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Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by David Bruno

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by David Bruno

WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the fifth annual NCAA Division III Week (April 4-10) 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 two 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. Interviews were conducted by the Gallaudet Sports Information Office.

Junior David Bruno (Patchogue, N.Y.) recently completed his second season with the swimming and diving team. He is on track to graduate with a degree in social work in 2018, and recently was named Student Body Government Vice President. 

In My Own Words: David Bruno

David Bruno headshot What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
DB: Commitment is important. You really have to learn how to balance your different commitments, school, social life, and commitment to your sports team. You have to learn how to prioritize, to commit your body and commit your mind. What it means to be a student-athlete is stepping out of your comfort zone. If you want to improve and grow, not only in sports, but in school too. They both overlap, you get double the experience.

What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
DB: Gallaudet University is a small school, you are more recognized for your contribution to sports. That is cool, more people know you are involved with a sports team. Again it’s a small school, compared to a big school when you join a team and you meet new faces of people you’ve never seen before. Here you will meet them and you will see them around campus. I grew up going to a public school then the last two years I went to a deaf school. I really resisted playing sports growing up, then when I got to my deaf school I became more interested. I didn’t have to have an interpreter with me all the time because all of the coaches could sign. So, I finally got the chance to catch-up and enjoy athletics. Now here at Gallaudet, I saw swimming and I was fascinated  the coach could sign, not many colleges have coaches who can give direct communication, often that’s not the case. Here I can sign and understand what to do to improve. It is direct, on a personal level with the coach, not through an interpreter where you feel a disconnect, here I have a relationship with the coach. 

What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
DB: It’s really hard to think about leaving Gallaudet, there is no other place like Gallaudet. My goal is to get my master's degree, then join the Peace Corps. I have options I’m looking at in a really non-traditional approach. Most people graduate and then look for a job. I’m trying to find out what the world has in mind for me.

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 men’s swim team influence those changes and impact your performance in the classroom?
DB: I was not an athlete growing up so when I came started here it was overwhelming for me. I pushed my limits, I was scared, I wanted to take care of myself but I had to persevere. I was frustrated but it was a very personal growth for me. After the first year, I improved and in the second year I was named captain of the team. That gave me the opportunity to learn about what I’m doing for the team. If any issues show up, I address them between the coach and the team to help solve any problems. That gave me an opportunity to help lead the team.

If you’re thinking about taking that step out of your comfort zone go ahead and do it! One day in the future you might look back and think "what if..." The swim team is always welcoming new members even if you’ve never swam before, if you have any skill level you’re welcome, come on. 

Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know that Division III student-athletes have a graduation rate approximately five percent higher than the overall student body.

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
Wednesday: David Bruno (Men's Swimming and Diving) | Jennifer Livengood (Women's Soccer)
Tuesday: Chase Magsig (Baseball) | Kevlasha Humphrey (Women's Cross Country)
Monday: Vicente Perez (Men's Cross Country) | Taylor Mickelson (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-2016. 

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 www.gallaudet.edu.