WASHINGTON - Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the sixth annual NCAA Division III Week (April 3-9) in an effort to celebrate the impact athletics and Bison student-athletes have on our campus and surrounding community. GU is joining 450 Division III institutions and 43 conferences in this week's celebration.
To help focus on the many student-athletes that represent Gallaudet athletics we will spotlight different student-athletes each day of the 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. Interviews were conducted by the Gallaudet Sports Information Office.
Junior Faye Frez-Albrecht (Canton, Conn.) recently completed her third season with the women's swimming and diving team. She is on track to graduate in May 2018 with a degree in physical education and recreation.
In My Own Words: Faye Frez-Albrecht
What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
FFA: Being a student-athlete in college made a huge difference for me. Being in college is about learning about yourself and exploring the outside world. Being an athlete in college gave me a deeper exploration in learning about myself. As a freshman, I came here as a very shy and quiet person. Now, I am getting louder and louder every day as I came out of the comfort zone. Being a student-athlete in college can also be tough because of academics and other commitments. I had to learn to manage my time and set my priorities.
What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
FFA: Being a student-athlete at Gallaudet University is a challenge for me as I have low vision. I had to find a way to communicate with the swimmers and coaches as it's difficult for me to see in the distance and in certain lighting. Fortunately, my amazing teammates were always willing to interpret for me. My team always looked after me to ensure that I didn't feel left out even during the off-season. I felt connected to my team as if they were my family.
What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
FFA: My goal after graduation is to become an athletic trainer. My first choice would be at Gallaudet University and Model Secondary School for the Deaf but I am open to other opportunities out there related to athletic training. I am also hoping to travel outside of the country more often and explore the around the world.
Can you tell us about what this experience has been like for you and how being a member of the swimming and diving program has influenced and impacted your performance in the classroom?
FFA: Being on the swim team gave me an advantage with my major, physical education and recreation. This benefited me in the classroom since several physical education classes focused on skills and performance. Thanks to being on the swim team, I am able to understand and explain the concepts of skills and performance in the classes. Also, being on the swim team kept me in shape for physical activities in the classroom.
How was this years' North Eastern Athletic Conference (NEAC) championships different with the new starting system and how does it feel to have initiated a change to make swimming more accessible to deaf and heard of hearing individuals?
FFA: With the new starting system, everything is different and it's more accessible. It's great that deaf and hard of hearing swimmers now can start at the same time as other swimmers. Before the new system was installed, the deaf and hard of hearing swimmers had to turn their heads to the side to see the referee and then turn their heads back to neutral before they dove into the water. It's still unbelievable that changed simply because of the vlog I posted on Facebook. It was unexpected. I was nervous to post it but I'm glad I did. It's worth it and it made a huge difference.
Division III Week Fact of the Day
NCAA Division III offers 11 different women's sports, all of them, have average graduation rates over 90 percent.
Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words
Tuesday: Conrad Baer (Mens Soccer) | Faye Frez-Albrecht (Womens Swimming and Diving)
Monday: Cody Crace (Men's Basketball) | Neha Balachandran (Women's Soccer)
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 campus and the 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 http://www.ncaa.org/about/division-iii-week-2017.
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.