Thursday, April 19, 2012

Five Minutes With ... Kait Fiore

Senior Kait Fiore
Name: Kait Fiore

Homecoming/High School: Millburn, NJ/Millburn

Insititution: Denison University

Major: Biology

Minor: Spanish

I am originally from ... Midland Park, NJ

Why did you choose to attend a NCAA Division III institution? I have been playing sports for pretty much my whole life and softball has become very important to me. I knew I wouldn’t enjoy my college career as much unless I was playing softball. However, I also believe that focusing on my academics is very important as well. Division III schools are perfect for allowing student-athletes to balance academics and athletics and I am currently getting a great education and I am also able to play my sport.

How would you describe the philosophy of NCAA Div. III? NCAA Division III aims to give student-athletes the ability to focus on academics as well as athletics. Student-athletes at the Division III level still train hard and are still competitive, but we are given the opportunity to be more than just an athlete. We truly define the term “student-athlete.”

How has your experience been in balancing athletics and academics at Denison? My experience has been great. My coach is very understanding and recognizes the importance of academics and my professors also recognize the importance of athletics in my life. At times it is difficult to manage my time, but with all of the support I receive from coaches and professors I have had a lot of success balancing athletics and academics.

How would you best describe your normal day as a student-athlete at the NCAA Div. III level? I.e. What do you do all day? All of my classes are in the morning so softball does not conflict with them as much. I wake up in the morning and go to class and then I go to work in the Varsity weight room where I coach other athletes at my school. Then I go to practice or my games. When I get home I make dinner and do my homework and then get ready for the next day.

Favorite thing about Denison? The athletic presence on campus. So many students at Denison play sports (Varsity, club, intramural, or just for fun) and many students who don’t play sports just enjoy watching them.

Favorite thing about the NCAC?  Our level of sportsmanship. The conference is very competitive, but as a conference we have a great amount of respect for the teams we play.

What do you want to be when you grow up? I would love to be a Physician Assistant.

 If you could trade places with someone for a day, who would it be and why? I would trade places with my grandma for several reasons. First of all, she is someone who I look up to and respect greatly. She has experienced tough times and has developed into a very strong person with a great head on her shoulders. I would love to learn the things that she has learned. I also would love to have more time to just enjoy my days. While I love playing softball and being a student, it would be nice to have more time to read for pleasure and to do more things that I’m not normally able to do.

What aspect of being a student-athlete at the Div. III level, do you hope to take with you into your professional life? I have learned how to interact with people better and how to be a better leader. I think these skills are very important for one’s professional life.

Do you have one coach and/or professor that has impacted your career the most at Denison? My softball coach, Tiffany Ozbun. During my years at Denison I have matured so much and I believe this is largely because of her influence on me.

What are the toughest issues facing Div. III athletes today? Respect for what we do. Many people who are not involved in the Division III community do not understand exactly what DIII student-athletes do. We practice, we lift and we condition, but we also spend a lot of time on our academics and we do it all without athletic scholarships or other aid that athletes in other divisions receive.

 If you could excel at any competitive sport (other than your own) which would you choose? Gymnastics

 What’s your favorite sports team/Who’s your favorite athlete? The NY Giants and Mario Manningham (although I’m sad that he’s no longer a Giant)

Favorite ice cream? Mint chocolate chip!

People may be surprised to know that ... I am not italian

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