Senior infielder Rachel Timberman, who is working toward a certificate to teach English as a second language after she graduates, already has years of teaching experience under her belt — and it’s not from the classes she has taken at Lehigh.
The softball player was named to the Patriot League All-Tournament Team as a junior and represents her class on the team’s unity council — the system the Mountain Hawks opted to use rather than selecting captains.
Senior outfielder Nicole Yozzo praised Timberman’s leadership abilities, which landed her a spot on the council.
“(Timberman) is a really strong leader,” Yozzo said. “She has a really magnetic personality, so people look to her on the field for tempo, and she’s our shortstop, which is always your captain of your infield.”
Coach Fran Troyan agreed with Yozzo and said one of Timberman’s strongest qualities as a player is her ability to keep a cool head.
“It’s just her ability in a heated moment or when we’re facing adversity to stay calm and smile,” Troyan said, “and it’s kind of a disarming feature that she has where she’s able to help people regain their composure when things are going a little bit wrong.”
Timberman said she’s looking forward to taking advantage of her experience as a leader on the softball team as she pursues her dream of teaching English. She plans on working in a Spanish-speaking country as she figures out what kind of long-term profession she’s interested in and decides what her next step is as a biochemistry major.
No matter where Timberman ends up teaching, she will always have a piece of Lehigh with her.
She said there’s a significant crossover between teaching students and mentoring a team.
“I think that being able to lead a smaller group of young women will be beneficial in a teaching aspect as well, and I’m already comfortable speaking in front of other people,” Timberman said.
Her ability to coach athletes is not the only element Timberman will be able to apply to her job as a teacher.
Yozzo said Timberman is caring and will go out of her way for her teammates and her friends. Troyan said Timberman is multifaceted as a player and well-rounded as an individual, both of which will benefit her in her future endeavors.
“She will take all of her time-management skills that she has learned by being a student-athlete at Lehigh, all of her leadership skills that we forced her to develop, all of her communication and listening skills that — as a member of a highly functioning team — she will use in the real world,” Troyan said.
Traveling abroad will also expose Timberman to how softball is played in other countries.
She said she believes that although the sport isn’t popular beyond the collegiate level, there are many opportunities to play softball abroad — something she wants to take advantage of.
Even though Timberman will be missed by her team, she looks forward to the chance to teach English and play softball in another country.
Troyan said his experience playing baseball in Europe in 1985 was one of the best experiences he’s had in his life, and he’s excited for Timberman to get the chance to do something similar.
“Although I’m not necessarily doing something with my major or a set career path, at least I’m still working, and at least I’m still able to live on my own through the program,” Timberman said. “Eventually, I’ll still be able to put that on my resume that I had a whole year’s worth of experience doing it.”