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Scenes from The University of Rhode Island

URI diver makes a splash in and out of the classroom

Media Contact: Dave Lavallee, 401-874-5862

KINGSTON, R.I. -- May 18, 2006 -- When Dominic Moccia first started his freshman year at URI, he never expected to become a collegiate diver. The Westchester, N.Y., resident was an accomplished swimmer in high school and followed in his older sister’s footsteps when he decided to attend URI.

“I was pretty burnt out after swimming in high school and hadn’t planned on continuing with it once I got to college,” Moccia said. “But I met some of the senior swimmers at First Night my freshman year, and they convinced me to talk to the coach.”

Coach Mick Westkott already had a full team, but when he asked Moccia if he wanted to try diving, Moccia decided he didn’t have anything to lose.

Speaking as one of the featured students at the reception in February 2006 for student athletes who made the Dean’s List in fall 2005, the biology and Italian major said that while diving for the University has been an amazing experience, attending the NCAA Leadership Conference in Orlando, Fla. last summer was the “highlight of my collegiate sports career.”

“The conference was for more than 300 NCAA athletes from around the nation,” Moccia said. “The experiences I had and the friends I made definitely taught me that participating in athletics on the college level is not only about competing and the sport, but leadership, attitude and probably most importantly, teamwork and communication skills.”

While Moccia will participate in May’s commencement exercises, he plans to return to URI in the fall to take care of some unfinished business in the pool and in the classroom. His competition schedule and academic progress were slowed by injury his freshman year.

He plans to finish his last nine credits by studying in Italy for a semester, and maybe continue his education with a master of business administration degree the following year.
“Other possibilities include a health-related career,” he said. “There are so many things I would like to pursue, maybe working towards becoming a physician’s assistant or even medical school. As I’ve learned through my professors and coaches here at URI, the possibilities really are endless.”

Pictured above
BIG MOMENT: Dominic Moccia, left is joined at the podium by Tom McElroy, URI director of athletics, after giving a speech during ceremonies honoring student-athletes who made the dean’s list at URI. URI News Bureau photo by Michael Salerno Photography.