Don Juan Moore

Golden Girls Captain Dietrick Receives Oxford Scholarship

Tim Linafelt | May 02, 2016

By Tim Linafelt Senior Writer

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – Perhaps it’s only appropriate that, at the moment Barbara Dietrick found out she had received a scholarship to Oxford University, she was on her way to a classroom.

More specifically, on her way to take a test.

“I was like, ‘I’m not going to learn anything else, so let me check my email really quick,” Dietrick said.

Turns out, she received some of the biggest news of her young life.

Dietrick, a recent Florida State graduate and captain of the Golden Girls dance team, is one of two FSU grads to go to Oxford as part of the Frost Scholarship Programme.

The program is available only to graduates from public universities in the state of Florida, and only 10 scholars are selected each year.

Dietrick will leave for England in mid-September and study clinical embryology for a year. A Colorado native, Dietrick will focus on human reproduction, fertility and biology.

Before she could think about any of that, though, Dietrick first had to take that test.

“It was a little hard to focus,” Dietrick said. “But then again … I have all these great opportunities because I did always go 100 percent. And I wanted to finish everything out really well. So the focus was still there.”

And when she finished, Dietrick got another email with more good news: She’d been accepted to medical school at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore.

Talk about options.

Thanks to some schedule juggling – and some accommodating administrations from each university – Dietrick plans to do both.

She’ll spend a year at Oxford, finishing and defending her thesis early – in July instead of the usual September – so that she can come back to Baltimore and start at Johns Hopkins for the fall 2017 semester.

But after a few months at Johns Hopkins, Dietrick will make one more trip to Oxford in December. So she can take her finals.

It sounds like a whirlwind, but, for Dietrick, it’s nothing new.

For three years, she’s walked a tightrope as both a high-level scholar and a member of the Golden Girls.

That means workouts at 6:30 a.m., a full load of classes during the day, and either dance practices or in-game performances at night. Throw in a few hours of research at FSU’s College of Medicine each week, too.

But if the demands wear on her, Dietrick doesn’t show it.

“She is always on top of everything, which made her great to be our captain,” said Lauren Maribona, Dietrick’s co-captain with the Golden Girls. “All around, she’s a good person, a good student, a good teammate. … I don’t know how she does it. I don’t think she sleeps.”

Last week, just a few days before her graduation ceremony, Dietrick opened and read a letter that she wrote to herself as a freshman.

Dietrick had forgotten what she wrote four years ago and expected to find something silly.

Instead, she found she had offered herself the same type of advice she’d like to pass on to future students at FSU.

“You can do everything that you set your mind to, just keep pushing,” Dietrick wrote.

“And I think,” she says now, “that would be, hopefully, what others think if they look up to me. You can do it all. You just have to be passionate about it.”

Dietrick expects more challenges – and rewards – ahead, but, after her three-year balancing act, she feels she’s ready.

“Looking back, there were definitely some stressful times,” she said. “But that’s what’s made me the person who I am and (led to) how I will cope with everything in the future.

“Florida State has more than prepared me for everything.”



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