Danielle & Isabella Henning

Danielle & Isabella Henning

Marketing and Mechanical Engineering Technology Majors

The 2002 made-for-television movie Double Teamed tells the true-life story of Heather and Heidi Burge – twin sisters who were drafted into the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) in the league’s infancy years. The sisters made history by competing in the same sport. As the movie demonstrates, the sisters were competitive in high school, but throughout the journey, their sisterly bond was strengthened.

Perhaps Danielle and Isabella Henning know what that’s like. The twin sisters—who are Sycamore seniors hailing from Owensboro, Kentucky—enrolled at Indiana State University and joined the University’s softball team – where they have competed as teammates, not opponents, for four years.

In the classroom, the sisters pursue differing disciplines. Danielle is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in marketing with a concentration in sales. Isabella is earning a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering technology.

“Danielle is my twin sister and from day one, we have always been by each other’s side. I think there is always a little bit of competition between the two of us, but it goes unspoken. We will give each other a hard time, but she is always the first one to recognize my success, as I do for her, as well,” Isabella comments.

“I want Isabella to succeed as much as she wants me to succeed,” Danielle adds. “We push each other to be better and always have each other’s backs. It has been so much fun to have someone on the field I can always count on and talk to when I need it.”

Two softball players on a softball field. On the left is a white female with dark brown hair. On the right is a white female with light brown hair. They wear black softball uniforms and hold blue and white softball mitts and softballs. The woman on the left is throwing the ball up in the air.

Danielle (left) and Isabella (right) Henning

At eight years old, the twins began playing youth softball, encouraged by their parents. Isabella plays first base and outfield while Danielle is a utility player with the ability to play every position as needed. The Sycamores have contributed to the success of Indiana State’s softball team. In four years, Isabella has scored 122 runs, hit 28 home runs, and batted in 122 runs. In Danielle’s softball career, she has scored 77 runs, knocked two home runs, and batted in 50 runs.

“Softball has brought me so many friendships and opportunities that I will always be thankful for. Indiana State’s softball team has been so much fun these four years. It has taught me more about myself with the ups and downs, but I will always remember the fun I have had with my teammates and sister,” says Isabella.

The sisters, who earned All-Missouri Valley Conference First Team honors, also care deeply about their academics. Both are members of Indiana State’s Honors College, and both were named to the MVC Scholar-Athlete Team. The Sycamores appreciate Indiana State’s small class sizes and one-on-one mentoring from professors. During their first college visit to campus, they knew Indiana State had a close-knit community, a “small-town feel,” and the academic resources for success.

“My professors were very helpful in preparing me for my future,” Danielle says. She acknowledges the Scott College of Business for hands-on learning and networking with business professionals. She remarks, “In my Principles of Marketing class, we had the opportunity to plan and market an event in the Terre Haute community. My group hosted a Christmas market with different vendors and food trucks. It was a great experience, and I learned a lot.”

Eventually, Danielle hopes to have a career in medical sales or sports marketing. Because of her history with softball, she wants to help other athletes and organizations succeed, but she also has experience in medical sales through internships. These include the Advanced Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine [in Owensboro, Kentucky], where she interacted with patients, doctors, and other medical assistants; Arthrex, a global medical device company where she job-shadowed medical sales representatives; and Rexel USA, a distribution company responsible for electrical, heating, lighting, and plumbing equipment.

“I’m passionate about making a positive impact on people’s lives. In these fields, I hope to do that every day and help make people’s lives better,” she comments.

A white female with dark brown hair standing on a softball field with her arms crossed. She wears a black softball uniform.

Danielle Henning

Even though the sisters are pursuing different degrees, they have enjoyed similar opportunities inside and outside the classroom. For Isabella, professors in the Bailey College of Engineering and Technology have mentored her through the different stages of determining the right engineering field for her future career. Like her sister, Isabella is passionate about helping people and plans to pursue an engineering career at a medical device company after obtaining a graduate degree in biomedical engineering.

“Medical devices are very important for the health and rehabilitation of individuals. With my engineering degree, I will work to innovate and design medical devices in the healthcare system. My goal is to design healthcare devices to enhance an individual’s life,” Isabella explains.

This passion was enriched with an internship at the Advanced Center for Orthopedics and Sports Medicine, where she worked in the same medical center as her sister but had an entirely different internship experience. Isabella assisted X-ray technicians and other medical assistants, which showed her the day-to-day applications and devices used in orthopedics practice.

“This will help me in my future career, as I was able to see medical devices that were used in practice. Seeing the need and the use of medical devices will help me in the future when I work in this field,” Isabella comments.

A white female with light brown hair with her arms crossed, standing on a softball field. She wears a black softball uniform.

Isabella Henning

It may seem that Danielle and Isabella have shared many common interests and pathways in life. From playing softball to working at the same internship, the twins have been like the proverbial “two peas in a pod.” And they talk to each other about their problems, Isabella says.

“She understands what I’m going through. These memories will be something we remember forever,” she says.

Now it’s time for the twins to choose new paths. With graduation right around the corner, the Henning sisters are spreading their wings and leaving The Forest – possibly flying off in separate directions. Although, as they well know, they are forever connected – as athletes, as dreamers wanting to make a difference, as sisters, and finally, as Sycamores.

Two softball players on a softball field. On the left is a white female with dark brown hair. On the right is a white female with light brown hair. They wear black softball uniforms and hold blue and white softball mitts.

Danielle (left) and Isabella (right) Henning