November 20, 2003
Cowley's November Student of Month standout student, athlete
It was blind faith on two fronts that led Canada native Lynsey MacInnis to Cowley County Community College.
Her faith and trust in Lady Tiger volleyball coach Joanna Pryor, and Pryor’s faith and trust that MacInnis could compete at the Jayhawk Conference level.
As it turned out, trust paid off as MacInnis, a sophomore pre-medicine major from Weyburn, Saskatchewan, earned accolades as a volleyball player and has performed flawlessly in the classroom with a 4.0 grade-point average.
Recently, the daughter of Mike and Jeannette MacInnis was named Cowley’s November Student of the Month.
“I was really shocked and excited,” said MacInnis, 19. “I’m just happy that they would consider me. I knew I had been nominated, but I never thought I would have the chance to be student of the month.”
MacInnis, who has an older sister, Leann, 22, and grandparents Frank MacInnis and Francois and Eveline Porte, all of Weyburn, had a stellar two-year career for the Lady Tiger volleyball team. She was captain this past season and earned first-team All-Jayhawk East and first-team All-Region VI honors. As a freshman, MacInnis was a first-team all-conference selection and was named to the Region VI second team.
Although volleyball took much of her time, she managed to get involved in other ways. She is a member of Phi Theta Kappa, is a work-study student for the Athletic Department, plays intramural sports, and served as a referee in the Arkansas City Recreation Center’s city volleyball league. She was named Student Athlete of the Month in September.
MacInnis said a student of the month was someone who worked hard, was involved, and “was intelligent with anything, not just books.” They also could be described as a “people person.”
MacInnis’ road to Cowley was pretty much by telephone. In February 2002, a coach at Louisiana Tech University saw MacInnis during a volleyball camp near Weyburn, a town of about 10,000. The Tech coach called Pryor, and the two hooked up by phone.
“Jo called, but I couldn’t understand anything she said,” MacInnis said, laughing. “Her southern accent was so deep. We were both saying ‘what? what? huh?’ She just talked about the school, how she had heard of me, and that she’d call me back. I trusted her. She convinced me to come here.”
Neither MacInnis nor Pryor have been disappointed.
“I’m very pleased I came here,” MacInnis said. “I really liked the campus the first time I saw it. It was small enough and easy to get used to right off the bat. And the people were very welcoming.”
Initially, MacInnis was going to the University of North Carolina-Wilmington, but she skipped that visit. She also thought strongly about staying home and attending the University of Saskatchewan, just four hours from Weyburn. But in the end, “Canada,” as her Cowley teammates call her, found a home in Kansas.
“The people here are great,” she said. “I love it here. I’ve met so many new people, and I’m close with my teammates.”
MacInnis loves playing sports, particularly hockey. She also enjoys watching sporting events, being around her friends, listening to music, and talking on the phone with her parents. She gets home during winter break and spring break.
“The first few weeks last year, I was a little homesick,” MacInnis said. “After that, I was OK.”
The Kansas climate didn’t help matters, she said.
“My first two weeks here, it was over 100 degrees in that gym,” MacInnis said.
“I was dying. That was the worst thing. I said I can not handle this heat. It gets hot at home, but it’s not this humid. Other than that, there wasn’t much to get used to, except for the way people talk.”
MacInnis had been in the United States many times, including frequent trips to Montana and North Dakota. Weyburn is just an hour north of the extreme northwest corner of North Dakota.
MacInnis plans to become an exercise therapist, and is searching for the right school. She also wants to continue her volleyball career.
“My education is the most important thing in this whole deal,” she said. “Whoever has the education I need will be where I transfer.”
She’d like that to be close to Cowley.
“That would be great,” MacInnis said.
She said she looks up to her father, and that Mark Patrick, Tiger Booster Club president and her Adopt-a-Player foster parent, “is the coolest guy ever.”
“I love my dad,” MacInnis said. “Just because he’s never pushed me to do something I’ve never wanted to do. Both of my parents are like that. I used to figure skate, and I hated it. They’ve always helped me out, given me their opinions, but let me decide. They’re very laid back."