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 Taylor Mickelson (Fargo, N.D.) recently finished her third season on the women’s swimming and diving team. She is on track to graduate with a major in Mathematics and a minor in Chemistry in May 2017.
In My Own Words: Taylor Mickelson
What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
TM: Being a student-athlete in college is a valuable experience. This opportunity is special. It allows me to meet unique people who have the same passions as me. As a student-athlete with one hand, I am honored to be able to compete and be able to show my coaches that I can be a valuable part of the team. The journey of being a student-athlete is challenging which demands high-reaching achievement, time management and responsibility. As a swimmer and diver, it was a tremendous moment to be part of both teams and to own a different perspective in and out of the pool.
What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
TM: At Gallaudet University, I am proud to be a student-athlete. I am part of Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) where every student from each sport makes a big difference such as developing the awareness to the importance of supporting our teams at Gallaudet University. Also, I am a SAAC representative for Student Body Government (SBG). We proudly represent Gallaudet University. Truly, we are very competitive but we are also humble. We believe in ourselves, teamwork, and also a strong work ethic.
What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
TM: After graduation, I would like to go to graduate school and earn a Masters of Science in mechanical engineering. Teaching is my other passion. I would also love to become a teacher of Mathematics someday. In my future, I hope to be a part of the Blue Angels Team and to be able to prove that deaf can do anything including becoming a fighter pilot.
How has being at Gallaudet helped shape you and what would you say to anyone who might have the same differences that you do?
TM: Imagine someone is signing to me, “I want you to be on our Gallaudet Diving team.” I never felt so wonderful that someone, who is my coach for three years, gave me an opportunity for me to speak for myself. It means a lot to me that we have a clear understanding of how communication is important and to be on the same page. At Gallaudet, there are many opportunities to be involved in sports and activities because there is no blockage because there are no interpreters. It helped me to be more confident and strong. It allowed me to stand up and share my voice.
Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know that 79,311 (42%) women compete in Division III sports, and 212,474 (43%) compete NCAA overall.
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.
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.