Jordyn Horowitz ’22 is a high-flying hitter on the volleyball court and one of the top student-athletes across Gettysburg College in the classroom. Away from campus, however, volleyball and academics take a back seat as the junior from East Brunswick, N.J., seeks to make an impact helping others and advancing her career goals as a nationally-certified Emergency Medical Technician (EMT).
A former two-time conference player of the year at East Brunswick High School, Horowitz has transitioned well to the college game, averaging just under two kills per set in her first two seasons at Gettysburg. As a freshman, she pounded down a career-high 18 kills in a five-set win over Catholic University and in 2019, the 5-11 hitter smashed 14 kills in a match up with rival Franklin & Marshall College.
She’s just as accomplished outside of Bream Gym and owns one of the highest cumulative grade-point averages among the 550-plus student-athletes at Gettysburg, exceeding that perfect 4.0 threshold. A Health Sciences major and double-minor in Chemistry and Biology, she also serves as a research assistant with Professor Josef Brandauer and she’s a member of the Pre-Health Professions Club, Skeptical Chemists Club, Cancer Society Club, and Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.
Despite the demands of being an active and engaged student-athlete, Horowitz manages to balance it all as she keeps an eye on a career in the medical field.
“Although being a student-athlete takes up some of my time, it has taught me a lot about time management, prioritizing, hard work, and dedication,” said the junior. “Being on a team has taught me a lot about working well in a team setting, working towards a common goal, and bringing out the best in others.”
When Horowitz isn’t busy hitting volleyballs or researching biological mitochondria, she works as an EMT near her hometown. She developed the desire to work as an EMT after volunteering at the Children’s Specialized Hospital during her senior year of high school.
“I saw how I was able to positively impact the lives of the children around me which solidified my passion to pursue the medical field and desire to get more hands-on medical experience,” said Horowitz. “I thought that becoming an EMT was the best way to enhance my knowledge and passion in the medical field.”
Her journey to EMT certification started right after graduating high school and continued through her freshman year at Gettysburg. After three months of studying, she received her state certification from New Jersey. Then, at the start of her first campaign with the Bullets, Horowitz briefly left the team to take her national exam.
Leaving the team seems like a risk when it comes to playing time, but Head Coach Leah Bernier sees these types of opportunities as integral to the student-athlete’s development, both on and off the court. A number of her alumnae have gone into the medical field following graduation, and most if not all attribute their success and career path to the skills they learned as student-athletes.
“In our volleyball program, we teach leadership through serving and lifting those around you and I hope that they are gaining a high level of compassion in the process,” said Bernier, who is entering her 11th year as Gettysburg’s head coach. “Seeing so many of our alums going into careers where they are serving others makes me feel as though this program has had some kind of an impact on what they are doing.”
Not long after completing her first year at Gettysburg. Horowitz started working as an EMT at the Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital in New Brunswick, N.J. She also volunteered with the Central Old Bridge Rescue Squad just a few miles away. She worked anywhere from one to three days a week for six to 12 hours a day. Calls ranged from basic first aid treatments to car accidents and strokes.
This past summer, the COVID-19 pandemic brought increase risk and preparation to medical personnel across the country. Horowitz and her squad took every precaution, donning gowns, N95 masks covered in surgical masks, face shields, boot coverings, and extra gloves. She saw the impact of the virus first-hand, and it increased her perspective as Gettysburg College implemented its own safety protocols and procedures.
“Knowing how serious and contagious this virus is made me more aware that the protocols and procedures that Gettysburg has in place are critical and are necessary for everyone’s benefit,” said Horowitz. “I often find myself telling stories of the COVID-19 cases I went on as an EMT to try to show how serious this virus is.”
The seriousness of the virus was made all too real on campus with a rise in cases just last week, forcing the institution to “de-densify” and remove two-thirds of the student population as a safety precaution. Horowitz returned home where she will attend classes virtually and practice her sport thanks to a training plan put together by the athletics department and Coach Bernier. With no volleyball competitions on the weekends, she can also continue her career pursuits and rejoin the EMT unit.
“This semester will definitely be a little challenging being that I am home, but I will adjust and continue to work hard,” stated Horowitz. “I will work out at home and get touches on a volleyball whenever I can. Academics will be a little more challenging on Zoom, but I will have to do my best to acclimate and adjust to the online learning environment and work just as hard to be as successful as if I were taking in-person classes at school.”
This story was originally posted on the Gettysburg College Website.