Engineering students excel at athletics and academicsApril 5, 2012
DETROIT (April 5, 2012) -The workload of an engineering student is notoriously challenging, yet many Wayne State University students manage to excel at both athletics and academics.
"Balancing athletics and academics is sometimes very difficult to do, but I think it's something that has helped me become who I am," says Alycen Wiacek, a mechanical engineering sophomore and member of the women's swimming and diving team. "Scheduling classes is honestly the most difficult for me, but my advisor, Keith Wadley, has been very helpful with that."
The women's swimming and diving team, which won the NCAA Division II Championship in March, has a six-month season with a rigorous schedule.
"My typical day during the season is a long one," says Heather Thomson, a mechanical engineering junior and member of the women's swimming and diving team. "I have morning practice, classes, afternoon practice, then a night class. Two days a week I have to attend weights. On average, I spend about four hours of my day at the pool."
Yet Wiacek and Thomson agree their challenging schedules will pay off.
"I think being a part of WSU athletics will contribute to my future career in that it will make me a stand-out candidate for jobs," Thomson says. "Having athletics on a resume is a good quality because it shows that I am dedicated and responsible as well as hardworking. Being a student athlete is like having a full-time job. To be able to participate in a college sport and succeed in the classroom shows a lot."
Adds Wiacek, "Being part of a team has helped me develop leadership skills and has taught me to rely on my team and support them through everything. Not only has this been important to my development as a person, but it's also part of an experience I will never forget. My degree from the College of Engineering will hopefully allow me to obtain a successful job. The support I receive there has already helped me gain research experience and an internship at Chrysler this summer."
Both Wiacek and Thomson received Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference Academic Honors for having a cumulative grade point average of 3.5 or higher.
Engineering students are involved in a variety of sports including baseball, cross country, football, golf, swimming and diving, basketball and tennis. Engineering student athletes for the 2011-2012 season are:
Zak Bielecki, biomedical engineering, football
Amanda Brewer, engineering, cross-country
Aaron Cornett, electrical engineering, football
Amelia Davis, civil engineering, basketball
Rob Favaro, mechanical engineering, golf
Brad Griffith, mechanical engineering, golf
Kristian Larsen, mechanical engineering, swimming and diving
Keaton Leblanc, mechanical engineering, baseball
Anne Li Briand, engineering, tennis
Sean McCarthy, construction management, football
Alex Pierse, mechanical engineering, baseball
Mike Smith, engineering, football
Greg Spiess, mechanical engineering, baseball
Kirk Stambaugh, mechanical engineering, baseball
Phil Swanson, civil engineering, baseball
Kyle Taylor, mechanical engineering, swimming and diving
Heather Thomson, mechanical engineering, swimming and diving
Alycen Wiacek, mechanical engineering, swimming and diving
Photo: Heather Thomson (left), Alycen Wiacek
Wayne State University is a premier urban research institution of higher education offering more than 400 academic programs through 13 schools and colleges to nearly 32,000 students. For more information about engineering at Wayne State University, visit engineering.wayne.edu.
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