To help focus on the many student-athletes that represent Gallaudet athletics we will spotlight a different student-athlete each day this week. You will learn more about them as they express their feelings on what it is like to be a Division III student-athlete here at Gallaudet.
Senior Leslye Kang (Wayne, N.J.) has been a member of the Gallaudet women’s basketball team for four seasons while also lettering in football and women's track and field. She is expected to graduate this May.
In My Own Words: Leslye Kang
What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
LK: I went to a mainstream high school with a deaf program that had about 50 students. After school there were different sports, but most of the deaf students didn’t play because they lived far and had to travel back and forth. I was the only one who lived close, so I was lucky. I had an interpreter and it was mostly good but sometimes it was tough, I did have communication barriers. It was still a good program they understood Deaf Culture and that was nice. Here at Gallaudet, this is a deaf campus and I was never in a deaf school in my life. When I entered I was overhwlemed because it was all American Sign Language (ASL), before I used SEE and a little bit of ASL. But, I learned it and didn’t need an interpreter because everyone signed, the coaches all signed. I wasn’t used to that. The athletes are all from deaf schools or mainstream schools or were th only deaf student in a mainstream school. It’s a mix and it’s nice to know their experience and their life and everyone signs and it’s easy to communicate. I thought I was the only one in the world, but I’m not, now I’m here and when we’re all together we can all communicate.
What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
LK: Being a student and an athlete I have to manage my time and my schedule. I can’t have even one screw up or everything will be pushed back and I can get behind. With school and everything you have to plan, I have study tables so I can catch up on my homework, plus finding time to hang out with my friends. My priority is sports, of course school is first. It goes family, school, sports and friends are last. Everyone supports me and I sit down with my coaches to make sure everything is perfect. It feels good because they all support me. Some of my teammates are my classmates and we have the same homework, I’m never the only one. I try to stick with my schedule, sometimes it’s not perfect, I can be a little bit lazy, but I’m motivated in school because it’s important to me and it’s important to graduate this May.
You’ve played multiple sports here at Gallaudet as well as working with the Athletic Trainers. How do you balance these commitments while focusing on your school work and still being active on campus?
LK: Really with everything, athletic training, school, friends and sports, I have to find motivation and passion and make sure I have a good resume for athletic training for my future. I still have to manage my time and my schedule and make sure I communicate with the athletic trainers. I give Mariko Kobanawa (Head Athletic Trainer) my schedule and she matches everything up for me. I have to make sure I finish all of my homework, I can’t do it all last minute, if it gets pushed back sometimes I’m up all night. If I’m exhausted that’s not good. I have to rest. My class requires 30 hours for athletic training. I wanted to figure it out how to make it work early. I will be crazy busy through April. I have to put my friends on hold for a month and get all of my hours and get everything done.
Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know that Division III student-athletes are more likely to report that they see themselves as part of the campus community.
Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
Wednesday: Todd Collins (Football) | Lindsay Corthell (Women's Track and Field)
Tuesday: John Isaacson (Men's Track and Field) | Kristi Luna (Softball)
Monday: Todd Bonheyo (Men's Basketball) | Brianna Stroud-Williams (Women's Swimming and Diving)
About Division III Week
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. For more information log onto www.ncaa.org/about/division-iii-week-2015.
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world. For more information about Gallaudet University please log onto www.gallaudet.edu.