Marketing major and URI basketball star Jeff Dowtin ’20 is unfazed at 7,000 screaming fans but make him give a presentation in front of 30 fellow seminar students and it’s, “Butterflies, definitely.”
Well, that used to be the case, anyway.
Now, Dowtin is at ease in both arenas. That’s the power of a good education, says the accomplished student-athlete and member of the Atlantic 10 Conference Commissioner’s Honor Roll.
“Take your education seriously. URI has pushed me to get the most I can out of it.”
On the cusp of his last season and in his final year, Dowtin is considering his options. Maybe start a business. He’s good with numbers. Dowtin’s also gotten a lot out of his social media marketing class on how to promote a business. He understands how to build a brand.
And Dowtin has a fair amount of experience working with a team. “A lot of schools recruited me, but the basketball team at URI felt like a family—everyone being so close together. It was a close-knit, happy group,” Dowtin recalls. “Being able to work with other people is so important. One person can’t get a thing done. It takes a whole team, accountability, and focus.”
‘A lesson about trusting myself’
Dowtin’s education on the court and in the classroom has also taught him the importance of resilience. In his sophomore year, he missed a foul shot against St. Bonaventure. It was a night game, and Dowtin returned to campus at 3 a.m. “I went straight to the gym and practiced free throws until my 9 a.m. class. I shot and shot and shot.
“The next day, I played and made 12 for 12. Every single one,” Dowtin recalls. “It was a lesson about trusting myself and believing eventually the practice would pay off.”
There’s a life lesson in there, Dowtin says. You want to graduate with that degree, but you also want to recognize opportunities that complement classwork and ready you for challenges later on in life, such as leadership opportunities in extracurricular clubs or sports.
“You have to be strict with yourself, push yourself,” Dowtin says. “Hone your focus, your drive, your perseverance. There were a lot of things I had no idea I could do until I came to URI.”