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Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by Rett Jala

D3 Week Graphic - Rett Jala (Men's Swimming)

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.

Sophomore Rett Jala (McAllen, Texas) is a two-year letterwinner on the Bison men's swimming and diving team. Jala is a psychology major and is slated to graduate in 2021.

What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
RJ: As a student-athlete, it is very challenging for me. The biggest challenge is my own race, but the most important thing is I am working on my education and sport, I like the feel of having serious challenges. As a freshman, I joined the swimming team to have a new experience.

What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
RJ: Being a student-athlete is important to me because I feel inspired in the teamwork and support I have here at Gallaudet. I always feel happy with my teammates because they always push me to do my best and never give up.

What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
RJ: After I graduate, my plan is to earn a Ph.D. or masters degree in psychology. Also, I have two minors, one in family studies and the other is writing.

How do you prepare for a swim meet? Is there anything you feel being apart of this team that has impacted your life?
RJ: Before the meet, I have to eat healthy and stretch therefore I will feel ready for the challenge of competing against the other team. Sometimes, I am nervous, but I always have a positive mindset, and my squad encourages, supports, as well as motivates me to beat the other team. I love the motivation with my teammates always cheering each other up and having fun.

Division III Week Fact of the Day
NCAA Division III schools have added over 800 teams in the past 10 years.

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
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