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One student creates the space to follow her aspirations

The women’s club lacrosse team finished with five wins and five losses this past spring, but it would not even exist if not for the hard work of Nora Posner ’09 (Charlottesville, Va).

A well experienced lacrosse player herself, Posner had every intention of continuing with the sport she loves at Lafayette. She also believes it is important that the school offers such opportunities to its students.

“I have officially been on a team since fifth grade,” Posner explains, “but growing up in Charlottesville meant that lacrosse has always been a big part of my life. I have gone to watch UVA play and owned a ‘fiddle stick’ for as long as I can remember � I decided to found the team so that I would have girls to play with and so that other girls like me would have a team to play on.

“[Opportunities like this are] important because girls want to be able to continue doing what they loved doing in high school even if they are not interested in playing with the intensity of a Division I program,” she continues. “The team also offers a fun atmosphere for girls to learn about a sport they have never played.”

Posner began formulating the team over the summer of 2006 with phone calls to Jodie Frey, assistant dean of students and director of recreational services, and John Piper, assistant director of recreational services. She and a few loyal friends who were also interested in playing carried out most of the necessary tasks.

“I had to organize everything from practice times on the fields, to game schedules with other schools, to joining a league and going to an organizational meeting in NYC last fall, to ordering jerseys, to scheduling referees, to renting vans to drive to the away games,” Posner recalls. “I also had to find girls who would be able to sit at the club fair because it was the same night as the beginning of sorority rush. Finding the girls to join the team was perhaps the easiest part.”

As a new club, the team received limited funding from Student Government Association. Thus, Posner added fundraising to her list of responsibilities. She is grateful for the support she found.

“I worked with Joe Samaritano from the Development Office to create a closed account that people could donate to,” she says, “and I wrote a letter to all the parents of the girls on the team. A number of parents were willing to help out. I also want to thank the Student Government for allocating additional money to our club once we found out how much just the referees for the games cost.”

The final roster counted 30 women, including experienced players and others who had never played before. “We all had a part in making this past spring a success,” Posner comments.

They plan to be active in both the fall and spring next year. Erin Murray ’09 and Kate Davis ’09 will maintain the team next fall while Posner studies abroad in Madrid.

“I think that the future only holds good things for the team,” says Posner. “Now that we are an official part of the school, we just have to make ourselves a permanent fixture on campus. We’ve done the hard part of figuring out how to put the club together. We know who to be in touch with and where to go for help. What comes next is continuing to generate enthusiasm and participation and passing it on to younger members of the team.”

According to Posner, students who participate on the team achieve “a sense of camaraderie and belonging. Many of the players were freshmen, and I hope being on the team really helped their transition into college.”

The women’s club lacrosse team is not the only thing Posner created at Lafayette. She also designed an interdisciplinary major, Self in Society, a combination of anthropology & sociology and psychology.

“I found myself interested in certain aspects of anthropology and sociology and certain aspects of psychology as my true love,” she explains. “I also found that by themselves each does not truly capture all of the aspects of human life. By creating an interdisciplinary major, I was able to combine these two fields of study to create a unique look at human behavior.”

Posner looks forward to pursuing a masters of social work (MSW) and, in the more immediate future, working with mental health patients at a hospital. She says Lafayette has been instrumental to pursuing both of these goals by allowing her to formulate a major that is foundational to the mental health profession.

“My time at Lafayette has also helped me tremendously in pursuing an MSW because I have had so many opportunities to work with people, whether the interaction is on the field, in the classroom, or in the dorm as I was a resident adviser this past year,” she adds.

Posner looks for multiple ways to be involved in campus life.

“I have always found that I am my best academic student when I am actively involved with other aspects of student life,” says Posner, who joined Alpha Gamma Delta sorority last spring. “I feel Lafayette, perhaps because it is a small community, offers many opportunities for involvement, participation, and leadership. College is a great time to practice the skills that will help me throughout the rest of my life.”

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