Throughout her four years at California State University, Northridge, Madalyne Handy was an important piece of the Matador softball team, appearing in 119 games at outfield during her collegiate career.
But it was off the field where Handy found the success that will impact her long after her softball days.
In April, Handy ’16 (Kinesiology) received the Dick Enberg Post-Graduate Scholarship for Academic Excellence, a scholarship Enberg funds annually for a four-year Matador student-athlete with a 3.2 GPA or higher who plans to continue their education after graduation.
Handy received the $5,000 scholarship to study epidemiology at University California, Irvine, where she began in September.
Over the summer, Handy had the chance to attend a San Diego Padres game and meet Enberg, the legendary Padres announcer and Matador Hall of Famer who’s a former CSUN baseball coach and professor.
“Meeting Enberg was an amazing experience,” she said. “My parents and I were able to go in the press box and thank him for the scholarship, and for investing in me.”
Handy is no stranger to awards. As a freshman, she received the Dianne F. Harrison Leadership award, a recognition given to first-year students with at least a 3.0 GPA who are involved in student government or a campus club or organization.
In 2015, Handy was honored by the CSUN College of Health and Human Development as a Wolfson Scholar nominee, the top award for a graduating senior.
“Financially, these scholarships have been a huge help,” Handy said. “My undergraduate tuition was almost paid for entirely through these scholarships.”
In addition to balancing classwork with practice and games, Handy also worked 10 hours a week as a tutor in a peer learning facility and was a part of the NCAA Student-Athlete Advisory Committee. The committee helps organize fundraisers and community service opportunities for CSUN Athletics.
“It was definitely hard to balance everything, and there wasn’t much time for a social life, but being busy forced me to get stuff done,” Handy said. “During my freshman year, I wanted to get the best grades on the softball team. I ended up getting the best grades in the athletic department.”
After earning her master’s degree in epidemiology, Handy plans to develop a foundation that focuses on education about women’s health and disease. From the conversation Handy had with Enberg, she said one line still sticks with her.
“He said to me that ‘college makes you somebody,’ and I’m going to be somebody,” Handy said.