Madison Scarr: Student, champion and everything
Madison Scarr wasn’t wasting time when she scored on the
first shot of the 2017 NCAA Division II National Championship title game,
giving the Shippensburg University field hockey team the momentum it needed to
defeat No. 1 seed LIU Post for the second year in a row.
“From there, we got the ball rolling and we just kept going.
It was awesome,” she said about Ship’s third title in the last five years.
Wasting time isn’t something Scarr can afford to do, seeing
as she’s not only a two-time national champion, but the Student Government
Association President as well.
Now a senior accounting major, Scarr came to Ship with
plenty of experience with time management.
The Lewisburg Area High School graduate established herself
as a decorated field hockey player. That happened while she was also busy lettering
in softball and track, becoming a member of the National Honor Society, as well
as the National French and Spanish Honor Societies, finding herself on the
Distinguished Honor Roll, participating in clubs and student council, and
serving as section leader of the percussion section for the school’s marching
band. She’s also had 12 years of advanced piano lessons.
“If I’m not going 100 mph, then I can’t function,” she said.
Once it came time to narrow down her college choices, she
found herself in a position that many people do at that point in their lives –
unsure of where to go or what to do.
At the time, Scarr's older sister was already a Ship student, so she thought she had her mind somewhat made up about the university.
“I came [to Ship] and I toured the campus. Everything
academic wise was great. They had a great business school, accreditation,
everything was great. And so the last thing was the coach,” she said.
Enter the now former head field hockey coach, Bertie Landes.
“I was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this is it,’” she said of her
first encounter with the Hall of Fame coach. “So the second we sat down and
talked with her, everything was perfect, the campus, the academics, the coach
Scarr’s older sister, Merissa, is now a teacher in Lewisburg
and is back at Ship working on her master’s degree.
“[Having Merissa here] actually worked out in my favor because she worked on
campus and she got me a job [in Media Services],” she said.
It didn’t hurt having an older sister with a car either,
especially when Scarr was crutching around due to a fractured shin. That injury
lingered from her high school track days, something she didn’t discover until
after her debut season with Ship Field Hockey.
Injury, however, did not slow Scarr down on the field. She
established herself early in her career as a strong forward, scoring three
goals and picking up three assists in her freshman season.
In her four years on the team, she finished with 14 career
goals and seven assists.
But even more impressive are her numbers in the classroom.
Scarr has been honored numerous times for her success as a
She was recognized in 2014 as a Gladiator by SGI/NFHCA Division
II Scholar of Distinction.
That trend continued in her sophomore year when she was
honored as a 2015 ZAG Field Hockey/HFHCA Division II Scholar of Distinction for
being one of 61 Division II field hockey players with a cumulative GPA of 3.9
or higher. She received the same honor in her junior year for being one of 76
Division II field hockey players with a 3.9 GPA or higher.
Ever ready to keep impressing in her junior year, Scarr was also
bestowed the NCAA Elite 90 Award, an honor that recognizes the highest
cumulative GPA (4.0) among all participants at the NCAA Championships finals
“I had to work so hard to get those good grades, I’m not
just naturally intelligent,” she said.
While Scarr has spent a great deal of her time on the turf,
she discovered one place early in her college career that was one of her best
“I always went to the learning center,” she said.
She insists her supporting cast, like the folks at the
learning center, has a large role in all her success.
Her younger sister, Meredith, a freshman who is also
majoring in accounting, is now an important member of that supporting cast.
“She’s kind of following in my footsteps because now I got
her a job, and she’s in Student Government Association as well,” Scarr said.
Like her younger sister, Scarr discovered Student Government
Association her freshman year. Her sophomore year she ran for the position of
College of Business Senator and served during her junior year as Athletic
From there, she was approached by advisors to pursue even
“I was really nervous about it at first because of being an
athlete,” she said.
Taking on the role of Student Government Association
President is no small task, even for Scarr.
“Some people are like, ‘Why do you do all this stuff?’ But
I’m so passionate about making it better for all the students,” she said.
Given her track record of success, she had plenty of people in
her corner as she pursued the presidency.
“I have networks all over campus. I have my coaches. I have
my professors. I have my SGA advisors,” she said.
Well aware that she would be pulled in many different
directions, Landes and current field hockey head coach Tara Zollinger became
some of her biggest supporters as she took on roles in SGA.
“They understand once they see what you’re doing because
they want you to be your best,” she said.
The encouragement was unwavering, even if it meant
“I’ve been able to manage it pretty well. And even this year
I was kind of nervous with a new coach because I wasn’t sure how she would feel
about me coming late to practices, but I did a lot of individual practices to
make up for what I missed,” she said.
While Scarr is well aware of her excellent time management
skills, she’s quick to give credit where it’s due.
“I think the biggest thing for me was the support. Being
gone for nationals, I had to rearrange so many different exams or
presentations. And [my professors] are so supportive of that,” she said.
As her time at Ship enters the home stretch, Scarr is
looking ahead to an internship with KPMG, an international auditing and tax
firm, and taking the certified public accountant exam.
That time may have been a constant whirlwind of commitment in
the classroom, on the field, to student government and everything else she’s
involved with, but in her mind it was time well spent.
being involved in different things, I’ve been able to get so many different
skillsets. In the classroom you learn certain things, from the field I’ve
learned communication, from student government I learned leadership. So I think
you can’t rely just on the class to get you in the place you need to be for a
future job. I think you need to get involved in different things. Everything I’m
involved in is so different, but it makes me a well-rounded individual.”