Gerstell Alum Shares Passion for Teaching and Crossfit

In May of 2019, alumna Sydnie Abrecht ’15, graduated magna cum laude from Mercyhurst University after studying Early Childhood and Special Education, with a Psychology minor. She played Division II lacrosse and had the honor of participating in four NCAA tournaments. Sydnie had the thrill of playing for the Lakers when they won a conference championship as well.
Last fall, Sydnie began a one-year graduate program at Mercyhurst to study autism and applied behavior analysis. She was granted a graduate assistantship from Mercyhurst to teach preschool in an Erie inner-city elementary school. In a second position, she taught Kindergarten at an extended school-day program, also in Erie's school system.
Sydnie just received her master’s degree and plans to again teach reading for the Institute of Reading Development over the summer months. She hopes to begin a new post as an elementary or autistic support teacher in Maryland this fall.
"Eventually, I would like to earn a PhD to do behavioral research for students with autism," said Sydnie. 
She trains competitively in CrossFit, having tried it first at a Gerstell classmate's health club as a sophomore. "I love the lifting. In college I did it during semester breaks to supplement my lacrosse conditioning. I have made much progress and feel excited for what the future holds regarding jobs, competing, and life."
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