Alternate content for script Text Only VersionSkip to Main Content

Life of Student-Athletes at Rosemont

 

Rosemont Ravens logo

“What is your experience as a Rosemont College
student-athlete?”

Conversations with Lynn Rothenhoefer, director of athletics and Six Student-Athletes.

 

Athletics is a big part of the college experience. Take, for example, the recent talk of Philadelphia college football – Temple University versus Notre Dame University at Lincoln Financial Field. It’s not the size of the game or the sport being played, however, it’s what it does for the college community and how it shapes the experiences of those involved. College athletics has been inextricably linked to the educational experience since the meeting of rowing teams from Harvard and Yale Universities in 1852. Because of inconsistent regulations, President Theodore Roosevelt convened two meetings in March 1906 consisting of 62 higher-education institutions forming the Intercollegiate Athletic Association of the United States (IAAUS), and took its present name, the NCAA, in 1910. This organization was developed to provide consistency of rules and regulate many areas surrounding sports and their participants.

As the athletic director at Rosemont College for more than 12 years, I have seen many changes in all facets of intercollegiate athletics and sports in general. Not the least of which is the change in student-athletes: how to coach them, what they want their experience to be, and achieving desired outcomes.

I recently had conversations with six current Rosemont student-athletes about the challenges they face, the experiences they’re having, how athletics fits into their life, and what skills and tools they are gaining for the future. I asked each of the student-athletes the same six questions.

 

Nadirah Anderson, an African American female athlete

Harriton H.S./Lansdowne, PA, Women’s basketball and volleyball

What do you like most about your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete?

One thing that was very clear from my conversation with Nadirah was her love of a challenge. As a matter of fact that is what she cited that she likes most about her experience as a Rosemont student-athlete. Working to balance her time pushes her to work to be the best student-athlete she can be, and what motivates her is the good feeling she gets from being able to do it all.

How do you feel athletics enhances the Rosemont College community? How do you feel your college experience would have differed if you were not a student-athlete?

As a small school there are not a lot of large scale activities that go on. Nadirah believes that athletics enhances the Rosemont community by bringing all constituencies of the campus and community together. If she was not a student-athlete she states that she would have a lot more time on her hands, would probably get a job on campus, and be all about books.  None of those are necessarily bad things but having that athletic experience provides a break for her by being a part of something on campus fun and competitive.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from a win or loss?

One of the greatest lessons Nadirah has learned has helped her focus on something that she recognizes does not come naturally to her and that is win or lose–time on the bench or on the court–never give up, and continuously strive to be positive. Be a positive voice to help lift people up and it will help you to feel good about yourself and your contributions. She also states that the hard work put into winning is so satisfying.

What are the challenges facing Rosemont Athletics and/or Rosemont student-athletes?

Nadirah believes most to all student-athletes are challenged with trying to keep up their grades while participating in athletics without getting stressed out.  As far as overall athletics, she felt that since Rosemont is small it is very much a family atmosphere; however, every family has its challenges and disagreements.  There is the constant challenge of being positive, dropping attitudes and working for one another.

What skills/tools from your experience as a student-athlete do you feel you will be applying to impact you the most?

The skills and tools Nadirah cited are one’s that will definitely be useful moving on throughout her time at Rosemont and into the future.  It returns to staying positive: be nice to the right people and no using others, keep your head up regardless of the situation, and the “count to 10 method” she uses.  In those 10 seconds, use the first three to calm down, the next three to contain and control, and in the last four seconds bring yourself back up to a better starting point.  In other words: “breath, get your head right, and let’s get back into it.”

What is an interesting point from your background and what did it bring to the Rosemont College community?

From her background, Nadirah talked about her strong and independent nature.  It often is a challenge to work together with that “fiery attitude” first, but ultimately coming together to find the best in both individuals and teams brings everyone to the highest competitive level.

Destiny Castro, a woman of color female athlete on the grey turf field

KIPP University Prep/San Antonio, TX, Women’s soccer

What do you like most about your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete?

The first and a very important piece that her experience afforded her specifically as a fall student-athlete is that she was able to be here early and had time to acquaint herself to campus and collaborate with other teams on campus early.  The experience of having teammates, making those friends and then being introduced to their friends help build an atmosphere where she never felt alone; and always felt a part of something.

