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Love of Volleyball Leads to Butler PA School

Jessica KlingensmithJessica Klingensmith Dodder, a member of the MPAS Class of 2019, found her way to Butler University by way of volleyball. Dodder, who hails from Colorado Springs, Colorado, came to Butler on a recruiting visit and recalled the “huge, big, beautiful trees” being such a contrast to the wide-open land of home. “Everything seemed so lush,” Dodder recalls. She even fell in love with the Indiana humidity. The campus feel and the added draw of the PA Program hooked her. 

Jessica Klingensmith volleyballDodder had a notable volleyball career at Butler. The middle and outside hitter was admittedly a “little small for her position,” standing at 5’11. Despite her size, she saw much court time in her career at Butler and ended her career in the 2016 season as captain of the team. Of course, there were more take-aways from her volleyball career than blocks, kills, and winning seasons.  Dodder learned to be the ultimate time manager and was able to study in almost any environment she happened to find herself. As an undergraduate Chemistry major, she studied on planes, buses, locker rooms, hotel lobbies—any place the team was, the books came along. As head coach Sharon Clark told Jessica before she signed her commitment to Butler, “At Butler, we are students before athletes.”

Dodder was red-shirted her first year at Butler, which gave her one more year of eligibility after completing her undergraduate degree. She was at a crossroads—she loved her volleyball team but was excited about, and committed to, starting PA school. Knowing the intensity of PA school and the demanding schedule of volleyball, she thought long and hard about whether it was feasible, let alone wise, to combine volleyball and PA school. Ultimately, knowing that she tries to give 100 percent to every endeavor, Dodder decided to forgo her last season of volleyball to concentrate solely on PA school. She has no regrets, ending her volleyball career on a high note, getting married in March 2017, and starting the Butler PA Program this past May.