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MSU Today

Spartan field hockey alumna on front lines battling Covid-19

Abby Barker

Spartans Athletic Director Bill Beekman welcomes MSU Head Field Hockey Coach Helen Knull and alumna Abby Barker to MSU Today.

Coach Knull describes the challenges of coaching her team remotely. And Barker talks about some of her favorite memories playing for the Spartans, like winning the Big Ten Tournament in front of friends and family in her hometown of Columbus Ohio. And she talks about her career path into health and medicine.

“Once I found out what a physician’s assistant is and was able to shadow some PAs and get some experience, it resonated with me,” Barker says. “I always knew I was going to go into medicine in some form.”

Credit msuspartans.com
Helen Knull

Abby is one of the all-time leading scorers in MSU Field Hockey history, ranking fourth in career goals and fourth in career points. She was a three-time All-American, earning Second-Team honors as a senior and a sophomore and Third-Team accolades as a junior. She was a three Academic All-big ten honoree and a four-time NFHCA National Academic Team honoree. As a junior she was Big Ten Tournament MVP, leading the Spartans to a Big Ten Tournament Championship in 2013 and the Elite Eight of the NCAA Tournament.

She’s now a physician’s assistant at two hospitals in inner-city Columbus where she’s often the first line of help.

“The biggest challenge is adapting to all the new information that’s coming in so quickly and then being able to implement it into our practice as smoothly as possible.”

MSU Today airs Sunday mornings at 9:00 on 105.1 FM, AM 870, and your smart speaker. Follow and subscribe at Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and wherever you get your podcasts.

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