Former track and field standout April Terry has gone from excelling with her throws to the work force as a workforce specialist. She spent a few moments recently with LipscombSports.com to update about her life now and her days as a Bison.
When did you graduate from Lipscomb?
I earned my BA in Elementary Education in 2015, and I added a Master’s in Management in 2016.
Why did you choose Lipscomb?
The short answer: in the recruiting process I sensed the focus on academics at a DI school with an incredible sense of community. The long answer: I first discovered Lipscomb by visiting IMPACT with my church group. I applied to twelve schools, yet kept being drawn back to Lipscomb. Finally, in April of my senior year in high school I made the decision to come to Lipscomb – a decision that was confirmed when I moved into Elam, looked out my dorm window at the Lipscomb Academy campus and saw purple and gold Mustangs – the same as my small high school in Little Rock. It all seemed to magically match, and I’ve never regretted the choice to be a Bison.
What is you most fond athletic memory at Lipscomb?
Ironically, my strongest athletics memories barely involve me. My favorite was enjoying the accomplishments of Gemikal Prude, specifically a meet at TSU in Nashville when he qualified for his first NCAA appearance. It was such a dramatic moment that the only sound I remember in the arena were his spikes on the track, followed by incredible joy from his teammates. My runner-up memory was getting to compete in a Knoxville meet against several Olympians including Betty Heidler, a former German world record holder in the hammer throw. The equivalent to most people would be playing basketball against Michael Jordan – she was that good and well-known to us.
Who had the greatest influence on your athletic career at Lipscomb?
I’ve thought about this a lot because many people on campus were positive influences for me, but Lin Garner is at the top of my list. She believed in me, she encouraged me to become involved in SAAC (Student Athlete Advisory Council), she pushed me to recognize golden opportunities, and she practically forced me to become a leader. “Dr. G” helped me realize athletics more than winning and losing – it’s a valuable stepping-stone to learn time management, how to accept setbacks, and how to work hard for goals. She enabled me to gain priceless perspective, and I’m grateful to her for that.
What is your favorite non-athletic memory from Lipscomb?
Two opportunities stand out over thousands of other great memories: 1) the incredible opportunity to put on the Lippys with Shannon O'Brien and the SAAC, and 2) the honor and responsibility of working on the Presidential Ambassadors Council, a group of students who represent Lipscomb to guests on campus. Those two valuable opportunities gave me priceless confidence in the outside world, and I’ll always be thankful.
What’s the most valuable lesson you gained?
I’ll keep this simple: I learned to “go for it.” My mother always told me, “if you’re unsure, go ahead and try because you’re already at ‘no.’” She was telling me there’s nowhere to go but forward. At Lipscomb I learned there’s far more to life than the hammer throw. I learned the value in cultivating people skills and personal goals, realizing that God is forming us for something far greater.
Who was your favorite professor?
Please don’t make me narrow the list to one. I had some great professors, especially Sonya Green (English), Ted Parks (Spanish) and Ken Durham (Bible). They all see their missions as much more than presenting information. They excel at cultivating relationships and genuinely caring for students.
Where do you live now?
I live here and work with LeanKit, a software developer and a project visualization tool in Franklin (TN) that helps coordinate project workflow. I manage the company talent – hiring and employee engagement. Engaged team members work happier, produce better work and provide improved customer service. My undergraduate major was Elementary Education, but my Master’s work in Management steered me in this direction and I really enjoy it.
Tell us about your family:
I’ve very proud of my parents, who both live in Little Rock. The pride in my life is my little brother, James Jr., who is a student at TCU. He started college as a saxophone player for the band, but walked-on to the football team and made it! He’s an inspiration to me, and I’m so proud. The final part of my family is my track team – I’ll always consider them to be my brothers and sisters.
Leave us with a parting comment …
I love the fact that my coaches at Lipscomb allowed us to pursue interests outside our sport. They wanted maximum effort from us, but they realized few of us would become professional track athletes. They encouraged us to become well-rounded college students, and I’m convinced that’s the right message.