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University Communications Q&A with student-athlete, Jenny Mendis

University Communications Q&A with student-athlete, Jenny Mendis

What's your major, and what are your plans after graduation?

I’m currently majoring in chemistry and will be going into my fifth year next year. After graduating, I would like to either go to graduate school in deaf education to receive my master’s degree, or take a year off and work for a year, then head straight to a Ph.D. program in the chemistry field, or finally head to a school which specializes in forensics and/or criminology. I haven’t decided just yet, but I would like to pursue either of these three future plans.

How do you feel about your senior softball season being cut off due to COVID-19?

After learning that our softball season was ending due to COVID-19, I was very disappointed as it was my final year to play. Gallaudet softball was off to its best start in seven years as the Bison began the 2020 campaign with a perfect 5-0 record. I was looking forward to finishing the season with a bang, so of course I was heartbroken. However, on the positive side, the NCAA has granted student-athletes another year of eligibility to play, and I felt lucky enough to be granted another year to play during my fifth year. Fortunately, there is a silver lining with the COVID-19 pandemic.

What's the toughest thing about being a student-athlete?

Being a student-athlete can be tough sometimes. I juggled so many commitments along with my academics and athletics. Along with softball, this season I worked four jobs, I was a full-time student taking five courses, I was vice-president of the Student Athlete Advisory Committee, I was the drummer in the Bison Song team, I had an internship within the chemistry lab, and I was part of a sorority. It seems like a lot but I was able to manage it. I always made sure to take time for self-care throughout the busy week. At first, it was tough, but over time it eased up as I knew what to do each day and was able to spread out my schedule throughout the week. A tip for students—always be sure to find time for self-care/yourself and learn which time or schedule management works for you/ Do that and you will succeed!

What's the most rewarding thing about benign a student-athlete?

The most rewarding thing about being a student-athlete is the experience! I learned so much more about softball than I did while growing up. I didn’t have an interpreter most of the time while playing sports in primary and secondary school. I missed out on a lot of information and concepts due to difficulties in communication between myself and my coaches and teammates. I would be just a “follower,” following the drills and plays without fully understanding the purpose behind them. When I entered Gallaudet under a Deaf coach, it opened a whole new world for me. I understood and learned so much from being on the team. There were no communication barriers, and I was able to ask questions and learn more through sign language.  

I would like to express my gratitude and appreciation to my head coach, Justen Burns, for his hard work and passionate contributions to the softball team. If it wasn't for Justen, I wouldn't be here playing, and I wouldn’t have learned as much as I did. Thank you, Coach Burns, for teaching me with your passion and knowledge of the sport of softball!

Posted by Darrius Doe | Posted May 8, 2020 at 2:13 PM

Gallaudet

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Washington, DC 20002

Gallaudet

800 Florida Avenue NE
Washington, DC 20002