturally begins to reflect on the developments she’s witnessed since she arrived on campus as a wide-eyed first-year student in 2009.
“So much has changed at Arcadia in the last few years,” she says, mentioning Easton Field, the Commons, the Fitness Center and other new facilities. “Everything feels transformed,” she continues, noting that she’s talking about much more than facilities. She’s talking about her experience.
A Winning Team
A native of Montgomeryville, Pa., Beatty was a standout in hockey and track at North Penn High School. She was attracted to Arcadia’s PA program and matriculated with two primary goals: gaining admission to graduate school and studying abroad. At the time, she thought participating in athletics might slow down her academic performance. But after getting a grip on classes the first few weeks of school, she began to miss being part of a team.
“I had already missed pre-season training, but I asked if I could join the practices,” she says. “[The coaches] were really welcoming, so I started halfway through the season.” Since then, she has witnessed and been part of the growing momentum of Arcadia’s Athletics department.
“Full-time staffing made a big difference,” Beatty says, noting the importance of having regular access to coaches on campus. “Without it, accountability isn’t guaranteed from either side. I was lucky enough to have Erin Livingston as my field hockey coach for all four years. She was exceptionally committed to developing our program. Even before she was hired full time, she would run four-week training seasons in the spring to make sure we were still developing as a team.”
Beatty also notes the addition of Todd Barnes, Strength and Conditioning Coach, who has revolutionized training at Arcadia since he arrived on campus in November 2011. Barnes put together a five-day schedule for the team, which included three weight training sessions and two speed and agility workouts.
“We began working with Todd just after our hockey season—it was really intense,” admits Beatty. “But it really made a difference when it came to getting on the field.”
Barnes stayed current on the team’s progress on and off the field, and addressed any injuries that would inevitably arise by adjusting the training schedule. “Overall, he’s just so passionate about his job and totally invested in Arcadia athletes,” she says. “I am beyond grateful for having him train us and really impact our level of play and competitiveness in the Conference.”
When the field hockey players got on the field for preseason this year, they immediately noticed a difference. Passes were easier, plays ran more smoothly, and the women functioned better as a team. The result of their work was evident in their performance, recording the best record in program history and earning a spot in the Middle Atlantic Conference (MAC) playoffs.
Although the team suffered a heartbreaking 3-2 loss to Messiah College in semifinal, it established itself as a force in the region. Beatty scored both Arcadia goals. She was selected as one of 60 U.S. players to compete in the National Field Hockey Coaches Association (NFCHA) senior game.
Service-Learning Trip Helps Reaffirm Career Path
Beatty confirmed her love of the health care field when she studied in Guatemala in January 2011 with Education and Pre-Health track students. Traveling through Guatemala’s breathtaking mountains, students worked alongside volunteer physicians and physician assistants from the non-profit Hearts in Motion setting up clinics. It was an opportunity for Beatty to see what it means to be a practicing PA.
“It was humbling to see how little access this population had to simple medicine—even for headaches—but most of the people that came to us were suffering from parasites from consuming untreated water. Just to see their gratitude and the positive impact of our help reaffirmed the importance of health care for me.”
With this same spirit of service, Beatty traveled to Immokalee, Fla., with other volunteers from Arcadia to work with agencies such as Habitat for Humanity, IHope and the Guadalupe Center. Together, they helped impoverished families afford a home. She also served the Arcadia community as tutor for Chemistry and Organic Chemistry.
As Beatty finishes up the final classes of her undergraduate career—a semester early—she looks forward to starting Arcadia’s PA program in May 2013. She is confident that she chose precisely the right fields.