Former Lipscomb volleyball player Lauren Baker Wall has always had a love for animals. She has been able to make that love her life’s career as a veterinarian. Lauren spent some time this week talking with Lipscombsports.com.
What years did you play volleyball at Lipscomb? Who were your coaches?
"I played volleyball from the fall of 2001 to the fall of 2004.
"I had Kim Barham as my coach the first two years and Brandon Rosenthal my second two years."
Why did you decide to attend Lipscomb?
"There were a couple of things. Obviously, the opportunity to play volleyball was one. No. 2, there was the opportunity to get a good education.
"My parents went to Lipscomb. I had been at Lipscomb all the way through school. I loved it. I loved the Christian atmosphere. It was all wrapped in together.
"People joke about the Lipscomb bubble. But I think it was a blessing while I was in school to not have to deal with some of the things other people had to deal with."
What is your fondest athletic memory at Lipscomb?
"I would say in general it would be the trips we took. In particular, there was a trip where we had the opportunity to go to Disney World. Going to Disney World with 15 college girls was like a bunch of kids going. We had so much fun at Disney World in that kind of environment.
"In general, it was the relationships we made and fun times on trips that were the biggest things for me there."
Who had the biggest influence on you during your athletic career at Lipscomb? How?
Brandon Rosenthal and Julie Holliday Mason.
"Brandon really turned the program around while we were there. That was a huge thing. It was no longer `do what you have to do just to get by’ when Brandon took over. We were expected to win. It was a different mentality in his expectations of us.
"Julie and I played all sports together in high school. We spent every day of our lives together from middle school on.
"I was with her on the volleyball team in college. She was the one always pushing me."
What is your fondest non-athletic memory from your time at Lipscomb?
"There isn't any specific event. We had a lot of fun in dorm life.
"But I was in the science classes and I absolutely adored my teachers over there. I absolutely loved my time there in the biology and chemistry departments."
What is the most valuable thing you gained or learned from your time at Lipscomb?
"One thing I would say Lipscomb taught me is not necessarily teaching the material itself, but teaching me how to find information for yourself and draw your own conclusions.
"It was not just learning what you have been told and given to you, but actually going out and looking for information yourself whether It is from a religious aspect and going back to the Bible and studying for yourself to make decisions or if it is science-related.
"Knowing how to study and how to go out to find information really helped me in vet school. That is a big aspect of Bible study as well - not just going by what you are taught but going back and studying and deciding for yourself."
Who was your favorite professor? Why?
Dr. Jim Arnett and Dr. Jon Lowrance. I was a biology major with a minor in chemistry.
"No. 1, they made the whole process fun and interesting. No. 2, they seem to really care about you and your life outside the classroom.
"They were awesome. I still enjoy running into them. I ran into Dr. Lowrance a couple of weeks ago.
"I wasn't that familiar with how strong the science program was before I came to school. We definitely have a good one. It has served me well.
"I was one of 13 out-of-state students at Auburn out of over 600 applications from out-of-state. I' m not saying I was something special. I was just very well-prepared."
Where do you live now?
"We live in Brentwood."
Who is your employer? What is your occupation? What does your position entail?
"I work for Hillsboro Animal Hospital in Green Hills. I am an associate here. I have been here for a little over four years. I work with dogs and cats."
Did you always want to be a veterinarian?
"Absolutely. I wanted to be a veterinarian since I was three years old. I have always had a love for animals. I was that kid who didn't play with dolls.
“I had a vet clinic in my bedroom. My sister's room was the waiting room. I even had an appointment book.
"Animals were the only thing on my mind as a kid. I had a lot of pets of my own. We had dogs, cats, rabbits and guinea pigs. I would bring every animal I found home much to my father's dismay."
Tell us about your family.
"I am married to Matthew Wall. He did not go to Lipscomb. We have been married almost eight years. We have three kids - Emma is five. Jeffrey is three and Rachel is one."
My email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.