Meet Anna McLeod, recent Abilene Christian University alumna and former guard for the women’s basketball team. From the court to the classroom, this Houston native found her niche as a Wildcat after transferring from Louisiana Tech during her Junior year to play for coach Julie Goodenough. Beyond her success on the court, McLeod graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and completed ACU Online’s certificate program in Conflict Management all while leading her team to post-season play in the Women’s Basketball Invitational this past year.
A call that would change her career
After high school, McLeod knew her basketball career was only just beginning. While it wasn’t her initial collegiate choice, ACU coach, Julie Goodenough, was among the coaches to reach out to the then high school senior, making an impression that would later change not only Anna’s basketball career, but her educational journey forever.
After two years of playing basketball as a Bulldog at Louisiana Tech in Ruston, LA, Anna decided she wanted a different basketball experience and gave Coach Goodenough a call to discuss transferring to ACU’s program. “I realized how much of an impact your coach has on your life and remembered how great Coach Goodenough was during recruitment,” she explained. “I loved the standards she had for her team and ultimately decided to transfer to a school based on the coach.” Goodenough gladly welcomed Anna to the team where she quickly found her place on campus in Abilene, TX. While at ACU, Anna studied Communication Sciences and Disorders and found her passion for the field due to the impact that speech pathologists had on some of her family members.
For her fifth year of undergrad, and her final year playing for the university, she decided to enroll in ACU Online’s Certificate in Conflict Management program. While higher education required a lot of time and effort, she transitioned from in-person to online seamlessly. As she said, “I didn’t miss a beat. “With the flexibility of asynchronous classes, McLeod was able to balance her time for school, and still have availability to shoot everyday with her coaches and hang out with teammates.
For Anna, the faculty is what has stood out to her the most both on campus and online. She attributed that to the care of the professors and the mission that ACU lives by even through online learning. “I’m thankful for the opportunity to transfer and go to ACU. It changed my life for the better.” The feedback and discussions with staff members were very intentional and helped her think further than what the assignment required. In addition to her professors, Coach Goodenough assigns each of her players department mentors which McLeod explained was such an invaluable resource during her studies.
McLeod was recently selected to participate in the 2021 State Farm College 3-Point Championships which aired live on ESPN2, where she came in second. She reflected on how meaningful it was when her professors sent out an email to her class and that Conflict Management Program Director Dr. Fleming sent a personal message to her. “It was so cool to see that my professors were so in touch with what I was doing outside of class and involved with what I was doing even when I wasn’t in Abilene.”
Queen of The Court
During her three-year-run with the ACU women’s basketball team, Anna brought so much to the women’s basketball program on and off the court through her competitiveness and leadership. Her senior year, she was the team’s lead scorer and named All-Southland Conference second team player and a first-team academic all-conference selection. Additionally, she averaged a team-high 16.7 points per game, the third-highest mark in the conference.
Post Basketball Plans
Anna is currently living in Dallas with her husband and is about to start The University of Texas at Dallas’ master’s program in Speech Language Pathology. Anna’s experience at ACU Online gave her more confidence to take the leap to further her education.
As far as the future, McLeod is unsure exactly what she wants to do, but is interested in pediatrics and opportunities within the medical field. She’s excited to learn more during her time at The University of Texas at Dallas and where her speech pathology career will take her.
Has Anna’s story inspired you to get your degree from ACU? Visit acu.edu/online to learn about our undergraduate, graduate and certificate programs. Or call us at 855-219-7300 to speak with one of our admissions advisors about the next steps you can take to reach your goals.
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