Volleyball player involved, diligent

Kelly Toms


Though Sarah Byron only stands five feet two, she is looked up to by many of her peers, teammates, and even her elders because of her successful involvement on the McDaniel College campus and in the Westminster community.

Byron is a 2007 graduate of Winters Mill High School in Westminster. When deciding where she was going to attend college, McDaniel was one of her top choices. Unlike most eighteen year olds, Byron chose McDaniel because it was close to home and a school where she would have the opportunity to continue her volleyball career. These two reasons, as well as academics, were high on Byron’s priority list because family and sports are two things she holds close to her heart. Byron is the second oldest of four in her family. Having two younger siblings is what stimulates Byron’s efforts to be a role model for her younger brother and sister.

Though Byron is looked up to by many she owes a lot of her success to her parents. Her mom is her biggest fan and supporter. A diligent work ethic was instilled in Byron at a young age by her parents. She carried this hardworking attitude throughout her junior and high school years as she won many academic and athletic awards which included second team all conference for volleyball, county champs for cheerleading and she was always on the honor roll.

As Byron entered college she was ready to take on anything this new transition threw at her. With confidence, she entered the McDaniel College volleyball tryouts with high hopes of making the team, but she did not make it her freshman year. After this minor setback, Byron was “heartbroken,” she explained, but didn’t let it stop her from getting involved on campus. Because of her size and experience, as soon as the cheerleading squad heard that Byron was not playing volleyball they asked her to be on the team, which she accepted and was a cheerleader for both the fall and spring semesters of her freshman year.

In Byron’s eyes, while she missed playing volleyball it gave her more free time to branch out and meet new people, many of whom were involved in Greek life. In spring of 2008 Byron joined the Phi Sigma Sigma sorority which has become a huge part of her life. Most of the girls who persuaded Byron to consider joining a sorority were already Greek and were also part of her cheerleading squad. Byron explained that she decided to join a sorority because, “I joined Greek life because I saw how much fun the ladies already actively involved in sororities were having. Greek life holds a strong presence on our campus and it always stood out to me,” she said with a sparkle in her eye.

Byron’s love for her sorority shines through her leadership roles in the chapter which include, Scribe and Chapter Excellence Chairman and her biggest achievement was when she was elected Archon (President) for the 2010- 2011 school year. Making this one decision to join a Greek organization has led to good things for Byron, including intramural softball, Student Alumni Council, Order of Omega and Alpha Kappa Delta.

As well as on campus, Byron has a part- time job in Westminster at Bj’s Company, where she works thirty to forty hours a week. Also, Byron’s determination led her to try out for the McDaniel volleyball team again, which she made and currently holds a starting position on.

Maggie Fennelly, a freshman on the volleyball was “amazed” when she heard about Byron’s college volleyball experience. Fennelly describes Byron’s decision to try out for the volleyball team for the second time as, “triumphant and gutsy,” and she feels the reason why Byron is so successful in life is because she never gives up.

Many may wonder how Byron makes being involved in so much and achieving academic success look so easy. But, that is not always the case, she explains “I think this really shows how being involved can enhance your academic performance as well as how much Phi Sigma Sigma encourages academic success. So, while stress does exist due to my involvement I would say that is always manageable,” she said. Byron believes that “organization is key” when being involved in so much.

Some strategies she uses to keep herself organized include making a lot of to-do lists, daily plans and she uses her agenda effectively and keeps all of her due dates and events in one location as an easy reference.

Byron’s involvement and time management skills are seen by many who she spends time with, one person in particular is her sorority chapter key advisor, Rachelle Seeds. Seeds describes Byron as, “Enthusiastic, energized and a leader” and is impressed with all she does. Seeds also feels that Byron’s ability to be a team player on the volleyball court carries on to her success in the sorority, in her academics and will help her in the future,

“Being involved in so many different activities on campus will help Sarah in the future to balance the responsibilities of life,” Seeds explains. Though Byron is small in size, she does big things here on the McDaniel campus.