Billie Jo Bollinger, of Manheim, is the recipient of Lock Haven University's (LHU) Pat Rudy Field Hockey Scholarship for the 2021-22 school year.
Bollinger is preparing to become a fifth-year senior this fall. She is a dual major, pursuing degrees in LHU's pre-physician assistant and psychology programs with a minor in biology.
While Bollinger excels in the classroom, boasting a 3.4 GPA, she is also a rock star member of the student body outside the classroom. Along with having been a forward on the field hockey team, she is also a member of the track & field team, and next year she will add cross country to her LHU athletics resume.
Throughout her college career, she also spent four years as a member of the Health Science Club and Student Athlete-Advisory Council, and had stints participating in other on-campus organizations like the Red Cross Club, Haven Cupboard, the Social Justice Task Force and the Student Auxiliary Services Board.
Initially drawn to The Haven by the strength of its undergrad and graduate physician assistant programs, along with the opportunity to play Division I field hockey and Division II track & field, Bollinger also grew to love the adventures she's been able to enjoy in the natural terrain surrounding the Lock Haven area.
"The most amazing thing about being an LHU student, for me, is having so many adventures with my friends and teammates due to the surrounding area," Bollinger said. "I absolutely love the hikes, biking, fishing expeditions and general exploration I have done on these mountains. A close second would be the extremely helpful and understanding professors and coaches I have had here helping to provide additional joy to my Haven experience."
The Pat Rudy Scholarship was established in 2017 by legendary alumna and head field hockey coach, Pat Rudy '77. Being the recipient of the scholarship has greatly lessened the burden of Bollinger's college expenses, while helping her prioritize assignments over the need to work to offset the cost of obtaining her degree.
"Without this scholarship, I would have to devote more time to working in order to pay for my education," Bollinger said. "Instead, this scholarship helps make me a more well-rounded individual by enabling me to immerse myself in campus life through participation in such a vast array of clubs and organizations."
"Applying for scholarships is incredibly important and definitely worth the time" she added. "There were times when I questioned if it was worth it or if I was even worthy enough to receive a scholarship. But to invest just a couple of hours of time to apply, and to then receive such a significant financial boost is such an incredible blessing."
Not only does Bollinger feel blessed to receive a scholarship from LHU, but she is also incredibly honored that the scholarship she received is named in honor of her legendary coach.
Bollinger and Rudy both attended the same high school - Manheim Central - and each also earned the school's Female Athlete of the Year award. Rudy won the award in 1973; Bollinger in 2018.
"I am forever grateful and humbled to have learned so much from coach Rudy and to be the recipient of her scholarship," Bollinger said. "One of my greatest moments at LHU will always be that I was one of the players on the field at Davidson who helped coach get her 600th career victory. That accomplishment is quite a feat and goes to show how successful coach Rudy is, and proves just how important she is to Lock Haven field hockey."
In the future, Bollinger has an initial goal of becoming a trauma PA at a level I
or level II hospital. She then aims to transition to a career in neurosurgery.
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