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» 9/18/13 - Good medicine on and off the track
» 9/11/13 - Trant’s legacy lives on
By Jack Copeland
Erika Proko Hamilton
Washington and Lee University
Class of 2003
Erika Proko Hamilton is remembered at Washington and Lee University as a “superstar” as a tennis player, the school’s sports information director says.
But in a blog post saluting the 2003 graduate upon her induction into the school’s athletics hall of fame this year, Brian Laubscher added: “Whenever I think of Erika, I see the perfect student-athlete more than just the athlete. Not only was she nearly unbeatable on the court (92-20 in singles and 104-27 in doubles), but she claimed a crazy-good GPA as a neuroscience major.”
She wasn’t just active competitively on the national level. An NCAA Woman of the Year finalist, she was also a member of the Division III Student-Athlete Advisory Committee and represented the division on the NCAA Committee on Competitive Safeguards and Medical Aspects of Sports.
A decade after collecting a long list of both athletic and academic honors, she’s still a superstar. But now she’s excelling in medicine, building upon an advocacy for breast cancer awareness that dates back to her senior year in high school, when her mother was diagnosed with and treated for the disease.
Recently, the University of North Carolina medical school graduate—and recipient of an NCAA postgraduate scholarship—completed a hematology/oncology fellowship at the Duke University Medical Center, where her research focused on breast cancerl. She is now on the staff of the Sarah Cannon Research Institute in Nashville, Tenn., which sponsors community-based clinical trials in oncology.
“In one word, Erika was driven to succeed,” Laubscher wrote. “She strived to become a doctor in order to help others. I had no doubt she would succeed even then.”
Nominated by Brian Laubscher, director of sports information at Washington and Lee University.