How do you feel athletics enhances the Rosemont College community? How do you feel your college experience would have differed if you were not a student-athlete?

Athletics enhances the Rosemont community by pulling people together to share something in common.  It almost becomes the “talk of the community,” and as a student-athlete is asked a lot about the team, competitions, how the seasons going and the like.  It affords an opportunity to talk to people you may not know and invite them to an event on campus.  If she was not a student-athlete, Destiny believes her experience would have been more individual.  Likely she would have been homesick, but this keeps her busy and keeps her mind going. She wouldn’t have made nearly as many friends, and athletics gives her a reason and positive motivation to work hard in the classroom as well.

What is the greatest lesson you have learned from a win or loss?

In her early career here at Rosemont, she recounted how the team had gotten off to a rough start. There was a large incoming class (freshmen & transfers) and there were early and significant injuries so individual issues arose. Team bonding activities at the time seemed more as time fillers until she learned when you are pressed, that time together becomes far more important. Destiny recalled the senior game this year when she really took notice that everyone had a common goal – “do it for the seniors” – and when the outcome was positive everyone realized that they should all play for each other equally – do what you have to do to help each other in order to all be successful.

What are the challenges facing Rosemont Athletics and/or Rosemont student-athletes?

For Destiny, she recognized the challenge of competing at a different level.  From club or high school, moving at the speed and talent of the college game and finding ways to contribute.  She also noted that many players have to work to control socially accepted norms in college (i.e. partying, good habits, associations, etc.)

 What skills/tools from your experience as a student-athlete do you feel you will be applying to impact you the most?

Certainly the skills and tools she has observed from upperclassmen, especially teammates, in balancing commitments to self and others in academics and sports she sees as an important and useful lesson, and contributes to overall success.

What is an interesting point from your background and what did it bring to the Rosemont College community?

A unique part of Destiny’s background came out when a friend from home in Texas commented on a posted picture of the team, “Wow, you are the only Mexican there!”  It had not occurred to Destiny until she went back and looked at her team and realized how “dark” she was in comparison.  I felt for a moment this was going to be an awkward part of our conversation, but she stated two important pieces from this: she hadn’t felt out of place or “different” in any bad way, and perhaps her teammates noticed some of her background differences and had been asking her things like – “how do you say such & such in Spanish” and she noticed that it opened the door for others that had known each other for some time to talk about their backgrounds and all had a closer knowledge and acceptance of their experiences and upbringings.

Kaushik Dhanyamraju, a male athlete of color, on the grey turf field

Monroe Township H.S./Monroe, NJ, Men’s soccer and tennis

What do you like most about your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete?

Like many fall student-athletes and getting right into things early in their overall experience or in each academic year, Kaushik likes best of his experience as a Rosemont student-athlete with his ability to immediately be a part of the community. In his first year, it certainly provided him with the ability to more easily transition into the Rosemont community and college as a whole. You get the chance to ingrain yourself with the team and the campus community.

How do you feel athletics enhances the Rosemont College community? How do you feel your college experience would have differed if you were not a student-athlete?

 Kaushik thought that the Rosemont community was enhanced through athletics by bringing people together. Not just that they show up in the same location but that people who may not normally engage with one another getting the chance to not only do so but to also build relationships: for instance, teammates and coaches, fans and administrators, families and professors on the sidelines and many others. Had Kaushik not had the experience of being a student-athlete he felt he’d have less of a “personality,” and anyone who knows Kaushik knows of his very contagious personality. He felt he would have had a much harder time finding a group of people with whom to call his “friends.” Kaushik knew he had looked at schools with a much greater traditions of winning, but having had the experience at Rosemont he doesn’t believe he would have felt as strongly about his contributions to the winning he and his teams have experienced. He feels also that if he had not had this experience he would not have developed as much as a person. Access to so many people from varying backgrounds has contributed significantly to that development. The men’s soccer team this year is ironically made up of players from several different South American countries (including head coach, David Carvalho from Brazil), Italy (Sicily), Turkey (Istanbul), and Kaushik of Indian decent.

What is the greatest lesson you learned from a win or loss?

Kaushik felt he learned more from losses in the inherent nature to challenge us as individuals; “There are no easy opportunities in life.” He told me of a quote that a club teammate once told him, “Success isn’t owned. It is leased and rent is due every day.” The unique opportunity of just coming to the college level and being able to compete is a great opportunity to start a new journey and learn new lessons.

