Q&a -- Lisa Alban, Mount Hebron, Softball

May 30, 2007|By GLENN GRAHAM

Sports have always been important to Mount Hebron senior Lisa Alban, who closed out a four-year varsity career as a pitcher on the Vikings softball team. While growing up, she played softball, volleyball, basketball, lacrosse and baseball in the Howard County Youth Program. Alban's involvement with HCYP doesn't stop there. Since her freshman year, she has been the only female umpire in the program's youth baseball league, and she is a camp counselor during the summer. For her dedication to the program, she received this year's Christopher Kelly Memorial Scholarship. Also a two-year starter in volleyball, Alban has maintained a 4.0 grade-point average to rank second in her class. In the fall, she will join her older brother, Michael, at Virginia Tech to major in biomedical engineering.

How did the shootings at Virginia Tech affect you?

I heard about the shootings from my brother, who sent me a text message that he was OK. I have so many friends down there already. Automatically, I kind of went into shock. I was just so devastated, and it was really hard for the first couple of hours. I didn't go to my last two classes that day -- I sat in the front office and called my friends and helped the front office here about any Hebron alumni who [attend Virginia Tech]. We were getting a list together of who we knew was OK so we could comfort anyone who had questions. It was scary because it hit so close to home, but it could have happened anywhere and that's really what you have to keep in mind. Virginia Tech is such a great school, and I love the community and I love the atmosphere. It's horrible that it had to happen there, but it doesn't change my feeling about the school at all and I'm so excited to go there.

Was everybody you knew there OK?

All my direct relationships were, but I had friends who lost friends.

How did you get interested in biomedical engineering and what would you like to do with that degree?

There are so many different ways you can go with biomedical engineering, so many different aspects to it. I want to go into a research field and work toward developing new drugs and new medical techniques that give people hope that maybe we can cure something or make a better drug to prolong someone's life.

What's it like being the youth program's only female umpire? Sometimes I feel like I don't get the same respect as others because I'm a girl in a guy's field, I guess. Every game I go to, the first thing the kids say is: "We got the girl umpire." It just makes me want to work extra hard to prove I can do it, too, and I actually know what I'm doing. It helps having played softball for so long. I know what the strike zone is, especially since I pitch. And I know all the rules, so I'm confident in my ability to umpire. ... I know what I'm doing. I'm extra confident, and I show it, so [the coaches] know that I'm going to do my job.

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