Jessica Turner Anderson was a member of the 2007 Lipscomb volleyball team, the first to ever participate in the NCAA Tournament. She graduated from Lipscomb with a major in marketing and a minor in graphic design. She is married to her high school sweetheart and worked in the banking business for four years after graduation. She and her husband have a 13-month old son and Jessica has been able to be a stay-at-home mom. But while dealing with the challenges of raising a small child, she still keeps busy working at home in the area of graphic design. She has several Christmas card orders to complete, but she found time to talk this week with lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play volleyball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played from 2005 through 2008.Brandon Rosenthal was the head coach. My assistant coaches were Jenna Panatier, Samantha Sullivan and Ann Mullins."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?
"I looked at other schools. I looked at ETSU and some out-of-state schools. I thought I might go far away from home whether I was playing volleyball or not.
"I lived in Brentwood, but I had never really heard very much about Lipscomb. But when I went there and visited, I think it was a God-thing. I really do. I think God brought me to Lipscomb and shaped me that way.
"When you play sports you don't always get to go to church on Sundays. But it was something I was really interested in. I loved the community atmosphere and the spiritual atmosphere. It was where I belonged.
"I wouldn't ever want to change going to Lipscomb. It just shaped me so much. I don't think I would be the same person now if I had gone to a public school or anywhere else."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"My favorite is when we won the Atlantic Sun Conference Tournament and went to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in Dayton, Ohio. Being at Lipscomb in Shamblin Theater and watching the selection show to see who we were going to play was really cool. We are a smaller school so it was cool to be up there with the big schools. Going from high school to college it is something I never thought I would get to do."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Ann Mullins, just because she was one of those girls that even if you were playing awful she had your back. And when you were playing really well she had your back.
"She is one of those people I grew up playing against in high school. I was always younger and I always looked up to her and her friends who played volleyball.
"She is such a good coach now because she takes her players under her wings. She was a player-coach but for me she was a mentor. She is one of those people that has an air about her where you just know she is going to take care of you.
"Even though I lived just down the street from Lipscomb I still left my parents behind…I left everything behind. It is a different world in college and she was the one that had your back. I know all of the girls did, but Ann was like a mother figure.
"She would call you out and tell you whether you were doing things wrong or right. She was honest with you. I think that is one of the qualities you to have if you want to be a leader."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"Living off campus and the friends that I made. I am closer to my friends from college than I am to my friends in high school. A lot of them were my teammates but they are people who have been close to me and that I have a lot in common with.
"We lived off of Trousdale in an old duplex. My fondest memories were pranking. I would always get in trouble because I would do pranks on them. I would tie my hairband to the faucet that comes out of the sink in the kitchen, the one that pulls out on a hose. They would turn the main faucet on and get sprayed.
"We would tell some of the girls there was somebody dangerous loose on campus which probably wasn't good to do. We would then sneak up on them and scare them.
"We would always prank some of the girls. We were trying to make things funny outside of volleyball."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Especially in volleyball I learned to be responsible, not only to yourself, but to your teammates. Brandon did a really good job of instilling in us that when we do things we do them right the first time.
"I feel like all of the athletes that come out of Lipscomb are responsible whether it is who they are working for, keeping your house nice, helping your neighbors, picking up trash and stuff like that. We have a responsibility to the community and that sets us apart from every other person who didn't go what we went through.
"When I talk with the girls I played volleyball with we often talk about being a part of a whole different category. That is something that Brandon and the athletic department instilled in us. We should take care of our community, our family and our friends. As Christians that is what God wants us to do. You only live this life once so you do things right."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"Dr. Terry Briley. I enjoyed a lot of the Bible professors.
"When I first came to Lipscomb I would go to church on Easter and Christmas. We didn't go as much because of my sports schedule.
"When I went to Lipscomb I was fearful of the Bible classes. I thought, `I am going to fail'. I was in class with students who had the Bible ingrained in them from childhood.
"Dr. Briley sat me down after my first class and talked with me. Brandon set it up for me. Dr. Briley was such a good person. He told me there was nothing to be stressed about. If I ever had any questions he told me I could come and see him. It was very much like an introduction class. I was new to the whole Bible class thing. He was patient and very helpful. He was like a mentor.
"Every time I see him he always says hi to me. He is a good person to have on your side. He was always there."
Where do you live now?
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"After I graduated from Lipscomb I went to work for Reliant Bank in the marketing department for four years. I did events, graphic designs, worked on the web site and helped market different products. I learned a lot.
"When I got pregnant I decided I wanted to be at home. I still do design work. I do cards for a lot of people on the side. I am working on a lot of holiday cards."
Tell us about your family.
"I married my high school sweetheart, Cory Anderson, in July of 2010. He has a family business and works in sales. We have a son, Jax. who is 13 months old."
My email address is email@example.com.