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Skye loves rugby, is majoring in electrical engineering and someday hopes to start her own business

By Darlene Bowers
“I love it,” remarks Skye VanAtta of Ada, “It’s like being in a scary movie, but it’s really not that scary. There’s an adrenaline rush. It takes out a lot of stress!” Sporting a recently acquired abrasion, Skye shares her passion for rugby, a club sport at Ohio Northern University.

Rugby, by dictionary definition, is a football game but there are no timeouts or substitutions. Play revolves around kicking, dribbling, lateral passing and tackling (but not forward movement) of an inflated oval ball. The game is played by teams of 15 and the object is to score more points than the other team by scoring a “try” or a conversion kick, penalty kick, or dropped goal.

Rugby is most popular in the United Kingdom, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, but there is a great passion for it in the United States as well, and especially for Skye.

Majoring in electrical engineering with a minor in entrepreneurship, Skye felt the attraction for her studies when she attended Camp GEMS (Girls in Engineering, Math, and Science) at ONU and recalls a demonstration given by Dr. Juliet Hurtig.

The demonstration covered how to make a telegraph using a battery, wires, and nails. Skye wants to be an inventor and start her own business. “Possibly discovering a new type of energy or maybe design my own video game,” Skye says.

Adjusting to her first year of campus life in her own town was not really difficult according to Skye who believes it has been an advantage to be already familiar with amenities and all the surroundings in Ada.

“Being labeled a townie” was a little adjustment according to Skye. “But it’s no big deal,” she adds.  Although she lives at home this year, Skye plans to live on campus next year as a sophomore. “I feel left out,” she says about whey she has decided to live on campus next year.

In addition to being a full-time student, Skye also works two part-time jobs. “I prefer to be creative and use my right brain,” says Skye. One job is for Century 21 Beacon Realty on Main Street and another is for St. Mark Lutheran Church on Johnson Street. Skye designed the window brochures detailing housing for sale for Century 21 and also performs data entry, answers phones, and has helped with a logo redesign and advertising.

Skye compiles and prints the weekly church service bulletins and inserts at St. Mark.  “I like the St. Mark work because I can do it at home and basically on my own time,” says Skye, “The only difficulty is keeping up with what everyone wants.”

Skye was initially stressed about what college would require or how different it might be from high school but was then surprised by how seamlessly the first semester occurred.  However, now it is getting more difficult according to Skye. 

Skye and her best friend, Jessica, go boating and fishing for fun and to unwind. “We have our own little boat and like to go out on Lima Lake,” shares Skye. So what advice does Skye have for current high school seniors about to embark on their own journey to college? “Join groups to make new friends,” encourages Skye, “and be mentally prepared to work!” In addition to the rugby club sport, Skye joined the Professional Association of Women in Science.

Whether with right-brain or left-brain dominance, you can be sure Skye is looking forward to more rugby action and contemplating future inventions as well.