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Divsion III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by Joseph Mendis

D3 Week Graphic - Joseph Mendis (Football)

WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the eighth annual NCAA Division III Week (April 1-7) in an effort to celebrate the impact athletics and Bison student-athletes have on our campus and the 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 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.

Freshman Joseph Mendis (Brook Park , Ohio) finished his first year with the Bison football team. Mendis, who is currently undeclared, is on track to graduate in 2023.

In My Own Words: Joseph Mendis

What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
JM: To be a student-athlete in college is like having a job. You are required to attend to everything related to your college sport but your education takes priority over sports. It is a lot of hard work to be a student-athlete in college.

What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
JM: Being a student-athlete at Gallaudet University is a lot of hard work. Being able to fit in school work and sports requires time management and patience. But overall, it is fun to be a student-athlete but it requires a lot of time and dedication.

What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
JM: My goals after graduation are to either attend graduate school and earn my master's degree or go straight to work right after college and once I am set, attend graduate school and earn my master's.

What does it mean to you being in a signing environment?
JM: I feel blessed to be in a signing environment. I have full access to communication and my language. This access allows me to fully immerse myself and become a part of Gallaudet University's community.

Division III Week Fact of the Day
Division III schools have more than 192,000 student-athletes participating in NCAA competitions (+31,000 compared to 10 years ago).

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words

Thursday: Joesph Mendis (Football) | Sharon Castillo (Women’s Soccer)
Wednesday: Kai Christenberry (Men's Track) | Elizabeth Stern (Softball)
Tuesday: Cameron Upton (Baseball) | Taylor Nguyen (Women's Cross Country)
Monday: Rett Jala (Men’s Swimming) | Juliana Bahan (Women's Basketball)

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