Cavalier Corner

February 2021

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22 CAVALIER CORNER BY KRISTIN THURMAN B alancing sports and schoolwork is not uncommon for a student- athlete, but three members of the Virginia women's lacrosse team have taken that challenge to another level. Graduate student Meredith Chapman, fourth-year Gwin Sinnott and third-year An- nie Dyson are all currently studying nursing while managing the demands of being a Division I athlete. Each of the three have different reasons for entering such a criti- cal field. Sinnott was personally affected by ill- nesses in her family growing up and wants to be able to give back to those who may be going through similar situations. "Two of my cousins passed away from a rare neuromuscular disease known as bulbar palsy," Sinnott said. "Watching them suffer and lose their basic motor functions like talking, swallowing and playing is really what sparked my interest in nursing and the healthcare world. "My dream is to become a pediatric nurse, so I can help kids like my cousins." Dyson entered the field based on her own experiences. "I was inspired to go into the medical field during high school when I got injured playing sports," Dyson said. "After looking further into it, I loved the patient interaction that nursing entails, the impact that nurses have on the physical being of others and the chance they have to make a difference in someone's life through compassion and care." Chapman just joined the Cavaliers as a transfer from High Point. The defender has always had a passion for helping others. "I knew I wanted to pursue a career in which I found fulfillment through interact- ing with and serving others," Chapman said. "I am the type of person who likes to be challenged and needs a job where no two days look the same. "Nursing felt like a career that best en- compassed all of these factors." Each is in a different stage of their pro- grams, but all can agree that it is a very challenging balance. "Nursing school and lacrosse have not been easy, but it has been 100 percent worth the grind," Sinnott said. "Nursing classes and clinical rotations take up most of my mornings and afternoons. After class or working in the hospital, I go directly to training grounds to get ready for practice. "Having supportive coaches and an amaz- ing nursing faculty, especially Lynn Coyner [her first nursing advisor], have made bal- ancing these two passions so much easier. I do not know what I would do without these people! FOLLOWING FOLLOWING A PATH OF CARE Women's Lacrosse Players Meredith Chapman, Annie Dyson and Gwin Sinnott Are All Studying Nursing Sinnott, a fourth-year defender, was inspired to be a pediatric nurse after two of her cousins died from a rare neuromuscular disease. PHOTO COURTESY UVA

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