What are the challenges facing Rosemont Athletics and/or Rosemont student-athletes?

Athletics challenges focus primarily on not as many people knowing about Rosemont or its athletics programs:  Competing with like institutions that have athletics programs that are far more developed. Student-athletes intrinsic challenges are also noted. “Staying up” after losses and how one reacts to them gives a sense of each person’s character.

What skills/tools from your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete do you feel you will be applying to the rest of your time here and/or beyond graduation?

Time management was clearly the item that Kaushik has and continues to build the skills and tools to handle. He noted the challenge it presents to balance the demands of athletic participation and academic growth. It’s a lot of work but the rewards in meeting the challenge are a continual motivation. He has learned to make a plan for each day as a tool to successfully address the issue of time management.

What is an interesting point from your background and what did it bring to the Rosemont College community?

Kaushik returned to his Indian-American heritage as a point of how his background has influenced his experience as a Rosemont student-athlete. He noted having played high school, travel or club ball for many years with plenty of Indian-Americans; however, he pointed out a specific difference in the path they ultimately traveled. Many of those players had plenty of talent to compete at the college level but chose not to—and in a very respectful way notes that they pursued heavy academic endeavors—sacrificing the opportunity to participate in athletics.  He admitted his pride in his endeavors of pursuing both at a high level and meeting the challenges presented.

Andrea Dossantos, a female, caucasian athlete on the grey turf field

Middletown H.S./Middletown, DE, Women’s soccer and lacrosse

What do you like most about your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete?

Athletics had been such a large part of Andrea’s life and something she loved she wasn’t prepared to give them up and Rosemont afforded the opportunity to continue her sports career after high school. She found the ability to build “family” was easy with her teammates.

How do you feel athletics enhances the Rosemont College community? How do you feel your college experience would have differed if you were not a student-athlete?

The community is enhanced by athletics by pulling us all together—something to rally around—and make people feel better. If she wasn’t a student-athlete she jokingly said, “I’d be fat!” While I doubt that was the most important reason, she added that being a student-athlete helps her manage her time. As a big procrastinator the tighter time commitments force her to get her work done. She claims she would not have been nearly as diligent a student had she not been involved in athletics. 

What is the greatest lesson you learned from a win or loss?

The greatest lesson I have learned is to be humble, which is directly connected to effort. I came to college thinking I was the best out there, but my teams still lose. It makes me realize I need to be out there for my teammates. If I’ve given it my all, and lose, I still have the satisfaction of knowing I put forth my best effort.

What are the challenges facing Rosemont Athletics and/or Rosemont student-athletes?

Rosemont athletics has challenges in filling rosters in all sport offerings. Some teams have made great strides in this area but we need to get all the teams filled with quality student-athletes. As a student-athlete, it’s challenging to accept losses and failures, but they are best used as stepping stones to getting better. Don’t let them consume you.

What skills/tools from your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete do you feel you will be applying to the rest of your time here and/or beyond graduation?

Most important tool is perseverance: not giving up. Give it your all until you reach your goals. Developing skills in dealing with confrontation, and be able to handle it so you come out with effective and useful solutions.

Kyle Lafferty, an African American male athlete

Central H.S./Philadelphia, PA, Men’s basketball

What do you like most about your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete? 

Kyle was very clear of the thing he liked most about his experience as a student-athlete is the appreciation of the freedom he has to express himself athletically provided through hard work on and off the court. 

How do you feel athletics enhances the Rosemont College community? How do you feel your college experience would have differed if you were not a student-athlete?

The great enhancement of athletics for the community comes from the opportunity the community (especially students) has to take a break from work and stress for enjoyment in the experience of spectating and cheering on your team. It can help everyone take their minds off of what is so serious and enjoy the experience of it all.

What is the greatest lesson you learned from a win or loss?

Just like in ‘real life,’ so many games are decided in the last fifteen seconds; playing to the end is critical. My teammates and I have to play the whole game to have an opportunity to win. We get tired and sore and the situation becomes more and more intense. We just play the game as it comes to us, and not allow it to overwhelm us into overthinking. Ultimately we have to deal with the disappointment of putting all that effort in and maybe still not liking the outcome. However, if we didn’t put the work in, the disappointment would come from not giving the team the chance.

