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Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by Darriyan Thomas

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by Darriyan Thomas

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.

Freshman Darriyan Thomas (Vallejo, Calif.) is a member of the women’s volleyball team that went to the NCAA tournament for a fifth straight year after winning a fifth consecutive North Eastern Athletic Conference.

In My Own Words: Darriyan Thomas

What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
DT: It’s a lot of pressure. You have to focus on school and sports and it’s not really easy for me to always manage my time. I have to make sure I get my homework done and make it to practice. Sometimes I have to go back and do my homework after because I have something due the next day and I have to work hard to get it finished so I can keep up with my good grades.

What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
DT: When I was in high school it was really easy, I had school all day then went to practice then I was finished. Now I have individual workouts or practice at night, so my schedule is different. Sometimes I’ll have practice in the mornings or individual training. It’s a lot more pressure than high school. This is definitely a different experience for me.

This is your first year at Gallaudet, can you tell us how being a member of the women’s volleyball team influenced you and tell us about your experience as being a freshman and playing in the NCAA first round tournament?
DT: Being part of the team is like sister bonding, we work together, it’s a lot of teamwork. The first round of the NCAA tournament was one of the most challenging experiences for me as a freshman. I had never experienced something like that at the collegiate level. I wasn’t used to the environment, I made a lot of errors and it was really frustrating. Hopefully, I will get a chance to do better next time.

Division III Week Fact of the Day

Did you know Division III student-athletes are more likely to report "leadership potential" as an important consideration in choosing a career.

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
Sunday: Darriyan Thomas (Women's Volleyball)
Saturday: Neal Matthews (Men's Cross Country) | Sofia Lindevall (Women's Soccer)
Friday: Abdiel Davila-Cruz (Men's Swimming) | Ivy Sahneyah (Women's Cross Country)
Thursday: Mitchell Bensman (Baseball) | Leslye Kang (Women's Basketball)
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

About Gallaudet
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