Gaby Vincent '18
Gaby Vincent '18

As a professional soccer player, Gaby Vincent ’18 has travelled to many places throughout the country, whether it be Portland, Oregon, or Orlando, Florida. Though a Columbia, Maryland, native, Vincent finds Louisville, a place she spent almost four years, as an adopted home.

With the addition of a new professional women’s soccer team in Louisville, Vincent, who currently plays in Kansas City for KC NWSL, gets to return to Louisville at times during the season.
“I met some of my best friends and grew so much at the University of Louisville,” Vincent said. “I love the city of Louisville, and I love the support for all things Louisville and UofL, especially the sports.”
Her support at UofL doesn’t just stop with her sports community, however. Vincent, who graduated in 2020, went to play professionally before she had finished her degree in computer information systems. With the help of department professors and advisors, she was able to continue playing and learning
“UofL was amazing in helping me finish my education while pursuing my professional soccer career,” Vincent, who left Louisville in the spring of 2019, said. “My professors and academic advisors were very understanding of my schedule and did everything they could to help make it work.”
Robert Barker, CIS Department chair and associate professor, was one of the people who helped Vincent transition into online learning and continue her degree.
“Gaby came to me after a class and told me about her good fortune, that she had been signed by a NWSL club and she had to report for training,” Barker said. “I was very happy for her; as an ex-collegiate soccer player myself, I knew how few players get an opportunity like this.”

Barker was able to help transition Vincent into online learning in part due to previous experience with other students.

“In the past, we have always supported students who were called away from our campus. This would include such students as those who were deployed by the military, students who had family emergencies, or students who gave birth during the term,” said Barker. “I spoke with each of the professors affected, and we agreed to provide Gaby with distance options in her courses and to help her find alternative courses at other universities for her electives. The faculty made the options available, even though some of the courses were not initially distance courses.”

With the help of Barker and other professors, Vincent was able to continue being a full-time student remotely. From a school perspective, this meant she was still able to get the experience of working with groups on projects and giving presentations. From a soccer perspective, she had to manage her time between being a soccer player and being a full-time student.

“While finishing up my degree, I was still taking four classes,” Vincent said. “I would go train in the morning and then go to a coffee shop for the rest of the day to study, do homework, or take exams. Compared to my classmates, I was on a different schedule, so it was crucial for me to find time and communicate with them often when working on group assignments.”

Dr. Barker saw Vincent’s work ethic when she was on campus, before her professional soccer career started. “She was diligent in her efforts and capable of producing work of very high quality,” Barker said. “I decided she had the motivation to be able to complete the work using distance technology, and she deserved a chance to complete the work…with her academic preparation, when Gaby has concluded her playing career, she will have a bright future in the IT field.”

Though it’s not planned for anytime soon, Vincent has considered what her future will be like when she concludes her playing career. “Post-soccer, I would love to work in data management,” she said. “I had amazing professors [who] helped me figure out what I was truly passionate about and gave me the resources to reach my goals.”