Olympic Medal to Hall of Fame:
Psychology Professor Diane Moyer
USA Field Hockey will induct a new class of Hall of Fame members on June 28 at Spooky Nook Sports in Lancaster, Pa. Included in the 2014 list of inductees is the 1984 U.S. Women’s Olympic Field Hockey Team of which Cedar Crest Psychology Professor Diane Moyer is a member. The team won a bronze medal that year, making them the first United States team to win an Olympic medal in women’s field hockey.
“It’s been 30 years since I competed, but every time I watch the Olympics all of the wonderful memories and feelings return. I have so many wonderful memories of being on the USA Field Hockey Team and participating in the Olympics,” said Moyer. “But honestly, the best part was spending time with my teammates, coaches and staff who have become a special part of my life forever.”
In the 28 years since that memorable event, Diane Moyer, Ph.D. has shifted her focus and become a psychology professor at Cedar Crest College—but she owes a good measure of her professional success to her sports background, she says. “Being an athlete teaches perseverance, teamwork, commitment and perhaps most important, the ability to learn from failure. It’s about getting up and figuring out how to go forward. You need to not be afraid of failing, because otherwise you don’t have the ability to see what your best is.”
When Moyer was a young girl, opportunities were limited for women to participate in sports. In fact, her first brush with athletics came when her older brother allowed her to play basketball with him and his friends. It wasn’t until high school that Moyer first played on a team—and play she did, participating in swimming, diving, softball, basketball and field hockey. “It didn’t matter what it was, I just wanted to play,” she says.
Her obvious athletic ability took her to LaSalle University on a basketball scholarship. Moyer was among the first women to receive any sort of athletic scholarship, an opportunity made possible then by the recent passing of Title IX. She was able to balance her studies with playing on the college’s basketball, softball, swimming and diving, and field hockey teams, and her talent didn’t go unnoticed. Her field hockey coach recommended she try out for the United States field hockey team—and she made it after just one year of college.
Moyer traveled around the world on the national team, playing in Holland, Germany, England, Australia and Japan, among other countries. She made the 1980 Olympic field hockey team, but didn’t compete due to the United States’ decision to boycott the Olympics that year. Four years later, Moyer found herself on the team again. This time, she did compete and left with a bronze medal.
Moyer went on to coach field hockey at Villanova and Yale universities. She earned her B.A. in psychology from LaSalle University, her M.A. in sports management from UMass, an M.A. in counseling psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and a Ph.D. in counseling psychology from Temple University.
“I will never forget standing on the podium with my teammates to receive our medal. Flags were raised and trumpets played, the medal hung around our necks, and presented with a flower, the bird of paradise,” she said. “We then turned to each section of the stadium and waved with joy, pride and triumph. Being in the moment and realizing where I was, simply took my breath away.”