Celebrating TXST graduate student-athletes for Women in Sports Day


Kate Malazonia | February 7, 2024

In celebration of National Girls and Women in Sports Day (Feb. 7), The Graduate College is highlighting the achievements of female student-athletes who are currently pursuing or have earned graduate degrees at Texas State University.

These student-athletes include Emma CarrAlyssa WilsonKynnedi JohnsonVictoria McCannBailey Peschel, and Hailey Jones.

These high-achieving students exude the excellence and motivation of Bobcat student-athletes and what they can accomplish on and off the field.

“Overall, being a female athlete in graduate school serves as an inspiration and representation for others, showcasing that women can excel both athletically and academically.” - Victoria McCann

Headshot of Emma Carr.

Emma Carr – Women’s Tennis

Carr is completing a master of business administration (M.B.A.) degree and is a member of the TXST varsity women’s tennis team. Alongside her classes and rigorous competition schedule, Carr is also a clinical volunteer at the Student Health Center through MedCats. There, she works alongside nurses and doctors to assist students with their medical concerns.

Carr’s goal-oriented mindset is very clear in the plans she has for herself.

“I plan to get a job in the healthcare administration industry for a year before going into medical school in the fall of 2025,” Carr said. “Whether I want to work in a hospital or have my own practice, my M.B.A. degree will help me tremendously.”

Carr takes pride in her role as a female student-athlete in graduate school.

“I’m so proud to represent women in sports, and I’m so happy that with Title IX, we have equal collegiate opportunities as men,” she said. “I wouldn’t have been able to do it without my extra year of eligibility, and I feel really lucky and blessed that I got extra time to further my academic career and continue playing the sport that I love.”

Headshot of Alyssa Wilson.

Alyssa Wilson – Track and Field

Wilson recently completed her master’s of education in elementary education. She is also a member of the TXST varsity track and field team. She achieved All-Academic first team (2021-2023) and is a 12-time NCAA All-American. Currently, she serves as a graduate assistant for the track and field department as well as a professional athlete. She is currently training for the Paris 2024 Olympic and Paralympic Games.

Wilson emphasizes that the convenient format of her graduate degree allowed her to build a schedule to achieve her goals.

“The most convenient thing about graduate school is that the majority of the classes take place during the evening, so that gave me a lot of free time during the day to do my sport and train for athletics,” Wilson said. “It emphasizes the idea that anyone can do anything they set their mind to — they just have to have the time to pursue such endeavors.”

As Wilson reflects on National Women in Sports Day, she says the opportunities she has been given “prove that we [women] can do anything we want to do, as long as we have our goals aligned, stay focused, and have a tight support group. Being a female athlete going through graduate school means that women can be educated and athletic powerhouses too.”

Headshot of Kynnedi Johnson.

Kynnedi Johnson – Volleyball

Johnson is completing her master of science in exercise science and is a member of the TXST volleyball team. While Johnson has her eyes set on competitive volleyball, she also believes her graduate degree will help her achieve her long-term goals.

“I would like to work with children in the medical field one day and getting my master's degree will help me gain more knowledge and information needed to be prepared for whatever field I decide to pursue,” Johnson said.

Her inspiration stems from other female athletes.

“I think it is so empowering being a female athlete and getting to play and watch other amazing athletes who all support each other and are striving for the same goal,” she said. “Many African American female athletes have inspired me and encouraged me to continue my academic and athletic career.”

Headshot of Victoria McCann.

Victoria McCann – Softball

McCann is completing her M.B.A. and is a member of the TXST varsity softball team. McCann is an NCAA Division I Softball Scholarship recipient and a member of the National Society of Leadership & Success at TXST.

“Education has always been important to me and getting to play softball while earning my master’s [degree] is like a dream come true,” McCann said. “I’m thankful for that extra year of softball and the chance to get a higher level of education.”

McCann emphasizes her hopes for herself after graduation.

“I want to work in the supply chain or analytics for a sports team,” she said. “I’ve always been into sports, so sticking with it after I graduate is the goal. I’m excited to use what I learn in school to bring something valuable to the strategic and analytical side of a sports team. It’s not just about getting a job; I want a career that feels fulfilling and makes a real impact in the sports industry.

“Overall, being a female athlete in graduate school serves as an inspiration and representation for others, showcasing that women can excel both athletically and academically.”

Headshot of Bailey Peschel.

Bailey Peschel – Soccer

Peschel recently completed her master’s of accounting and finished her final season competing for the TXST varsity soccer team. Peschel served as the captain for three years, scoring the third-fastest goal in TXST history. She also received the TXST Scholar-Athlete of the Year award, boasting a 4.0 GPA. Currently, Peschel is studying for the Certified Public Accountant (CPA) exam and aims to start work as a full-time accountant in August.

Peschel describes graduate school as both challenging and rewarding.

“Pursuing a graduate degree is helping me achieve my career goals post-graduation,” Peschel said. “The hours, workload, and degree of difficulty all increase when moving from undergraduate to the graduate level. That means time management, communication, and organization are even more important. I am extremely grateful for being able to play the sport I love while earning a master's degree.

“Soccer is so much more than just a sport, and I enjoyed every minute being on the field. I am thankful that TXST works hard to support female athletes and provide us with so many opportunities!”

Headshot of Hailey Jones.

Hailey Jones – Women’s Golf

Jones is currently completing the Professional Ethics certification program and is on the TXST varsity women’s golf team. Jones elaborated on the many benefits of being a graduate student and having a flexible schedule.

“Having a higher degree will benefit me by preparing me for my future profession and provide me with the necessary skills I need to succeed,” Jones said.

“I am extremely grateful for the women who inspired me and continue to inspire me today. Being a female college student-athlete has been an amazing experience, especially due to the platform that we have and the ability to inspire young women to create and chase their passions. I hope National Women in Sports Day continues to grow and inspire women all over the world.”

To read more about women’s sports teams at TXST and for upcoming schedules, visit the TXST Athletics website.

For more information about The Graduate College and available degree programs, visit The Graduate College website.

For more information, contact University Communications:

Jayme Blaschke, 512-245-2555

Sandy Pantlik, 512-245-2922