Each day this week in a series titled "NAC Values," the North Atlantic Conference has recognized the student-athletes who embody four specific attributes including Sportsmanship, Community/Global Service, SAAC/Campus Leadership, and Diversity and Inclusion. Friday morning, Lyndon State College senior Marley Harmon, an exercise science major from Buxton, Maine, was featured.
To view previous NAC Values feature stories, please click HERE.
What does being a Division III student-athlete mean to you?
Harmon: Being a Division III student-athlete to me means that you have the ability to get the best of both worlds in academics and athletics. You are a student and an athlete. I take pride in having the ability to play sports in college because some people do not get the opportunity to continue their athletic careers. I have the ability to say that I have had a successful college career being a 2 sport athlete as well as being successful within my academic realm.
What is the athletic culture like at your institution, and what does being a "Hornet/Badger" mean to you?
Harmon: The athletic culture at Lyndon has been great. There is so much pride in being a Hornet. Since the school is small, the community is great, and all of the sports teams support each other at games. We all want to see one another succeed in our respective sports and future professions. The athletic community is like a family and I couldn't ask to be a part of a better one.
How has athletics affected your collegiate experience as a whole?
Harmon: Athletics have impacted my collegiate experience greatly. Through athletics I was able to meet some of my best friends and learn life lessons I would not get anywhere else. Athletics have given me the opportunity to meet people I wouldn't normally get the chance to, as well as develop skills that I can carry forward into my future career.
How do you balance being a student and an athlete, while maintaining your grades?
Harmon: Playing sports throughout high school taught me good time management skills which I was able to carry over into college. I find that when I am in season, I actually put more focus into my academics because I know that my sports schedule is so crazy. There is an equal level of commitment between academics and athletics.
What do you believe are the most important skills to possess when trying to excel on the "field" and in the classroom?
Harmon: The ability to be a leader, adaptive to the environment around you, being honest, respectful, as well as dedication are all important skills to possess when trying to excel on the "field" and in the classroom. Communication between teammates and coaches as well as professors is crucial to success as a student-athlete as well as time management to complete tasks. Passion is also a skill which I feel is important because if you can't work hard at what you love, then what can you work hard at.
Which NAC Value/s do you believe that you embody most: Sportsmanship, Community/Global Service, SAAC/On campus Leadership AND/OR Diversity or Inclusion? How you exemplify NAC Values every day?
Harmon: I believe that I embody Sportsmanship, Community Service, and on campus leadership by being a part of SAAC as well as other campus groups. On campus, I have been a part of our Student Athlete Advisory Committee for the past 3 years serving on the executive board for the last 2 years as well as serving on the NAC SAAC board as secretary. I am an active member of Special Olympics on our campus where I am a coach and unified partner. I was elected captain by my teammates for both soccer and basketball this year as well as being chosen for the NAC Sportsmanship team this basketball season.
Are you involved on your campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)? Why do you believe the formation of this committee is important?
Harmon: Yes I have been a part of our campus SAAC for 3 years. I believe that the formation of this committee is important because it allows the student-athletes to voice their concerns and better the experience for future student-athletes. It also allows for community service opportunities and professional development.
How are you a leader on campus and/or in the community?
Harmon: I am the president of our campus SAAC as well as being nominated by my teammates to be a captain for both soccer and basketball. I also help coach and play as a unified partner for Special Olympics basketball hosted on the Lyndon campus.
The ultimate goal in the NAC is to create an atmosphere of respect for all participants. How have you distinguished yourself through demonstrated acts of sportsmanship and ethical behavior?
Harmon: I treat all players and coaches with respect. I also have participated in conference initiatives such as You Can Play, and It's On Us over the years trying to create a safe playing environment for all participants. The sportsmanship I have demonstrated over the years was recently recognized by being named to the NAC Sportsmanship Team this basketball season.
If you have time to volunteer, which organization has been most rewarding for you to work with? Why is volunteering important to you?
Harmon: I have been fortunate enough to volunteer with Special Olympics for the past 3 years and have loved every second of it. I have taken great pride in being a part of the organization through coaching as well as being a unified partner. Volunteering gives me the opportunity to give back to the community who has supported me and helped me grow and become who I am today.
Is there any advice you would give to your peers or aspiring collegiate student-athletes that you believe would help them benefit more from their collegiate experience?
Harmon: Enjoy every second of the experience because it is one you will remember for the rest of your life. There are times where you need to be serious but there are also times where you can have fun. Don't take everything so seriously but know that it will eventually come to an end. Athletics will only be there for a little while but academics will always be there so make sure you don't lose perspective.
What is your greatest accomplishment thus far in your collegiate career (on and off of the "field")?
Harmon: Playing sports in college has been one of my biggest accomplishments. I never thought that I would have the opportunity to continue my athletic career in one sport let alone two. I was also nominated to the NAC Sportsmanship team which is a huge honor and shows how hard I have worked to be the person I am. Off the field and court, my biggest accomplishment has been being accepted to graduate school to continue my studies and obtain my Doctorate in Physical Therapy.
Beyond your sport, what are you most passionate about?
Harmon: Beyond my sport I am passionate about helping others which is why I help out with Special Olympics as well as volunteer in the community. I enjoy applying the knowledge I have acquired over my academic career to injuries that occur in the athletic setting as well as learning more about the human body and how it functions. Having the experience of recovering from my own injuries as well as being in the rehabilitative setting has fueled my passion for helping others return from their own injuries as well as learn more about the human body. It is fascinating what an incredible machine the human body is.
What are your plans after graduation?
Harmon: I have been accepted and will be attending Husson University starting in the fall to pursue a degree as a Doctor in Physical Therapy and eventually become a physical therapist. My goal is to work in an orthopedic sports medicine setting one day.