Being an NCAA student-athlete is all about balance and Stephanie Ferri-Lewis mastered the yin and yang of it very early in life. How else to explain her being a three-sport star in college and an academic standout at the same time? Better yet, where does she now find the time and energy to be a successful emergency room doctor, wife and mother of two and still compete in marathons and triathlons?
Ferri-Lewis attended Pfeiffer University in Misenheimer, N.C., from 1991 to 1994. During this time, she practically did it all for Falcon athletics in bringing home numerous individual honors in swimming and cross country. She also played soccer and was voted team captain by her teammates.
She says college life was a constant juggle between academics and athletics but the competitive atmosphere pushed her to succeed in both.
“You’ve got to be able to manage your time and figure out where to make your sacrifices but still be able to live a balanced life,” Ferri-Lewis says.
Her efforts paid off as evidenced by her numerous academic and athletic awards, culminating with being named the 1994 NCAA North Carolina Scholar Athlete Woman of the Year. Twenty years later, she was singled out as one of the 48 best NCAA Division II former student-athletes in conjunction with the division’s 40th anniversary celebration in 2013.
Today, her teammates are nurses, trauma technicians and emergency room doctors. Victories come in the form of helping the sick and injured. It’s all in a day’s work for this former collegiate student-athlete.
Still, the competitive juices still flow for Ferri-Lewis, a Springfield, Mo., resident who is a triathlete and marathoner.
“I am still an athlete – an old lady-athlete – but an athlete nonetheless. It’s still a balanced life, and that’s what carried over from my student-athlete experience at Pfeiffer.”