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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI scholar-athlete is first recipient of NCAA Post Graduate Scholarship

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

Only recipient from A-10 this year

KINGSTON, R.I. -- March 14, 2005 -- During the annual University of Rhode Island dean’s list reception for student-athletes, Joy Hess spoke about the value of using time well.

“Time is valuable, it is non-refundable and it goes quickly,” said the field hockey star from Ephrata, Pa. during the wintertime reception.

Hess obviously maximized her time and talents well at URI because she has been named the first NCAA Fall Post Graduate Scholarship recipient in the history of the University. A communicative disorders major who has a grade point average of 3.9, Hess was the only student-athlete from the Atlantic 10 to be awarded the $7,500 scholarship this year. The NCAA awards as many as 174 such scholarships each year, with 28 available for men and 28 for women in each sports season—fall, winter and spring.

In the past five years, Rhode Island has nominated five athletes, four of whom have been finalists, including Hess.

The scholarship will come in handy because Hess is in the process of applying to graduate school to pursue a master’s degree in speech-language pathology. Among the schools she has applied to are URI, the University of Pittsburgh, East Carolina University and the Pennsylvania State University.

A member of the dean’s list at URI for seven straight semesters and an Academic All-American, Hess was one of two keynote speakers at the dean’s list reception.

As she addressed her fellow student-athletes, staff and faculty, she talked about the time required to become a successful NCAA Division I athlete and a top scholar.

“I think about the time and effort we as athletes put in during practice, in the off-season and during the summer,” Hess said. “I think about the time we as students study, prepare and work for our classes and the immeasurable hours our coaches, administrators, professors and others like the training staff and equipment room staff give to help us succeed.”

She told the audience the most valuable thing a person can give is time. “It doesn’t have to be restricted to the typical examples, like mentoring at a local school, volunteering at a food bank or working at a sports clinic,” said the standout midfielder who played in the 2004 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Division I North/South Senior All-Star Game.

“Taking time out of your busy schedule to have lunch with a struggling friend, spending 15 minutes giving blood in the Union, or participating in programs like the Student Athletic Advisory Committee or Ram Choices are all other ways to give your time.

“As student-athletes, we are privileged enough to be immediately surrounded by a supportive network to help us succeed. In giving our time, we become a part of this network and help others to succeed.”

Hess said all aspects of her time at URI have been positive. “Everyone told me that four years of college would be the best time of my life, and I agree completely,” said Hess who also coached at the NCAA Youth Education through Sports (YES) Clinic.

Named to the 2004 National Field Hockey Coaches Association Northeast Region second team, Hess was named to the 2004 All-Atlantic 10 Field Hockey Team, the Atlantic 10 Academic All-Conference Team and the Fall 2004 Commissioner’s Cup Honor Roll.

She credits several people in the Department of Athletics with helping her apply and be awarded the NCAA scholarship, among them Mike Scott, athletics academic adviser; Stacey Bean, head field hockey coach; Tom McElroy, director of athletics; John Preece, professor of communicative disorders and Hess’ adviser, Economics Professor Yngve Ramstad, a member of the Athletic Advisory Board.

“ I cannot say enough about Mike Scott. I am so indebted to him for helping me throughout the process. Everyone who helped me is very excited and I am so thankful,” said Hess, who now volunteers as kindergarten mentor at Meadowbrook Farm School in East Greenwich.

“When I leave URI, I will probably miss the people the most, but I will also miss having the beach right out my front door,” she said joking about her down-the-line rental house in Narragansett.