James Downs, associate professor of history and American studies, will spend the 2015-16 academic year studying medical anthropology at Harvard University.
She wears jersey No. 2, but her confidence, courage and commitment to the Connecticut College women's ice hockey program ranks second to none. On the ice, in the classroom or in the community, sophomore Brigid O'Gorman is a leader.
Like many of her teammates, O'Gorman's earliest exposure to the ice came courtesy of a boy's league. In fact, O'Gorman attributes one of her greatest strengths - her powerful shot - to her experience with the boys.
"When I competed with the boys, it was mediocre, so I just kept working at it," O'Gorman said of her signature move. She still works at it, every Friday in the early morning. It's a weekly ritual that has paid dividends for her game and the success of the team. In her first year with the program, she was the team's leading defensive scorer and was honored by her teammates as the Rookie of the Year.
"Hockey motivates me," O'Gorman said. "Whenever I'm around the game, I am smiling. I love the practices just as much as games."
O'Gorman's hard work and devotion to the game caught the attention of Coach Kristin Steele long before she made it to New London. For four summers, O'Gorman skated for Steele in New York's Empire State Games, and Steele saw something special.
"She's the best all-around player in our program and the best defender in the NESCAC," Steele said.
O'Gorman, who is enrolled in the college's pre-med program in biology, is also a very active member of the community. During the fall semester, she volunteered to assist the disabled at the High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Old Lyme, Conn. During Spring Break of 2009, O'Gorman will travel with a group of students to Uganda on a medical mission to help care for the needy in this impoverished nation.
Back on the ice, Steele envisions O'Gorman taking on more of a leadership role in the next two years, utilizing her excellent communication and interpersonal skills to help take the program to the next level.
"She is a phenomenal kid," Steele said. "She's very humble, a true class act."
For more information about the Connecticut College women's ice hockey program, visit the team's web site at www.conncoll.edu/athletics/wice.
- Will Tomasian
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