Alumni Feature - Lauren Penley '15
Today's alumni feature is on Lauren Penley, a 2015 graduate and forward on the LC women's basketball team. She scored 632 points in her three seasons at Lynchburg with 466 rebounds and the team was 53-30 over that span and advanced to the conference championship game.
What is your best LC memory on the basketball court?
In the three years playing for Coach Pyzik-Smith, I have several memories that I consider to be favorites; there are too many to count on one hand. However, some of my best memories include playing on the home floor my sophomore year against Washington and Lee, winning at Bridgewater my final two years, playing exciting games in Puerto Rico, winning against Eastern Mennonite on our home court my senior year, and making history multiple times during the season and in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) tournament. Those are only a few of the great memories that I have while being at LC.
When I came into the program as a sophomore, I had a tremendous coaching staff and team working alongside of me, ready to take the women's basketball program to the next level. Players and coaches, crucial to the growth of the program, consistently worked hard to achieve our goals each year. Whether they were incoming freshmen, rising sophomores and juniors, or experienced seniors, it was a team effort to make the leaps of accomplishments we made within my three years at LC. Looking back, I could not be happier when I came into the program and when I left the program my senior year. I was fortunate to be a part of setting new records every year and a part of the building blocks that make a good basketball program into a great basketball program.
What did a Lynchburg College education do for your career?
By receiving my education at Lynchburg College, I was able to graduate with a Bachelor's of Science degree in biomedical science, highest honors in the Westover Honors Program, and highest honors in my major. Upon graduating, I was accepted as a member of the Class of 2019 at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine.
I could not have been so successful without the wonderful support of my coaches, teammates, family, friends, and professors in the Honors Program and in the science department. With the professors' letters of recommendations, I was able to experience an incredible summer internship at an aquarium and in turn, the experience that summer plus other opportunities allowed me to apply to veterinary school.
There are several professors and people that impacted me and who were a positive influence on me, but I have to say that Coach Pyzik-Smith deserves a lot of credit for my success. She always believed in me to be the best student-athlete, and person I could be while being a member of the LC community. When I decided to transfer after my freshman year, I was looking for a family atmosphere within the basketball team; Coach Pyzik-Smith initiated the family-oriented environment within the opening five minutes of my very first visit. From then on out, her office door was always open for me to come in and vent, relieve some stress, and just talk about all things basketball and family.
Can you describe your job a little bit?
Like I said in the previous question, I am currently a full-time student at North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine. While taking seven different courses, it is interesting to learn how these particular subjects intertwine with each other. This field of study is very difficult, but earning an education when you have a passion for what you are learning, it truly makes a difference. Veterinary school is everything I imagined and more; I am able to experience opportunities I could have never imagined.
During this past summer and also on the side of being a full-time student, I work as a veterinary assistant at a Banfield Pet Hospital in Knightdale, NC. While being a member of the Banfield team, I have gained more experience drawing blood on dogs, cats, reading collected samples, handling the different attitudes of the pets, etc. When I am working at the clinic, it is interesting and exciting to incorporate what I have learned in the classroom to the actual workplace.