January 10 , 2006
Way named December Student of the Month
Taking pride in her work in the classroom and on the softball field, Justina Way has worked hard to overcome obstacles on her way to being named Cowley College’s December Student of the Month.
The Emporia sophomore, who came to Cowley on a softball/academic scholarship, suffered a serious knee injury prior to last season. However, she did not let the injury distract her from her studies as she posted a 4.0 grade point average her freshman year at the school.
Way spent six months rehabbing her knee, and is at full strength heading into the spring softball season. She is also at the top of her game in the classroom as she posted another 4.0 GPA this past semester.
At Emporia High School, Way made the honor roll every semester, and was given the National Scholar Athlete award, which is presented by the U.S. Army Reserve.
She is happy to add the December Student of the Month to her list of accomplishments.
“I was proud of myself when I got it,” Way said. “To get recognized for your good grades show’s that your hard work pays off.”
Way, the daughter of John and Janet Way, has two older brothers, Jason, 23, and Jeremy, 21. Jason played baseball at Emporia State University, while Jeremy is currently a member of the ESU baseball team. Grandparents are, Tony and Mary Blaufuss, and Ellis Way and the late Catherine Way.
Both of Way’s parents played slow pitch softball while she was growing up, so she has grown up in a family that loves to play ball.
“Softball has kind of been in the family ever since I was little,” Way said. “I always remember being at the ball field. It has always been a passion in our family.”
At Emporia High School, she was a second-team all-league selection as a junior and a first-team all-league selection as a senior. She decided to come to Cowley when Lady Tiger head coach Ed Hargrove offered her a scholarship.
“I heard they had a good softball program, so I was honored to be recruited by them,” Way said. “Playing for Ed and (Suzanne) Kerr has been the best. Playing for coaches like that makes you want to strive to do well for them.”
Last season, Way was expected to be the team’s starting shortstop prior to her season-ending knee injury. This season she will see time at left field and shortstop.
“It opens your eyes,” Way said.” You realize what you had before, and the things that you take for granted. It taught me that there would be obstacles that you will have to overcome in life.”
Way had to watch from the bench as the Lady Tiger softball team tied a school-record for wins (53), went undefeated in the Jayhawk Conference Eastern Division (18-0), and placed fourth at the NJCAA Division II National Tournament in Fort Dodge, Iowa.
“I wanted to be a part of that,” Way said. “It really motivated me to get back.”
Along with softball, Way is involved in SGA, Phi Theta Kappa, and Mu Alpha Theta. She also serves as the resident assistant for the Kirke Dale dormitory.
Way is glad she made the decision to come to Cowley.
“I absolutely love the school,” Way said. “I recommend it to anybody I talk to. The teachers are great! They all know you by name, and have been understanding about my going away for softball games.”
Way is excited about the upcoming softball season, but is unsure where she will be going to school a year from now.
“I think we can do even better than last year,” Way said. “I am basing my decision on where I will be going to school after Cowley on softball. I worked hard to get a scholarship to pay for my education, and I would like to be able to keep doing what I love.”
She plans to major in accounting, and would like to do accounting work
within a corporation. Away from her activities at Cowley, Way enjoys
hunting, fishing, camping, and four-wheeling.