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All-Around Ace: Binghamton's Dawn Lammert

Synopsis: Dawn Lammert is a successful volleyball and track student-athlete at Binghamton University. But Lammert, a three-year graduate and current grad student, has also excelled in the classroom, biology lab, and community.

By Matt Muzza, Binghamton Sports Information

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Dawn Lammert is a four-year starter and co-captain of the Binghamton team. In 2008, she led the America East in blocking. She currently ranks among the conference's best in both blocking and hitting percentage. Lammert also ranks in the top five in career blocks at Binghamton and will become just the fourth Bearcat to graduate with over 500 kills and 350 blocks.

Lammert has spent her winter and spring athletic seasons as a member of Binghamton's Indoor and Outdoor Track and Field teams. This past spring, she placed fourth in the high jump at the America East Outdoor Championships.

Lammert's athletic achievements are already impressive, but when you combine them with her academic and extracurricular activities, you can get a sense of how this Bearcat is truly "Making an Impact."

THREE-YEAR GRADUATE

Lammert enrolled as a biology major in the Binghamton's Scholars Program, after leaving Wisconsin's Arrowhead High School as its valedictorian in 2006. Since then, Lammert has masterfully balanced volleyball, track and field, classes, biology research, and community service, all the while holding a 3.9 grade point average. She also made the Dean's List every semester during the three years of her undergraduate career.

Having already graduated with a bachelor's degree in biology from Binghamton last spring, summa cum laude and with all-university honors, Lammert is now a graduate student with senior year athletic eligibility. She will complete her master's degree in biology in the spring of 2010. In a time where undergraduate graduation rates are creeping to a five-year average, Lammert will have both a bachelor's and master's degree in just four years total.

Some of Lammert's current graduate work involves doing biology independent study research. She conducts neurobiological research related to neuron growth during development and cell death in neurodegenerative disorders, including Parkinson's disease.

KEEPING BUSY

An average day for Lammert can have her on the move from morning until night, bouncing back and forth between working out in the weight room or practicing for volleyball or track, taking classes, spending time in the lab for research, mentoring and doing other work for classes. She has had a lot of experience balancing her schedule and juggling activities.

"Teachers can be skeptical when I tell them I'm going to be missing a lot of classes," Lammert said. "It just means I have to prove myself in the classroom. Balancing research can be hard as well, but it's really just about being good at shuffling schedules. Just like in athletics, a little bit of challenge makes everything more fun."

The drawback of having such a busy schedule is that Lammert must be creative and flexible in regards to the hour of the day that she completes her work.

"Sometimes I have to go in at 8 p.m. and stay till midnight to get projects done, but the flexibility of independent projects helps. The fact that I have the option of doing my work at 8 p.m. is really helpful. Of course, ideally, I would rather do my work during regular business hours, but sometimes I can't."

Most college students enjoy their free time and would never pass up the opportunity for a mid-day nap, but not Lammert, she has a drive to succeed and it is in her nature to stay occupied.

"I've always been the kind of person who needs to fill all of her free time with some kind of activity," Lammert said.

OUTSIDE THE CLASSROOM

Lammert also does extensive community service work. Her volunteer work includes work with flood relief, spending time at an assisted living center, and pitching in with Habitat for Humanity. She has also joined other Binghamton student-athletes to work with St. Jude's Up Till Dawn campaign and Dig for the Cure. She is also involved in Peer Pride.

In addition, Lammert mentors a local at-risk 11-year-old boy through the Mental Health Association of the Southern Tier's (MHAST) Compeer Program. She is involved in the Binghamton Physician's Mentor Program and has shadowed a number of different medical professionals at Binghamton area hospitals. She even earned the Gold Award for Girl Scouts when she was in high school. The Gold Award is the equivalent of the Boy Scout's Eagle Award.

"The effort to excel in academics and volleyball would be more than enough for most," head volleyball coach Glenn Kiriyama said. "But when you add to that all of the other things that she does, it is hard to fathom. Dawn never ceases to impress me."

WELL-HONORED

Lammert has accumulated quite the list of academic honors over the years. She has been named to the America East All-Academic team for volleyball and was given the ECAC Merit Award in 2008. She was named honorable mention for Binghamton's President's Award for Undergraduate Excellence in 2009. She also was inducted into Chi Alpha Sigma, the National College Athlete Honor Society in 2008.

She was awarded the Weigand Scholarship for Study Abroad in German Speaking Countries and was given the Keith Nintzel Award for Excellence in German Studies. She studied abroad at the Darmstadt University of Technology in Germany in the summer of 2008 and also received a minor in German from Binghamton.

STAYING ORGANIZED

Although it's not easy for Lammert to balance all of her activities, she has developed strong time management skills to help her with her busy schedule.

"I live and die by my planner," Lammert said. "I also make a lot of lists. My room is littered with scraps of paper and post-it notes. Sure, I hate matching socks when they come out of the laundry just the same as the next person, and I procrastinate as much as anyone else, but I prioritize. Making lists helps me organize my goals."

"To be able to do all that Dawn does takes great time management skills," Kiriyama said. "When she says she is going to do something, she does it. She plans it out, researches it and does it. Dawn's endless energy and intellect allow her to be successful at her varied activities."

It also helps that when Lammert wants to take on new challenges and expand her horizons, she has the support of Kiriyama.

"Coach [Kiriyama] is really supportive about studying abroad and pursuing your interests. He always wants us to do our best, on the court of course, but academically as well."

Lammert also knows that Binghamton's blend of size, academics and athletics puts her in a position to partake in a number of different activities.

"If I had gone to a huge 40,000-person school, I might not have been able to do research and play volleyball, at least not simultaneously."

WHAT LIES AHEAD

Upon her departure from Binghamton, Lammert's future plans involve her attending medical school to specialize in pediatric neurology. Lammert is currently looking at very selective dual degree M.D./Ph.D. programs. Some of these programs accept only 10 of every 1,000 applicants.

It is evident that Lammert is well-prepared to take on any challenge that lies ahead of her after her days at Binghamton are over and she has truly made an impact both on and off the court at Binghamton.

"One can only be motivated by what Dawn does," Kiriyama said. "She even motivates me to do more. Dawn is a great leader and an example to the others."

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