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Barrett, The Honors College Connections in Sun Devil Athletics

Nov 30, 2021

Written by Michael Chirichillo, a senior working for Sun Devil Athletics in the Public Relations Lab at the Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. He is scheduled to graduate in December 2021. 
The student-athletes who play for the 26 men's and women's athletic teams of Arizona State University always consist of a high number of Barrett Honors scholars. For the 2021-2022 school year, nearly 70 student-athletes from Sun Devil Athletics are enrolled in the honors college. 

"Barrett Honors College is blessed by thousands of students who are talented academically but excel in many other walks of life besides their classroom work," Barrett Honors College Dean Mark Jacobs remarked. "Some are great voice performers or jugglers or dancers, but we also have over 65 varsity athletes at ASU in 12 different sports.  It takes a huge amount of skill, time, dedication and mastery of scheduling to be a varsity athlete at a major Pac-12 university where even making the team means that you are performing at a national level in your sport.  We applaud our honors college varsity athletes on and off the field for their accomplishments."

The Sun Devil lacrosse team is very familiar with this commitment, as the program has the most Barrett students enrolled, with 14 members of the team studying in the program. Brynn Holohan, Bella Ingrao, Tess Keiser, Paige McGlothlin, Flynn Murphy, Helen Park, Sydney Payne, Maddie Riley, Maddy Signorile, Kaitlyn Skamas, Lindsey Spies, Tate Stokesberry, Anna Thornton, and Anna Winkeler are continuing the successful Barrett-Sun Devil Lacrosse pipeline.
"We take a tremendous amount of pride having the most student athletes in the department in Barrett," said head coach Tim McCormack.  
McCormack became the head coach of the Sun Devil Lacrosse team back in June 2019.  Since then, the team has experienced a tremendous amount of success including a winning season in their first full campaign in 2020-2021. Much of this success can be attributed to the Barrett program being a focal point during meetings with prospective players.
"Selling Barrett Honors college is huge in our recruiting process," said McCormack. "We are recruiting very smart prospects, when the students begin to research everything that Barrett offers it draws them in from an academic standpoint."
The Barrett program attracts a variety of different athletes. With Barrett and ASU offering a multitude of academic and athletic opportunities, it leads to having a diverse pool of students who have different interests and abilities.  This is especially highlighted on the lacrosse team due to the combination of students who have come together to make the team.
"Great athletes come from all different backgrounds and can be very good students or students that need help in the classroom," said McCormack. "What we are doing on the field here allows our athletes to make decisions for themselves in every scenario that is presented."
One of the student-athletes who made the decision to join the Sun Devil Lacrosse team and the Barrett Honors program is Brynn Holohan. Holohan is a junior midfielder on the Sun Devil Lacrosse team who is originally from the Chicago area. She was introduced to lacrosse as a third grader by a family friend and continued to play competitively throughout high school.  
By high school, Holohan realized she had the potential to take her skills to the next level.
"I was fortunate to be on a great team with a really great coach," said Holohan. "It wasn't uncommon for people from my high school team and our coach knew how to get people to that level."
Once Holohan had the assurance that she was making it to the collegiate level she had several schools competing for her abilities. However, ASU stood out to her because of the Barrett Honors College. During her visit to Tempe, she was quickly exposed to the resources that Barrett, as well as ASU, had to offer her.  
"It was already so beautiful here," said Holohan. "As time went on I learned about the school [Barrett] and all the different amenities and opportunities they have here for students."
Some of the amenities Holohan highlights include the premier dining hall for students as well as the separate dorms. These amenities and opportunities were enough to convince her to take her talents to Tempe and become a Sun Devil.  
Upon her arrival, Holohan was extremely pleased with the resources that the Barrett program provided her. She typically struggled with participating in large classes in her previous scholastic endeavours but this has not been an issue for her at ASU. Her class sizes are typically around 20 students, which allows for her to further her education more effectively. 
"I feel so much more comfortable," said Holohan. "I feel like one of the main things they offer is hands-on learning, and you really get to know your teachers."  
Holohan has also been able to balance the hectic schedule of a student-honors athlete. Much of this has been due to unique learning opportunities and assistance that Barrett can provide to student athletes.  
"They [Barrett] really offer a lot of opportunities there to excel outside of a normal learning environment," said Holohan. "Even through athletics, there are tutors that are students, and upperclassmen that can be there to help you out." 
With so many members of the lacrosse team also in the Barrett program, it allows for the students to be more cohesive both academically and athletically. It also allows for the students to quickly get information from one another.  
"It's just really nice to know there's people on our team, you can ask questions and have gone through the process," said Holohan. "If you're scared to ask your teacher or someone else for help, you can just ask someone on our team."
Flynn Murphy is another leading member of the lacrosse team. Murphy is a Charlotte-native and is a sophomore goalkeeper for Sun Devil Lacrosse and is also enrolled in the Barrett program. She also began playing lacrosse at a young age and was inspired to play by her older brother. 
Murphy was enticed by what ASU and Barrett could provide her during her college recruitment, and it made her choice for higher-education fairly easy.
"The academic opportunity, obviously, is unmatched," said Murphy. "Knowing the resources that you have in Barrett and being a student-athlete is unbelievable."
Murphy cites the writing center and her advisors as some of the reliable resources that she has used during her time at ASU. These resources are going to help propel her academics into a position where she can improve for her future.    
"Everything that I'm learning while I'm at Barrett is going to help me tremendously in the future." said Murphy
For any college student, and especially Murphy, the goal of going to college is to earn their degree so they can achieve their career goals.. Student-athletes can easily lose track of their academic focus, but the Barrett program helps keep the students focused on their studies despite their hectic training schedule.  
"There's a life after lacrosse and we have to set ourselves up for what comes next and to be prepared," said Murphy. "To graduate from ASU is great and to graduate as a student-athlete is great, but to graduate as a student athlete in Barrett really sets you up for success."
Along with getting a world-class education, getting to know other Barrett students on the team has been a remarkable privilege for both Murphy and Holohan. Not only do they cherish these relationships for their academic benefit, they also have greatly enjoyed their time studying at Barrett and playing for the lacrosse program.  
"When I'm at lacrosse, I'm not worried about am I going to get into this class? Is this paper going to be ok?" said Murphy. "I think the other students in Barrett that I've met have been awesome and being a part of the ASU community has been so great." 
Murphy is studying sports business while at ASU with her life-long goal being to work in the front offices of professional sports franchises. When she isn't studying or on the field, she typically is indulging in other sports she enjoys, especially college football.  
Holohan is a criminology and criminal justice major. She thoroughly enjoys the Arizona nature and scenery and has become an avid hiking enthusiast since moving to Tempe. However, for Holohan, her best free time is best spent with her teammates.  
"We just love to just be together and just hang out doing homework, having team dinners or other things like that," said Holohan. "Our team is so fun."

The 2022 Sun Devil Lacrosse schedule will be revealed soon. Follow our Twitter and Instagram accounts (@SunDevilWLax) and like our Facebook page ( Visit our website,, for the latest updates and information on the program.