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Where are they now? Erin Pierce

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Erin Pierce, RD, LDN, is working as a dietitian while also pursuing her master’s degree in education. That kind of double duty might challenge most of us, but Erin learned all about hard work and challenges during her five years with the Lipscomb Lady Bisons volleyball team. Despite her demanding schedule Erin was able to spend some time talking with lipscombsports.com.

What sport did you play at Lipscomb? What years? Who were your coaches?

“I played volleyball from 2005 through 2009. I graduated in December of 2009 and then went back to complete my dietetic internship at St. Thomas Hospital. My coach was Brandon Rosenthal.”

Why did you choose to come to Lipscomb?

“I came to Lipscomb from Louisville, Ky. I was playing volleyball in high school in a match against a team in Indiana. Brandon Rosenthal was there recruiting a player from the team we were playing.

“Somebody told me a college volleyball coach was there. My Dad and my former high school coach both encouraged me to talk with Brandon. I was really shy. I got the guts up to go talk with him.

“I waited until after he had talked to the other girl. I was like, `hi, Brandon I heard you coach at Lipscomb’. I could barely pronounce Lipscomb because I had never heard of it.

“We set up a visit. Allen Arena was just beautiful. I had been to some other campuses, but when I saw Allen Arena I said, `I’ve got to play here’.”

What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?

“In my senior season we were undefeated (20-0) in the conference in the double round-robin format. That was incredible. We didn’t really think about it too much of the time. I remember feeling so confident going into the tournament with the team and how we were doing. I didn’t have any doubt that we could win it.

“I became very ritualistic before games. I was scared I would mess up the flow. I wore my hair with two pony tails. I didn’t do that until that year. I also had to have two bobby pins in my hair. By the end of the season my hair was frayed because I wore the ribbons in the same spot.”

Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?

“Brandon Rosenthal. When I first met him he was cool, kind of the typical California style. At the time he seemed like he was relaxed and went with the flow.

“College coaches, no matter what the sport, can have this aura about them…that people should know who they are. But he wasn’t like that.

“When I came here I didn’t really expect to have a relationship with the coach or the program. When you hear about bigger schools, athletics is like another job. You clock in and you clock out.

“Brandon really built a family atmosphere. It is a good thing, but that was not what I expected. He does a good job of recruiting players that can not only get along, but can help create a family atmosphere and want to be involved in that kind of way.”

What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?

“We did so much off of the court together. My freshman year, I woke up one Saturday morning, and went to the student center. I met Jessica Enderle, Samantha Sullivan and Cara Wilber there.

"We were thinking about what we were going to do for the day.

“Jessica said, `Hey, isn’t tonight the big fireworks show in Louisville?’. I said, `Yes, it’s `Thunder over Louisville’. It’s the kickoff for the Kentucky Derby.

“We all got in Jess Enderle’s truck and drove up to Louisville for the fireworks show. About 300,000 people were there. We waited on traffic and drove back to Nashville that night. It was a fun 24-hour road trip.”

What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?

“There is so much. I keep coming back to Brandon and the volleyball team. It influenced the way that I acted and behaved not only on the court, but in terms of good morals.

“He told us not to take anything for granted. He always had all of these sayings.

“We weren’t allowed to take the elevator anywhere because we had the ability to walk. He would say that no one is too good to pick up trash.

“Brandon taught us the volleyball skills that we needed. But he also taught us life skills like being a good person and treating the other person like you would want to be treated.”

Who was your favorite professor? Why?

"Dr. Phil Kinzer. I had him for Luke-Acts my freshman year in the spring. He made it relatable. He helped me to enjoy studying the Bible.

"Dr. Autumn Marshall was so awesome. She really encouraged me to pursue a dietetic internship. She would help you in any way, shape or form. She had so much knowledge. You just wanted to soak all the knowledge up from her when she taught classes.”

Where do you live now?

“I just moved to Franklin.”

Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?

“I work for the Scales Nutrition and Wellness Center. I have been there a year-and-a-half. I am a licensed dietitian. Some people call themselves nutritionists, but I have done the hard work. (Editor’s note: Erin is a licensed and registered dietician.)

“After completing undergraduate work in nutrition and dietetics you have to apply for an internship. Only about 50 percent get matched for an internship so it is really competitive. After completing an internship, which can be eight months to two years, you have to study for your boards.

“I work on an out-patient basis with anyone wanting weight management or diabetes education. That is probably 10 percent of my population. The other 90 percent of the population I work with is women or men struggling with eating disorders.

“I am also working on my Masters in Education at Trevecca Nazarene. I started off as an education major at Lipscomb. I really didn’t have a passion for it when I got into one of my classes and I switched majors. But teaching has always been in the back of my mind. Hopefully by the end of next May I will be certified to teach grades kindergarten through sixth grade.”

Tell us about your family.

"I am single."

My email is elpierce12@gmail.com.