The life of a student-athlete requires a complex balancing act between the rigorous demands of academics and sport.
But Abby Stomp wouldn’t have it any other way. A Biology major with a minor in Chemistry, she distinguished herself as a standout athlete on the volleyball team throughout her distinguished NAU career.
“I can’t imagine going to college and not playing a sport,” she said. “I’ve been able to travel to Europe, and I’ve been to so many places in America that have just been amazing. I think sports have given me a really amazing opportunity to see different parts of the world.”
She said that while she was working hard to keep up a 4.00 GPA, her professors—particularly Jani Ingram, Professor of analytical and environmental chemistry—were supportive and worked with her volleyball schedule.
“I’ve had a lot of great teachers who have been flexible with my traveling,” Stomp said. “And taking online classes definitely helped me balance a lot of the workload. But other than that I’ve always really cared about school, and my parents have always stressed that volleyball is a gift on top of school and academics will affect me for forever.”
Abby is from a close-knit family in Albuquerque and said leaving home to go to school wasn’t easy. NAU was a good choice for her, she said, because of the volleyball program and relative proximity to home.
“I’m super close to my family so I wanted something that wasn’t too far away, but that I also got to learn some independence, and kind of grow into my own person a little bit. And NAU was the perfect fit; it had a volleyball program that I was super interested in, and I was lucky enough to be able to make it on the team and that’s what brought me here.”
Abby now has her sights set on graduate school where she aspires to a master’s degree in secondary education in preparation for a career as a high school science teacher.
And while she’s justifiably proud of her 4.00 GPA and her team’s Big Sky volleyball win, Abby said her proudest accomplishment at NAU has been growth.
“I’m most proud of how I’ve grown as a person,” she said. “I’m really close to my family, so leaving was a really big deal for me. But I think I really found my way.”