Equipped with the passion for wanting to change lives and the ability to make a significant difference on the pitch, former soccer standout Riley Ebenroth knew she had to make Arkansas State her next home.
Before transferring to A-State, Ebenroth punched in two impressive seasons for Illinois State as she appeared in 17 regular-season matches and two post-season games, which included a Missouri Valley Conference Championship and a victory over Michigan in the NCAA Tournament. She was part of a defense that posted a 0.87 goals-against average and had seven shutouts, all of which Ebenroth played a role in as a key contributor.
But looking for more ways to maximize her future, both in the classroom and on the field, she reached out to all-conference selections and former club teammates Kelsey Ponder and Taylor Schneider to find out more about endless possibilities at A-State.
“I asked them how they liked the program and the university,” said Ebenroth. “They completely raved about it and told me how they loved everything about Arkansas State. They helped me get a visit, then I committed and signed within a week. It all happened pretty quickly after that.”
Ebenroth was able to contribute immediately for the Red Wolves as she provided size and athleticism to the backline. Though she only played two seasons at A-State, they were impactful as she was a two-time All-Sun Belt Conference second-team selection in 2017 and 2018.
Like soccer, the O’Fallon, Mo., native has always taken education very seriously. In high school, she finished top in her graduating class and was a member of the National Honor Society. She found a way to continue to compete at a high level in the classroom as she made the transition to college.
Ebenroth quickly excelled in A-State’s nursing program as she was named to the Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in 2017.
In search of more ways to get her name out there, she decided to apply for a 10-week summer internship at one of the nation’s best hospitals, the Mayo Clinic.
Ebenroth landed one of 50 spots, out of over 1,000 applicants.
“When I stumbled across the Mayo internship, I thought to myself ‘okay, why not apply’,” said Ebenroth. “I eventually got called back for the second round of interviews and I ended up getting a spot in the program. I was super excited. I had the opportunity to work in the OR (operating room) for plastic surgery and orthopedic surgery. It was an all-around cool experience.”
Ebenroth currently serves as a surgical trauma ICU Registered Nurse at VCU hospital in Richmond, VA.
“My floor oversees all of the trauma patients who are too critical to be on a normal floor,” said Ebenroth. “We see things like motor vehicle accidents, wounds, and different kinds of burns. Most of our patients are intubated and sedated so they can’t communicate with us, so we are providing all of their care.”
Ebenroth spoke on the safety precautions that she now has to take since the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have to do a lot of COVID-19 testing on our floor just to rule out patients,” said Ebenroth. “You get used to the different precautions that you have to take. Because I worked in the OR last summer, I was used to wearing a mask and a gown all the time. But now, when we work 12-hour shifts we have to have our mask on the entire 12-hours.”
Ebenroth set a long-term goal in healthcare to attend Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetists school.
“To go to school for that, you have to work for at least one to two years in an ICU at a level-one trauma center. That’s what I’m doing right now is getting my few years of experience in ICU under my belt, before I start applying to CRNA school,” Ebenroth added.
Ebenroth credits college athletics to helping for prep for professional interviews.
“When I was interviewing everyone was so impressed that I played a sport while I was in college,” said Ebenroth. “They know how demanding it is and how much time management skills you have to have to balance a sport, school work, and your social life.
“That was something that would always get touched on in my interviews. I feel like that’s one of my strengths, is having good time management skills because I was so used to balancing soccer. Athletics has taught me the importance of working with other people and being a team player. In nursing, you’re always asking others for help or having to communicate with different people in different professions.”
Ebenroth has always prided herself on education and encourages all student-athletes to have that backup plan outside of the playing field.
“You just have to have that backup plan,” said Ebenroth. “Yes, you can strive to play at the highest level but you also have to make sure that your schooling doesn’t suffer because you always need something to fall back on. You never know if something is going to work out or if it’s going to be the path that you’re going to take.
“Make sure that you give every aspect of your life as much as you give to your sport. That’s what I did at Arkansas State.
Ebenroth graduated from Arkansas State University with a degree in Nursing in 2020.
Original article source: https://astateredwolves.com/news/2020/8/13/arkansas-state-athletics-where-are-they-now-riley-ebenroth.aspx | Article may or may not reflect the views of KLEK 102.5 FM or The Voice of Arkansas Minority Advocacy Council