Janet Kirkpatrick Holdsworth '91 Takes Lacrosse to the Next Level
As an expert in the field of higher education policy, Janet Kirkpatrick Holdsworth has spent a considerable amount of time in the classroom and in research, earning her M.P.A. in public administration in 1994 and her Ph.D. in higher education in 2004 along the way.
Yet, it’s her love of lacrosse, stemming from her own athletic career at Wittenberg, that has kept her on the field long after leaving Commencement Hollow.
In the state of Minnesota, where she currently serves as the director of policy research for the Midwestern Higher Education Compact and as an instructor at the University of Minnesota, Holdsworth is synonymous with the sport of girls’ lacrosse.
Three years ago, she led the campaign to have the sport officially sanctioned by the state with the Minnesota State High School League.“We have all worked together to create an opportunity for these girls,” Holdsworth said.
“I look forward to watching these young women go off to college, and then, eventually return to Minnesota to become the next generation of coaches and leaders in the lacrosse community.”
In recognition of her efforts, Wittenberg recently honored Holdsworth with its Outstanding Young Alumna Award for extraordinary professional achievement during its Homecoming/Reunion Weekend festivities, Oct. 22-24.
Grateful for the honor, Holdsworth credits her alma mater for instilling in her the desire to serve, explore, analyze and compete, and for teaching her the importance of playing hard.
A hard-fought women’s lacrosse game against Denison in 1989, which resulted in Wittenberg’s women’s lacrosse making history with a subsequent bid to the NCAA tournament, especially brought that home.
“I did not play my best, but I never gave up,” Holdsworth said.
“We had set a team goal, and we were determined to fight until the final whistle to accomplish it. I understood in the final moments of that particular game that what ultimately matters is knowing that you never gave up so that you have no regrets.”