Florida Tech Scholar-Athlete Spotlight Recognizes Soccer Player Ashley Babiarz
By Jerry Durney, Florida Tech News Bureau // October 23, 2022
Babiarz is majoring in Aeronautical Science
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field.
In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther women’s soccer player Ashley Babiarz, a junior who is majoring in aeronautical science.
A defender from Bayonet Point, Florida, Babiarz played 318 minutes across 12 games in the 2021 season to help the Panthers form one of the strongest back lines in the country on their way to a South Region Championship and a National Quarterfinal appearance.
The work of an aviation major is never finished and for a soccer player, that can be a lot around this time of year. We sat down with Ashley to talk about not only how she handles it all but her plans in the aviation field after graduation.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
My major is Aeronautical Science.
I’m a non-flight major and I’ve always wanted to just be around planes, whether it’s either looking into start flying them after college for the military, or if I wanted to do designing or work with major companies like Lockheed Martin, Boeing, and work on designing aircraft that way.
■ What was it about Florida Tech that drew you here?
So, this was the college that offered my major and the extensive graduation to career was a major, major thing for me because not a lot of colleges offer that, like “hey, we really care about you and we really want you to get a job and be successful,” and that’s what I really loved about it.
■ How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
So right now, I’m looking into internships to possibly do designing or possibly even just working with engineers on building more efficient aircraft.
Because right now, their aircraft are efficient the way they are, but people want to make them more efficient.
■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here? With your major being in the aviation field and the Melbourne International Airport being nearby, you can get more hands-on than with other majors, what’s that been like?
In my sophomore year, we actually did a project on designing our own airplane.
So, we use an x-plane program that we were able to design our own aircraft, it was actually during our playoffs last year that I sat there in the lobby, and all of us were doing our homework, I was just sitting there designing an aircraft, and all the girls were like, ” Oh my God, this is like, so interesting. It’s so cool!” And it was such a really cool experience to be able to design our own aircraft.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and what do you take from the pitch that you apply to your studies?
Very disciplined, very, very disciplined. Being mentally strong because sometimes you’re not doing so well in your work and you think you can be putting out more, you kind of need to take a step back and ask for help like how we ask help from our coaches.
If we’re struggling with something, we can ask our professors and our advisors and people that are maybe a little bit smarter than we are. We can easily ask people
“Hey, what do I need to work on to get a better performance?” Because the better work that you put out is going to be beneficial to everyone else.
■ What have you enjoyed the most about being a part of the women’s soccer program?
I love everything about it. Making new friends, and building new bonds. Just having a new coach the past couple of years, he’s done an excellent job really bonding us all together.
He takes a part in our lives, that our academics come first if we are struggling, and he definitely takes care of us on and off the field to make sure that we’re doing okay mentally, physically, and even through academics.
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