Former Lipscomb volleyball player Megan Stout graduated in May and her summer has been a busy one. After a trip to Europe she has moved from her family home in Louisville, Kentucky to Lexington where she is preparing to enter medical school at the University of Kentucky. She has spent the past three weeks in summer research classes where she has been exposed to the research tools necessary in a variety of medical fields. Stout, a 4.0 summa cum laude graduate, managed to spend some time this week with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played volleyball from 2011 through 2015.
"Brandon Rosenthal was my head coach. I had several assistant coaches - Samantha Sullivan, Jeff Wismer and Billy Ebel."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb to play volleyball?
"Honestly. I had never heard of it. But it was a big dream of mine to go and play NCAA Division I.
"Caitlin Dotson and Sarah Ulinski had committed to Lipscomb and they were both from my club team. I thought it was interesting they committed there so I did some research. I learned it was a small, private school in Nashville and it was actually a successful program that was winning conference championships and going to the NCAA Tournament. I had never lived in Nashville and wanted to branch out of my comfort zone. It just seemed like a good city to go to college in. It was three-and-a-half hours from home. It was like the perfect distance.
"I reached out to Brandon because I saw people from my club were going there. I asked if they were looking for a defensive specialist or a libero, I guess it evolved from there. He recruited Sophie Kellerman and Jewell Dobson from our club team and signed all three of us.
"I was invited to a Presidential Weekend at Lipscomb and they talked a lot about the science program. Dr. Kent Gallaher talked with me one-on-one. He really influenced me. I could tell he knew what he was talking about. They knew it was going to be tough for me because I was a student-athlete. They said that to me up front. I liked how honest and straightforward they were.
"I was a psychology major and double minored in biology and chemistry."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"I have two.
"The first one was my freshman year when the University of Louisville came to Lipscomb and played us on our home court. They were getting votes for the top 25 at the time. They were a big deal. I remember they looked at us like they weren't expecting much from us for the night and we ended up beating them. These were girls I grew up seeing on billboards in my neighborhood. I got to play them and we ended up beating them. That was awesome.
"We were all on the same level playing field. We were all Division I. The prestige of your conference didn't matter. If you have a good team that is going to support you then you can accomplish anything.
"My senior year we were waiting at Brandon's house for our name to pop up on a T.V. (NCAA Selection Show). I have never sweated so much in my life, not even in a game. I was so anxious and nervous.
"In the past we had either won (the conference tournament) and knew we were going in or we lost (the conference tournament) and knew we weren't going to be there. But we had been so good we knew there was a shot we were going to get an at-large bid. I was shaky waiting for our name to pop up. It was great being surrounded by all these people who had gone through the same hard work and gone on the same journey and seeing us all reap the benefits of that at-large bid. It was an incredible feeling."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
"Brandon Rosenthal. We had such an interesting relationship that developed over the four years. At first he was like this huge authority figure I was afraid of. Then we grew to understand each other on a personal level. He knew over the four years what made you tick, what got you going and what he needed to back off on.
"During those four years you spend more time with your head coach than you do your parents. He became a father-like figure. He pushed every ounce of ability out of me. He was always tough on me. He could tell I could always do better. He always pushed me to the limit. It was a tough love thing. He knew I could take it."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"A flood of memories go by.
"My dorm experiences were great. I got to meet people outside of my team and experienced a lot of activities I wouldn't have had if I had not lived in the dorms. I had some of my best memories just running down the halls in Elam, Johnson and Fanning and visiting my best friends. A lot of people despise living on campus, but I had a whole team of people around if I wanted to do something.
"My sophomore year I was in Fanning rooming with Sophie Kellerman and a few soccer girls. We had an early morning weight session at 6 a.m. We were all snug in our beds and the fire alarm went off. I looked at the clock and it was 3 a.m.
"I was like, `are you serious?' We were all complaining. We are dragged ourselves out of bed. We were like, `who set this fire alarm off?' We were going to be so angry at them. We were all outside and noticed our R.A.s were looking at us. Apparently our room was the cause of the alarm. There was a faulty wire in the ceiling. Nobody noticed the room was foggy (with smoke). That was really funny."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"Definitely respecting and growing in your faith. I came from a predominately Catholic background. I was baptized Catholic and went to a Catholic grade school and Catholic high school.
"I wasn't really familiar with the Church of Christ. But I guess it was like a perfect situation. It challenged me in so many ways. I actually came to love chapel. I loved singing the songs. And there were some great influential speakers.
"Going to Lipscomb, a school with a faith-based background, is definitely going to directly influence me in how I am going to practice medicine from an ethical standpoint and having faith and knowing God blessed me with these talents. I was given this gift from God to perform these procedures on people to help them and give them faith and hope as well.
"I am thankful every day that I went to Lipscomb. I was challenged in Bible classes. At times you begrudged it, but in the end you are rewarded by having that faith and being challenged and molded. You become a better person in your four years in school."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
"I have two. Dr. (Alan) Bradshaw and Dr. (Ronnie) Boone.
"Dr. Bradshaw taught physics. Going into it I thought I was going to hate physics. I had never taken physics before. I was kind of terrified of it. It was all word problems and I thought I was terrible with word problems.
"Dr. Bradshaw kind of brought it all to life every day in the classroom. If you popped into his office and you had a lot of questions he would sit you down and calm you down and explain them thoroughly. You would be like, `oh that makes sense'. He never made you feel uncomfortable about coming to him and asking him questions.
"I remember on the first day of class there were 40 or 50 of us. He made it a point on the first day of class to memorize every single name. That meant a lot to me. We just weren't a number. We were human and he was trying to get to know us and establish a relationship. He encouraged us to come to study nights at his house. He would provide snacks for study sessions before a big test was coming up. I enjoyed the personalized attention. I decided I liked physics. He did a great job to keep me on track. He helped me out a lot.
Dr. Boone taught organic chemistry. He is known as one of the toughest professors at Lipscomb. I took a crash course in organic for 10 weeks one summer. It was probably the hardest summer of my life.
"I knew, with an athlete's schedule, if I was going to go to medical school right out of college I was going to have to take a big science course one summer. I knocked out organic in 10 weeks with both lectures and labs. It was a lot of work. He was probably the hardest teacher I had at Lipscomb. I never worked so hard for a grade in my life.
"There was just something about him. He was soft-spoken but when he did speak it meant a lot to me. He said I know this stuff is hard but you are all so intelligent and so smart. I was just a normal guy. I was interested in chemistry and I worked hard. If I could do it, you can do it.
"He always had cookies on test days. I love cookies. So he kind of won my heart. I really appreciate him for being tough but also being kind-hearted."
Where do you live now?
"I just moved here for a summer research workshop. They are giving us rules and regulations if we want to do research later on. I have met a small group of my future classmates. I thought it would be good to establish myself in the city early."
What are your goals as you begin medical school? Did you always plan to pursue a medical career?
"I have a couple of interest areas. I really like cardiology. I shadowed my father's cardiologist. I love the personalized care of cardiology. I think it is really interesting.
"Anesthesiology has a great lifestyle. I have heard good things about women going into anesthesiology. I wouldn't mind the pediatric area as a sub specialty.
"The University of Kentucky has a very well-known cancer facility (Markey Cancer Center). One of the research speakers is involved in pediatric oncology. I think it would be challenging and rewarding.
"I flip-flopped in college between being a doctor or going the physician assistant route. About halfway through school I decided to go for it and be a doctor."
My e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.