What are the challenges facing Rosemont Athletics and/or Rosemont student-athletes?

One of the major challenges facing Rosemont athletics is that there is not an overall popular athletic program historically. It is challenging in the recruiting game and sometimes we have to settle for what we have and deal with that as opposed to dictating what we have and competing. It has worked for Kyle because he is a self-described “easy going” guy that accepts what he has and deals with it, but that does not always work on a larger scale.

What skills/tools from your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete do you feel you will be applying to the rest of your time here and/or beyond graduation?

In academics and athletics, Kyle has adapted a skill for and the ability to want to learn more. Tools for doing so come from the set-up he has seen Coach Bob Hughes use in good advanced preparation and consistency.  Also, he’s learned that to be a “team player” people have to be able to rely on, have faith in, and reciprocate expectations with one another.

What is an interesting point from your background and what did it bring to the Rosemont College community?

Kyle’s last statement to me with respect to his background and how it influenced his experience as a student-athlete at Rosemont was that “(it) the experience provided the opportunity to create bonds he would not have.”  Ironic since he pointed to his record of hard work and being a good student in a “not easy going lifestyle” allowed him to keep going when he’s hit road blocks. He said he follows the philosophy that if someone wants to give him something—OK; if they want to present an opportunity - that’s OK too!

*Kyle’s work ethic, ability to deal with what comes his way, and taking advantage of opportunities is what prompted us to create a Student Game Day Operations Coordinator position. He helps the athletics administration in organizing game staff, sets up most home game facilities, and provides a positive mentor for younger workers.

Stephen Licata, a caucasian male athlete

Baltimore Lutheran School/Towson, MD, Men’s lacrosse

What do you like most about your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete?

Unique to his experience here at Rosemont, Stephen expressed an appreciation for the fact that both professors and coaches are understanding and interested in the success of student-athletes; meaning the success of both academics and athletics.

How do you feel athletics enhances the Rosemont College community? How do you feel your college experience would have differed if you were not a student-athlete?

As a huge supporter of all our athletic programs and a thoroughly engaged student, Stephen is often found on the sidelines of his peer’s games and at many campus events in general. Athletics, he noted, is part of a lot of our undergraduate college experience, like him.  In addition, for those not directly involved in participation of a sport, it creates a rallying point for the creation of the idea of “one Rosemont.” Without athletics as a part of his college educational experience he still believes he would have been in the stands cheering on the teams but he would have had far more time on his hands that would not have been used as constructively. Again, unique to his opportunities at Rosemont, it gave him the great opportunity to play college lacrosse, and make all of the really great friends he has been exposed to and made.

What is the greatest lesson you learned from a win or loss?

In the lessons of his career here, Stephen went back to his sophomore year in a game against CSAC opponent Immaculata University in a game that went back and forth, and found him with an outstanding performance contributing 7 goals, and 3 assists. What stood out to him was regardless of how much contribution one person puts out on a team, and in this case it was him, ALL your teammates are required as it was in this tight game where his teammate scored the winning goal in a play set up for him in the last three-seconds of the game. Not scoring the winning goal did not diminish his contributions but he was cognizant of the fact that if that was all they had they still would have lost the game.

What are the challenges facing Rosemont Athletics and/or Rosemont?

As sports is often a microcosm of society, Stephen pointed out that some of the greatest challenges Rosemont athletics faces is a certain culture that people haven’t bought into yet; not being ready to be something bigger than themselves.  He noted, “It’s good for one team to succeed but we need ALL teams to be successful to succeed overall.”

What skills/tools from your experience as a Rosemont student-athlete do you feel you will be applying to the rest of your time here and/or beyond graduation?

The skills and tools he believes that will be most useful to him from his experience as a Rosemont student-athlete come mostly from working as a team: working well with others, how to be a leader and step up when needed and learning to communicate with your friends under the pressure of being a teammate AND a friend. Much of which he still believes is a work in progress.

What is an interesting point from your background and what did it bring to the Rosemont College community?

Stephen felt his background from a winning program was an important piece he brought to Rosemont. He recognized the challenge when he entered Rosemont and the men’s lacrosse program of creating a new program.   His winning and championship performances in his background helped push him through hard times because he knew the taste of winning and wanted that again.