Academics and Athletics Leads to Best Decision Ever Made
Kate Fitzpatrick ’24 says transferring to Lebanon Valley College was one of the best decisions she has ever made. The business administration major knew of the College’s reputation since it was near her home in Middletown, Pa., and offered the right mix of academics and athletics.
“Academics are extremely important to me, so I wanted to challenge myself while still having the smaller class sizes and personal interaction with my professors and classmates,” Fitzpatrick said. “Although classes are slightly more difficult, I am exposed to ideas and concepts that will allow me to flourish in my future endeavors.
“Athletics was another primary contributor in my decision to transfer. I was searching for a strong and knowledgeable coach and a cohesive team. I immediately found that at LVC with Coach [Diane] Decker and my teammates. LVC offers the entire package, which made it an easy decision to transfer.”
Fitzpatrick and Decker made their Dutchmen debuts during the 2021–22 season. The 5-foot-5 guard led the team in scoring and was named the Middle Atlantic Conference Commonwealth Rookie of the Year and to the MAC All-Conference Second Team. The Dutchmen finished with their most wins since the 2018–19 season and appeared in the conference playoff quarterfinals.
This past season, Fitzpatrick was named First Team All-Conference and helped lead the squad to another appearance in the conference playoffs.
“Coach Decker has helped build me into the player and person I am today,” said Fitzpatrick, who was also recognized on the MAC All-Academic and All-Sportsmanship teams. “She has taught me many lessons that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Her support has been absolutely amazing, and I am forever grateful to have her in my circle.”
Along with her success on the basketball court, Fitzpatrick is reaping the benefits of LVC’s academic opportunities through game-changing real-world experience.
Using the skills learned in her marketing and business classes, Fitzpatrick is interning with Central PA Therapy Connections, a speech-language pathology clinic in Hummelstown, Pa. Fitzpatrick is helping to grow the business side of the company by building and launching a new website, performing medical billing, creating efficiencies in how therapists report their weekly sessions, and developing a system for new company hires.
“The owner gives me the freedom to complete tasks on my own, but she also guides me along the way,” said Fitzpatrick. “She has allowed me to be creative and think outside the box while teaching me the concepts critical to running her business successfully. She is an incredible mentor I relate to extremely well and look forward to working with in the future.”
To be successful at her internship, Fitzpatrick draws on knowledge of website design from her marketing course and business practices learned in accounting classes.
“My classwork has prepared me to succeed, as have the life lessons my professors have taught me. They not only teach the class content, but they also go above and beyond to help us as people.”
Fitzpatrick has made strong connections with her advisor Dr. Treva Clark, chair of the accounting, business & economics, Lindsey Porter, assistant professor of accounting, and Dr. Will Delavan, associate professor of economics.
“They have been extremely supportive and amazing mentors,” she said. “They have guided me in the right direction in the classroom and personally. I hope to continue to expand this list of supporters as I continue at LVC. The support does not just stop in the classroom here. My coaches and athletic department staff have been nothing but amazing and just as supportive.”
As for the future beyond LVC, Fitzpatrick plans to pursue a master’s degree in either business management or non-profit administration.
“I dream of attaining a full-time position with a corporation that I can grow within in a large city like New York City or Boston,” Fitzpatrick said. “I would also enjoy a position that lets me travel around the globe.”