Bulldog Update: Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Oct. 22, 2012
ATHENS, Ga. – Karyn Meyer-Berthel (formally Karyn Ann Meyer) arrived on the University of Georgia campus in 1991 as a middle and right side blocker on the volleyball team. A native of Clemson, S.C., Meyer-Berthel was drawn to Georgia not only for the volleyball program, but also for the great selection of degrees and extracurricular activities that the university provided.
“I just loved what Georgia had to offer, and I wanted to play Division I volleyball even if it mean riding the bench rather than going to a smaller school and being the big fish,” said Meyer-Berthel.
Meyer-Berthel earned her degree in education from UGA in 1994, but notes that she has not taught early childhood education as originally planned. She spent time working in a non-profit organization for a number of years after college, in addition to teaching classes at a community college. She later went on to earn a Master of Fine Arts (MFA) degree from the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2002.
“It was more of the extracurricular courses I took at Georgia that shaped my interests,” Meyer-Berthel said. “I took some amazing art classes there and would love to return to get an MA in Art History if the doors ever opened.”
Meyer-Berthel has not made a trip back to Athens since 1997, but she remarks how she often thinks about Georgia volleyball and even dreams about it.
“Mostly, I dream about forgetting my uniform before a big game,” Meyer-Berthel said. “I want those athletes to walk away from college feeling confident that they gave back to their school and made it better. I want to think that our volleyball team from 1991-94 made a mark on the school and our peers at the time. I’d love for the current players to feel that UGA gave them what they needed as a person and a student, too.”
Meyer-Berthel reflects fondly upon her time spent as a student-athlete at UGA, but perhaps some of her most favorite memories come from the team camaraderie and the gratitude and respect she felt for her teammates as both athletes and as friends.
“The thing is, I didn’t know myself or them as well as I know some of them now,” said Meyer-Berthel.
In addition to maintaining friendships and ties with her former teammates after college, Meyer-Berthel also moved to Bainbridge, N.Y., where she currently resides with her husband, William Berthel, Jr., and their 20-month-old son, William. She works from home as a social media developer and blogger, in addition to maintaining her passion for art by continuing to paint.
On top of balancing both her family life and her professional commitments, Meyer-Berthel and her husband are currently renovating their Victorian home. A blog chronicling their renovation process, complete with photos of furniture and landscaping, is available at 60westmain.com.
Meyer-Berthel attributes much of her post-graduate success to the lessons and experiences that she learned from while playing volleyball and attending school at Georgia.
“Athletics at UGA gave me great insight into the professional working world, but I didn’t know it at the time,” said Meyer-Berthel. “I still look back on what our coaches taught us about how to work hard and how to handle both reward and loss.”
Although Meyer-Berthel is now busy with her career and her family commitments in New York, she will always reflect fondly upon the ways in which her time at Georgia helped prepare her for the future.
“I loved becoming my own person at Georgia and deciding which path to take,” noted Meyer-Berthel. “I was involved with Campus Crusade at the time, and I’m still friends with some of those people. I’m even closer with some of the friends that I made while living on campus and eating in Snelling (Dining Hall).”
Meyer-Bethel continues to root on the Bulldog volleyball team, even from New York, and she offers these words of advice to her fellow Georgia volleyball players: “Enjoy it all! College is just a mere second of life, so soak it up and enjoy it. Give your best and as much as you can.”
Full Name: Karyn Meyer-Berthel
Hometown: Clemson, South Carolina
Favorite Hobbies: Reading, baking, gardening and volunteering at the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals) for fun
Favorite UGA Volleyball Memories: Team camaraderie
Favorite Vacation Spot: St. Lucia for her honeymoon (“It was just a beautiful place with wonderful people,” notes Meyer-Berthel.)
Three Proudest Accomplishments: A great marriage, a sweet son and living in her dream home. (Said Meyer-Berthel, “I still have a long way to go, though. I have lots to accomplish, but little time to do so.”)