Platon is majoring in Biochemistry
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. In this Scholar-Athlete Spotlight, we are featuring Panther softball player Allison Platon, a graduate student who is majoring in Biochemistry.
Originally from Bolingbrook, Illinois, Allison has been a two-way player for the Crimson and Gray, earning two victories as a pitcher last year while also hitting .286 with a .474 on-base percentage in 14 at-bats. So far this season, Platon has earned a win and two saves in the pitcher’s circle with a 2.33 ERA.
Platon has been named to the Sunshine State Conference Commissioner’s and Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll in each of her first four seasons with the Panthers. Following the 2022 season, she has been named an Easton/NFCA All-American Scholar thanks to earning a perfect 4.0 GPA.
As Allie continues her final season in a Panther uniform, we talked with her about what she’ll remember the most about her time at Florida Tech and the wide-ranging topics her classes have covered.
■ What’s your major at Florida Tech and why did you choose this? Is it something that you’ve always wanted to do?
Right now, I’m getting my masters in biochemistry. When I originally came to Florida Tech to study marine biology, through my internships and classes here, I discovered I really like chemistry. So I changed my major to work on this and I really like it.
■ What was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
My biggest draw was the coaches here. I really love Coach Val’s coaching philosophy and how we work on the field and then also being from a northern state, it’s really nice to play an outdoor sport not in the cold anymore!
How do you plan to use your degree after graduation?
I’d really love to continue research, that’s what I really love here at Florida Tech and during my high school career. Finding a job that would continue to do research and vaccines or trial and drug discovery would really be fun.
■ What are some of the exciting projects that you’ve been able to work on in classes here?
I’ve been a part of two labs here at Florida Tech. In the first lab that I participated in, I looked at monitoring phytoplankton in the IRL (Indian River Lagoon) and trying to see if there are any harmful algal blooms.
And the lab I work in right now, we’re looking at prions and how they’re affected by shear force and trying to see if we can break them.
■ Softball season is usually 50 games over three months, with plenty of road trips and practices in between, how do you keep everything balanced once the season starts?
Time management is definitely a key aspect, as finding ways to always get my homework done and finding those 15 minutes of time that I have to read a paper, maybe right after practice, or during dinner.
But those long road trips are always fun because you need to work with your team and then also staying in the hotel to work together right after games is always important.
■ How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now, and what do you take from the field that you apply to your studies?
Teamwork and working with people of different mindsets is something that’s helped me a lot in whatever you’re working towards. Everyone here has different goals and finding ways to achieve the same thing while we’re all working kind of differently has been a huge part.
■ What have you enjoyed the most about your time at the softball program?
Definitely our 2019 season with a lot of winning and our first conference championship was a lot of fun but then coming back these next years and growing with my teammates and still finding ways to be successful on and off the field has been a lot of fun.
■ What expectations do you have for yourself and the team in 2023?
We’re really excited to show the SSC and the rest of the D2 softball world what Florida Tech softball is and I know once we show that the results are going to show for themselves.
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