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QCC Athlete Thrives in Inclusive, Supportive Environment

November 2021
December 2021
  • QCC student-athlete Deirdre Meagher
    QCC student-athlete Deirdre Meagher

For QCC student-athlete Deirdre Meagher, success is all about teamwork, support and communication. Deirdre is one of the many great players this year on QCC's women’s basketball team and is currently enrolled in the Business Administration Transfer program, with a goal of pursuing a bachelor’s degree that focuses on sports management.

Deirdre was born with hearing loss and had a cochlear implant (an electronic medical device that can provide a sense of sound to a person who is deaf or severely hard-of-hearing) since she was two and half years old. This experience has had a strong impact on her education from the beginning, but has never kept her from meeting the goals she has set for herself.

Deirdre started her education in public school, but switched to a private institution, Eagle Hill School in Hardwick, for her high school years. The school specializes in high school students with diverse learning profiles.

Deirdre gained a confidence at Eagle Hill that prepared her for whatever followed high school; however, she was still not sure if college was right for her. She decided to try college and came to QCC because of the affordability and her interest in the Interactive Media Design program. She eventually ended up switching to the Business Administration Transfer because she wanted to be more involved with sports, which turned out to be a great decision.

“I have gained so much academic experience and found success. I was able to try out what I thought I wanted and then find the opportunity to go after my dream,” she said.

After earning her bachelor’s degree, her goal is to become an athletic director.

Basketball has been part of Deirdre’s life since fourth grade, and she’s kept her love of the game going at QCC by playing shooting guard and small forward. She said she loves meeting other students and the teamwork that comes with playing on a basketball team. She said difficulties can arise as a basketball player with hearing loss, but at the end of the day, good communication with everyone involved can work out any issue.

“The support of my teammates and coaches is a highlight of my experience at QCC,” she added.

While being a student-athlete does require some careful planning, she said having basketball as an outlet is a big stress reliever and this actually helps her maintain a strong GPA. There have been some unique challenges due to the pandemic, as lip reading is no longer an option due to people wearing masks, but online classes have been helpful because people usually don’t wear masks and closed captioning is available.

She credits Student Accessibility Services with helping her get the academic supports that she needed and thanks her professors and coaches for their support and guidance.

“This kind of positive experience has given me the confidence to continue my education and hopefully play basketball in the future,” she said.