All-Around Ace: Megan Hoag
old adage says the jack of all trades is the master of none.
Clearly, no one has explained this to Megan Hoag.
an incoming freshman she was one of only 120 students to be chosen
as Binghamton Scholars, an all-university honors program for
students of exceptional merit. Even within this challenging program
of studies, the upperclassmen's star has shined bright.
"She is an extraordinarily talented, incisive and articulate young lady," attested Binghamton University Associate Professor of Physics Robert Pompi, who crossed paths with Megan while teaching a scholars seminar on abstract physics. "Even within such a select group, she really stood out."
Despite never having any formal exposure to psychology before college, Hoag feels she has truly found her calling in the subject.
"I found that when I was playing sports and dealing with people, I was often very interested in people's motivations and why they chose to act in certain ways," she explained. "I was always the person that wanted to know what made other people 'tick'."
Her deep intellectual curiosity has paid many dividends.
am extremely glad that I chose to major in this field. I cannot
emphasize enough how often it has proved valuable in athletics
and I definitely believe that it has made me a more effective
leader and captain on the court."
She is an active community service volunteer and member of Peer:PRIDE. Led by a group of student-athlete mentors, Peer:Pride is the community outreach branch of Binghamton's athletic department. Additionally, she currently serves as an advocate for her fellow athletes as the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) representative for the Bearcat volleyball team.
To top it all off, she is slated to graduate a full semester early this December. Along the way, Hoag's successes have also spilled onto the volleyball court.
For four years, Hoag, a two-time captain and all-conference middle blocker, has been a mainstay in Binghamton's lineup.
"Megan was an easy choice to be captain of our squad the past two years," head coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "She is the consummate student-athlete. No one works harder at what she does, whether it is in the weight room, on the court, or in her studies."
Since her freshman season, Hoag has finished among the team leaders in nearly every major category. A dominant force on the service line, she finished 2005 ranked 25th in the nation in service aces per game.
season, on a young squad without any seniors, her leadership
was a key cog in the program's magical run that saw Binghamton
capture its first-ever America East Conference championship and
subsequent berth to the NCAA Tournament.
"It was a remarkable moment in my career," recounted Hoag. "I will always remember that final point and all the screaming and celebrating that ensued. It was truly the best ending I could've ever asked for"
As far as future plans are concerned, having grown up around volleyball and equipped with a drive to help others succeed, Megan hopes to remain involved with the game.
just love the sport. It has done so much for me and opened so
many doors that I would really love to stay involved in some
capacity, perhaps at the high school level," said Hoag.
"Especially growing up, my coaches were very influential
in my life and I would like to be able to have a chance to be
that figure in somebody else's life."
is a wonderful young lady and a terrific role model," expressed
health and wellness lecturer Jen Wegmann. "Determination,
drive, and enthusiasm
she has it all!"
"Being a collegiate athlete definitely demands a lot of dedication and time management," Hoag said. "If you don't take advantage any free moments you might have, you're going to get behind very quickly."
With her free time at such a premium, there was little choice but to embrace the "on-the-go" lifestyle.
"There's no time to waste when your days are so packed," she expounded. "I have sort of become famous for running in and out of the dining halls and coming to class all decked out in spandex and ice bags taped up everywhere."
She credits her upbringing with laying the necessary foundation to successfully juggle her frenetic daily routine.
"My parents always urged my sisters and me to get involved as possible," said Hoag. "Whether in sports or school, they didn't want to raise daughters that just sat on the sidelines."
older sister, Rachel, once tackled similar obstacles, having
graduated with all-conference academic and volleyball honors
from St. Andrews Presbyterian College, a Division-II school in
North Carolina. Were it not for her sister's guidance, Megan
doesn't believe she'd be where she is today.
the majority of her free time is spent hitting the books, she
always makes sure to leave herself some room at the end of her
day to "de-stress". Several times a week this release
takes the form of music - her lifelong passion.
elementary school, the multi-talented scholar has played both
the piano and French horn. When asked to choose which instrument
she preferred most, however, she was hard-pressed to come up
with an answer.
The organization, which performs at both Binghamton men's and women's home basketball games as well as a number of on-campus events, has provided Hoag with an outlet for musical expression as well as an opportunity to promote school spirit. It also doesn't hurt that the band starts up after the fall athletic season.
"My friend had told me they could use an extra French horn player and it really just took off from there," Hoag said. "It's not that time consuming which is a definite plus and it gives me the opportunity not only to play, but also to support my fellow athletes, which is great!"
Beyond this winter, she also hopes to enter a clinical psychology Ph.D. program and specialize in health psychology.
"Ideally, I'd love to assist people who've suffered illnesses or injuries to regain control of their lives through treatment or rehabilitation," she explained. "This can be an especially trying time in people's lives and I believe that having someone to help them and their family cope with such issues can be truly invaluable."
While the admission to such programs is tremendously competitive (acceptance rates as low as 2 or 3 percent), no one is counting out this jack of all trades.
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