This month’s Meet the Maryland Hokie is Meghan Macera, Senior Defender for the Lacrosse team.
What part of Maryland are you from?
Westminster. A small town about 45 minutes northwest of Baltimore
Favorite thing to do in Maryland? Favorite place to visit?
My favorite place to visit is Frederick. My family and I started going out to restaurants and to walk around in Frederick a few years ago because we needed to venture out from Westminster, and it’s only about 40 minutes away. It’s no joke that eating is one of my favorite hobbies, and Frederick has some amazing choices to offer!
How did you first learn about Virginia Tech?
I first learned about Tech two ways. About the same time I was initially researching colleges the summer after my freshman year of high school (both for lacrosse, and for art programs), I attended the Maximum Exposure Lacrosse Camp at the University of Maryland in College Park, where I met then-Tech assistant coach Lindsay Lewis. She was my coach for the camp and that was truly my first introduction to Tech, which I learned has great programs for both of my passions.
Why did you choose Virginia Tech? Did you have a connection to VT prior to deciding?
I really had no previous connections to Tech. I chose to come to Tech because of the feeling I got when I took my first visit. This first visit happened to include attending the men’s basketball game when Tech beat Duke … that game was no joke! I visited three times, including my official visit, and each time, I felt more welcomed and fell more in love with the school, the campus and everyone in Blacksburg.
Who recruited you to Virginia Tech?
Lindsay Lewis was 100 percent the person who recruited me to Tech. During the camp when I first met her, I fell and cut up my knees terribly on the artificial turf at Maryland. I had to come out of the game to get them bandaged because they were bleeding so much, but afterward, I begged her to put me back in right away so I didn’t have to sit there and feel the pain of my knees. I think that was the moment she realized she wanted to recruit me.
What is your major and why did you choose it?
My major is graphic design, a concentration in the School of Visual Arts, and I also have a minor in art history. I have always loved art, even since elementary school. When I first started looking at schools, I didn’t just focus on lacrosse. I wanted a school with an equally good art program, so I could follow my passion. There were two alumni from the lacrosse program in the art program at the time I was touring Tech, and they pretty much sold me on it. Even after four years, I am still just as much in love with my major as I was when I started (if not more).
What is your greatest on-field/sports memory?
I think my best memory so far (I hope to make more in my final season at Tech) was during last year’s game at Syracuse. In the opening minutes of the game, Syracuse had already scored so it was 1-0, and off of a draw, I checked the ball out of a Syracuse player’s stick and had a breakaway to the goal with nobody in front of me. I scored and remember having the biggest smile on my face because it was such a fun play. I would also have to say a favorite memory is the defense we played during the game against Duke last year. We held them to the fewest goals they scored in a game and caused the highest amount of turnovers against their offense. There is no better feeling than flowing with the defensive unit when we are all truly on one page.
How has being a student-athlete added to your experience at Tech?
At first, it was awesome just to come in to college with immediate friends (the team), but as I have grown up and matured over the years, I realize what an amazing opportunity it is to be part of this family. There is a strong sense of community at Tech, which is what attracts so many people, but also to be part of the athletic family has been such an incredible experience. Being surrounded by some the hardest working students, faculty, and administrators at Tech day in and day out is a constant reminder to keep pushing myself, and the lessons I have learned will stay with me through the rest of my life.
How has being a student-athlete prepared you for life after graduation?
Time management. Seriously … time management! If there is one thing that hits you hard in college, it is having two equally as taxing No. 1 priorities: academics and athletics. My work ethic and time management skills will forever be changed because of my time here as an athlete. Also, the idea that if you want something you have to work for it is one that will stick with me after graduation. I have seen so many changes and so much progress from the dedicated and hard working athletes on every team at VT.
Are there any other activities (clubs, student organizations, volunteer activities, etc.) in which you have been involved during your time at Virginia Tech? If so, tell us about them.
I am part of SAAC (Student-Athlete Advisory Committee), which is a select group of student-athletes who work as liaisons between administrative organizations and the other student-athletes at Tech to better inform ourselves and our peers about everything from NCAA legislation to community outreach opportunities. I am also part of Virginia Tech’s chapter of AIGA (the professional organization for design), where I meet with peers in my major to enrich the art and design community in Blacksburg and at Virginia Tech.
Is there a particular faculty member, administrator, local citizen, etc. whom you’ve had the good fortune to meet during your time at Virginia Tech who has really inspired or challenged you in some way? If so, who was that person, and in what way have they made an impact on you?
Danny White is an obvious answer. He is the assistant AD of student-athlete development. He is an amazing resource and an incredible example of the passion the staff has for Virginia Tech. He inspires me every time I get the chance to talk with him and is an amazing leader for SAAC. Another inspiration is Ryan Shuman, associate director of strength and conditioning for football (and lacrosse!!!). He has challenged me every day in my four years at Tech and makes me want to be the best athlete I can be. I have the utmost respect for him and how a giant former lineman can coach a team of women’s lacrosse players with incredible success.
What are your plans after graduation? Do you think you will return to Maryland someday?
I have already accepted a job in Charlottesville, Virginia, with a mobile strategy and app development company called WillowTree. On returning to Maryland, growing up in Westminster has been one of the biggest blessings of my life, so there is a strong chance that I will return to some part of Maryland some day. The sense of community possessed by the state of Maryland is unlike any other (do you even know what your state flag looks like?!), and I am proud to say I am from Maryland.
What do you do for fun when you have free time?
I love to draw and doodle and have recently been really into painting with watercolors and practicing modern hand lettering. I love any activity outdoors, especially hiking in beautiful southwest Virginia. I also love cooking and have been lucky enough to have a group of friends at Tech who enjoy cooking big dinners together.
What’s your favorite food?
I am Italian, so obviously anything Italian is a favorite, and my grandmother’s homemade meatballs might be at the top of the list. I recently visited Italy this past summer, so I was in food heaven. But I love trying new foods and have a new favorite food every month, so it’s always hard to say.
Do you have a nickname? If so, what is it and is there a story behind it?
My nickname is Mess. My freshman year at Tech, there were three Meg/Meg(h)an’s on the team, plus our coach, Megan Burker. Some of the seniors were joking that my last name (Macera) sounds like Mess-era, hence Mess. At practice the next few weeks, whenever I would fall or anything (I fall a lot), they would joke and call me Mess, and eventually the coaches caught on and it stuck. It’s actually weird to hear any of my teammates call me Meghan because everyone calls me Mess.
What type of music do you listen to? Favorite artist?
Hmmm, music. I really love all genres. It depends on what I’m doing or what mood I’m in. I think my all-time favorite is classic rock, specifically Steve Miller Band. Anything that makes me want to dance is my favorite.
Do you have any message for the Hokies living in Maryland?
Keep the Hokie Pride high! My favorite thing is when you see a fellow Hokie, whether in Maryland or anywhere across the world, and there is always a special bond by knowing you are both part of the most special community there is.