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Senior Katie Ordiway says it’s never too late in life to discover a passion. For her, a former softball player and lover of all team sports, it was lacrosse. Now, Katie is focusing on a strong finish both for her final season playing college lacrosse and as an insurance and risk management major preparing to enter the workforce.

Discovering a Passion for Lacrosse

Katie plays as a midfielder for her team, taking on roles as both defender and attacker. While she admits a lot of running is involved, she says she doesn’t mind – her position allows her to be in the center of the action almost all the time. Much like on the field, Katie also strives to serve as the heart of her team, setting a strong example and finding ways to make the team closer as often as she can. Helping others discover their own love of the game is one of her main goals, just as someone once did for her.

“Being part of a team has always been something I enjoyed, and my brother attended another college in the Michigan Intercollegiate Athletic Association, so I had a good idea what it would be like to play sports and study at a Division III college,” Katie explained. “Originally, it was my roommate who convinced me to try out for the lacrosse team, and since then it has been a wonderful experience to develop a new skill, build amazing friendships, and be part of something bigger than myself.”

With a short roster, there is plenty of room for new talent on the women’s lacrosse team. Even freshmen are given the opportunity to earn their spot as a starter. The team is looking for student-athletes who are interested in developing the fundamentals of the sport through hard work and dedication to improve themselves, as well as the overall team.

Scoring Off the Field

Katie is thankful to go to a college where her love of lacrosse is embraced and encouraged by others. With a busy schedule full of practices, travel and games on top of classes, homework and studying, Katie says she was nervous to balance sports and schoolwork, but has since found that time management skills are the key and is always supported to follow her dreams by the entire Olivet College family. She has even worked with professors to customize her class syllabi to match the lacrosse schedule.

In addition, Katie is utilizing the skills she learns on the field in the classroom as an insurance and risk management (IRM) major. Her deeper understanding of different personalities, experience building relationships and motivation to work with others toward a common goal has contributed to her interest in claims adjusting.

“The insurance field wasn’t something I was familiar with before I came to Olivet, but I couldn’t ignore the awesome program we have here and have since become really confident in my future career,” Katie said. “I’ve focused on claims adjusting, and enjoy always meeting new people and being able to help them. I’ve even had two internships in the field. Not only is it like being on a team with the other people I work with to provide a reliable service, but I’ve also experienced that it can be like being on a team with an insured. When a house fire or other disaster happens, sometimes I speak with that person or family several times a day. During that time, we are on a team together to determine the coverage they have and how I can help them.”

Coach in the Classroom

Katie says Tom Humphreys, CPCU, CLU, ChFC, CIC, director of Olivet College risk management and insurance program and assistant professor of insurance, risk management and financial planning, pushed her to find such a rewarding and fulfilling career. He even helped her get involved with Gamma Iota Sigma, OC’s professional IRM fraternity, and encouraged her to use her leadership skills developed through lacrosse in the organization. This semester, Katie served as co-vice president of career services and helped plan the on-campus career fair in February, an opportunity she says probably wouldn’t have been afforded to her as an athlete at a larger college.

“Professor Humphreys is fantastic,” Katie exclaimed. “He’s more than just a professor, he’s also like having a surrogate parent on campus. He gives his phone number out to students and encourages us to text and call him anytime. Professor Humphreys was one of the first people I told when I was offered a job at Pioneer State Mutual Insurance Company, and he brags about that like a proud dad would.”

Always a Comet

While there are only a few short weeks until graduation, Katie’s college journey isn’t over quite yet. For the first time, she’ll be joining a new team to tackle disaster relief efforts in Puerto Rico during the Intensive Learning Term, a special session of classes at the end of the spring semester. The group is traveling to Barranquitas, a mountainous region not far from San Juan and one of the areas on the islands most devastated by hurricanes in September 2017.

As an alumna, Katie is already looking forward to staying engaged with Olivet College and has plans to return to campus for Homecoming 2018. She says lacrosse will always be a part of her, and she’s sure to continue supporting the team in the future, whether that be financially, helping future Comets land internships in the insurance field, or simply attending games and cheering the team on.

Learn more about opportunities to join the lacrosse team at Olivet College by visiting campus or applying. Be sure to request to meet with coaches and check out scholarships and grants. Contact the Office of Admissions at 800.456.7189 or admissions@olivetcollege.edu for questions.

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