2 Minutes With … is a series of short features to introduce us to the passions and interests of Lawrence students on and off campus. Find more 2 Minutes With … features here.
Story by Awa Badiane ’21
Clayton Agler ’22 has found the perfect blend of academics and athletics as a student-athlete at Lawrence University.
“It’s really nice to be able to play baseball, which is a sport I have always loved, while getting a really good education,” Agler said.
The junior from Rockford, Ohio, has been playing baseball since he learned how to walk.
“Balancing athletics and academics is definitely tough, but I have learned to take advantage of every opportunity of free time that I have,” Agler said. “Like when we have long bus trips to away games, doing some homework on the bus.”
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Agler also represents the baseball team as co-chair of the Lawrence Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), a group that helps strengthen the bond between student-athletes and the administration. It typically hosts a number of events throughout the year, although that was limited during the pandemic. SAAC will be hosting its first in-person event since the start of the pandemic in the coming weeks, the BLU Crew Awards.
The call of medicine
When Agler is off the field, you can find him volunteering as an emergency medical technician (EMT) or working as an EMT at his hometown hospital.
“It was a very eye-opening experience, I would say, seeing the impact of the pandemic and the toll that it takes on our health care system,” Agler said of his EMT work over the past year.
He received his EMT certification the summer of 2018. He got it as a way to explore the medical field.
“I didn’t necessarily become an EMT with the intention of working during a pandemic,” Agler said. “But I was thankful to be able to help.”
On the front lines
He served as an EMT when the country was seeing some of its worst numbers of COVID cases. He saw the suffering up close.
“The area I worked in was a very rural community,” Agler said. “There were a lot of people, especially older people, who would get some kind of sickness and then just stay home. It would end up getting really bad, then they would end up calling 911 because they needed to go to the emergency room. Most of them had not been tested for COVID, so we would not know if it was COVID, and It would turn out they had it.”
Despite working during a high stress time, Agler said the experience reaffirmed his passion for medicine and his desire to go to medical school.
“Absolutely,” he said when asked if he’d do it again. “I think being an EMT during the pandemic gave me a unique opportunity to help people in a way that others are not able. And I was able to help in a way that was definitely needed.”
Awa Badiane ’21 is a student writer in the Office of Communications.