Resource Center Director Lynda España Inducted into Marietta College Athletic Hall of Fame
Members of the 1989–90 Marietta College Women’s Basketball Team honored at the Athletic Hall of Fame ceremony. (L–R) Kileen Kertesz, Laura Walker, Lynda España, Head Coach Debbie Lazorik, Cathy Clark, Kelly Gillard and Kerry Gilligan. Photo by Jeffrey Schaly.
As the Director of Student Academic Support for Academy of Art University Resource Center—a department she’s been a part of for nearly 10 years, Lynda España helps students tackle things they might be struggling with, like study habits or time management. But back in the early 1990s, España was shooting hoops with an all-star team at Marietta College, in Marietta, Ohio. Last month, that team was inducted into her alma mater’s Athletic Hall of Fame for holding the record for the “greatest season in school history with a 20–7 record,” according to the school’s website.
“They inducted the entire team, which was really nice,” España said. “Several members had already been inducted as individuals prior to this, so it was nice to be recognized as a team.”
España and her teammates made it all the way to the NCAA playoffs, but she says it wasn’t big accomplishments like that that affected her as much as the relationships forged along the way, and the experiences she shared with her teammates. One thing she said especially impacted her is something her coach Debbie Lazorik would say before every game; “Look to affect those around you in positive ways.” That supportive, uplifting message is something España has carried with her throughout her life, and something she brings to her job at the Academy.
In her role at the Resource Center, she helps students tackle any obstacle they might meet along the road to success, whether it's academic or personal. And when athletics was being introduced at the Academy in 2006, España was one of its biggest cheerleaders.
“I love working at the only art school in the NCAA,” she said. “It’s very exciting. When I tell people that I work at an art school and ‘oh by the way we have athletics,’ they always look at me a little crazy, like, really? How does that work? How do you have athletics and art? It’s really a no brainer. I don’t know why there would ever be a separation between artists and athletes. Just like if you were a biology major somewhere else and a basketball player, it doesn’t really matter. I was over the moon when I found out we were getting an athletics program.”
One skill España says is critical for student athletes is time management. She regrets not having had a better strategy for balancing sports with academics when she was a student. “What I would tell students today is to time manage,” she said. “If they don’t know how, come to the Resource Center, and we can help to ensure that there is an even balance with academics, athletics and their personal life. Student athletes strive on structure. They’re used to structured practices, games, being on the bus on time, so setting up that kind of structure with academics can really carry over.”