Student-Athlete: The Valley Definition
A double major in science, a scholar-athlete award winner, the leading scorer of the men’s lacrosse team, member of Student Government, published researcher, peer mentor, and study pod leader.
Kevin Beaver has accomplished more in his four years at Lebanon Valley College than he ever imagined. He was recognized for that hard work with the H. Anthony Neidig Award; the top student award presented annually at Commencement.
“Honestly, I expected to fly under the radar and kind of ride the coattails of my older brother who had already paved the way for me [as an LVC student],” said Beaver. “Don’t get me wrong. I do owe him a lot. But, I think for me it was a chain reaction. Becoming a Peer Mentor as a sophomore is where I met people in the student engagement area. I then went on to run for Student Government where I made even more connections."
“Meeting people along the way helped me to branch out into places where I didn’t necessarily see myself being,” he said. “And if I went back, I wouldn’t change anything.”
Beaver especially excelled in the academic arena as a double major in biochemistry & molecular biology and environmental science. As early as elementary school science he knew that he had found his future career. He connected with LVC after his brother Jeremy ’16, D’19 enrolled in the six-year Doctor of Physical Therapy Program. Then, the summer before Kevin’s freshman year, he spent time at LVC working with faculty through the College’s Research First Program.
“That helped me realize I was meant for a future in research,” said Beaver. “I applied to Dr. [Michelle] Rasmussen's lab in chemistry the summer after my freshman year, and she has become my biggest mentor at the College. My double major has given me an interdisciplinary background for a future in solving environmental issues at the molecular level.”
Along with his research at LVC, Beaver received two Research Experiences for Undergraduates grants from the National Science Foundation that helped fund internships at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and the University of Utah.
“They taught me so much,” he said. “How to live in a place 35 hours from home without anybody that I know. How a job in research actually looks and works. How the research process works when your research advisor isn't always right there to help you, which is a luxury that is pretty common for LVC science students.”
The experience at Utah also offered another benefit—discovering the opportunity to pursue his Ph.D. in chemistry, an adventure he will soon begin.
When Beaver was not focusing on science, he was starring on the lacrosse field for the Flying Dutchmen. He became just the third player in program history to score more than 100 goals. He led the team in scoring and received Middle Atlantic Conference All-Conference honors each of the past two seasons, along with the Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete award this year. The team secured three consecutive MAC Commonwealth tournament berths from 2016–18.
Then mix in his work as a student leader, tutor to his classmates, and food waste research with the E.A.T. Research Group, and it only becomes more impressive.
“Being so involved really kept me motivated and prevented me from being distracted because I didn’t have time to waste,” he said. “Being involved was special to me because it connected me to so many different sides of campus. When I went from three morning classes to lunch, to the lab, to practice, to night class, to Student Government every Monday, it gave my day structure and made me productive. When I had those times with 10 extra minutes, I needed to make the most of them.”