WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the fourth annual NCAA Division III Week (April 6-12) in an effort to celebrate the impact athletics and Bison student-athletes have on our campus and surrounding community. GU is joining nearly 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 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.
Junior Brianna Stroud-Williams (Tucker, Ga.) has been a member of the women’s swimming and diving team for three years and is on track to graduate in May 2016 with a degree in Biology.
In My Own Words: Brianna Stroud-Williams
What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
BSW: Being a student-athlete has taught me a lot. I learned how to balance school, sports and work at the same time. It gave me some obstacles that I have to learn how to overcome, like when I tore my shoulder during a swim season, I had to learn how to swim with an injured shoulder before I had surgery to fix it. It also gave me the motivation to keep up with my grades and improve my swimming.
What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
BSW: I love it! Gallaudet has taught me how to appreciate deaf culture even more. I grew up attending a mainstream school and never had the chance to attend a deaf school. I never had any deaf teammates or any coaches who could sign. I always had to communicate through writing or gestures to understand my swim sets. I wanted to experience living in a deaf world 24/7. It was a culture shock when I first came here, I wasn’t used to not having to write or gesture. It took me some time to get used to using sign language for any sports because I grew up relying on writing and reading lips for any sports that I was involved in when I was younger.
How have you seen yourself change over the past three years since you have been here at Gallaudet? How has being a member of the women’s swim team influenced those changes and impacted your performance in the classroom?
BSW: I became more confident over the years and I learned what I can and can't do. Being on the swim team helped me to learn what I can do or can't do when I had a torn shoulder. It also helped to boost my confidence. The confidence helped me to become a great team captain to my swim team this season. Knowing what I can do helped me in the classroom, it pushes me to ask my teachers when I don’t understand something.
Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know Division III is the NCAA's largest division with 40% of total membership.
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.