Stuck in Canada

By: Rachel Anderson ’17, Staff Writer

The women’s ice hockey team is currently playing without a full-time head coach.

This past fall, Lebanon Valley College introduced a women’s ice hockey team staffed with head coach Isabel Menard.

However, Menard has been unable to be with the team because of a visa complication with the United States. Menard resides in Canada and must receive a work visa to be able to be employed in the U.S. Since she does not have a work visa, Menard has yet to be paid for her coaching services.

“Coach Menard came to LVC with great intentions of building our team and program to be strong and competitive,” Nikki Lloyd, a junior forward on the hockey team, said. “Every player has grown in both senses on-and-off the ice since her first day at the College.”

Menard attended Syracuse University before transferring to Boston University, where she was named a Hockey East Second Team All-Star both junior and senior year. After college, Menard coached and played professional hockey in Switzerland.

When Menard traveled back to Canada during the College’s Thanksgiving break, boarder control realized Menard did not have a work visa. Therefore, the U.S. boarder control denied her access to work in or return to the country. This means the women’s ice hockey team has been and remains unable to work with Menard.

Ann Hayes, senior director of human resources and Title IX coordinator, and Rick Beard, director of athletics, remain in regular contact with Menard.

“As soon as we receive Coach Menard’s visa approval, she’ll be back on the ice,” Hayes said. “We hope to hear something in the next few weeks.”

The College has applied for the H-1B visa through the United States Immigration Service. The H-1B visa allows Untied States employers to temporarily employ foreign workers.

“If Coach Menard’s H-1B visa isn’t approved, we will consult with our immigration attorney to see if we have other options for approval,” Hayes said. “We are very much looking forward to Coach Menard’s visa approval.”

Currently, Don Parsons, director of ice hockey operations and head men’s ice hockey coach, is coaching the team. Parsons recruited this class of hockey players so he is already familiar with the skaters.

When Parsons is traveling with the men’s ice hockey team, Joey Lye, LVC’s head softball coach; Sean Haltam, a volunteer assistant coach; and Stacey Hollinger, associate director of athletics, help assist and travel with the team.  

“Even with Coach Menard being in Canada for the past two months, Coach Parsons and Coach Lye have kept Coach Menard’s systems and standards, which will make her return easy for all,” Lloyd said. “Our team is very thankful to have them.”

The team remains in contact with Menard through facetime and group messages.

La Vie reached out to Menard who referred us to Hayes; La Vie will continue to follow the outcome of the H-1B application.