The NESCAC is brimming with talented student-athletes and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. The conference introduces Bowdoin's Jake Stenquist, a men's soccer student-athlete who is training to be an officer in the Marines.
Jake Stenquist, Bowdoin College
Senior, Men's Soccer
Hudson, Mass./The Rivers School
Major: Government and Legal Studies
Why did you choose to attend Bowdoin?
Bowdoin gave me the opportunity to receive an amazing liberal arts education, compete every day for a championship on the soccer field, and pursue my dream of becoming a Marine.
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
The NESCAC provides a competitive athletic culture secondary to the importance of an incredible education. Being a Division III student-athlete allows me to be more than a soccer player by participating in Residential Life and work-study programs, volunteering in the community, and playing the drums in a band.
What is your dream job/career? Why?
My dream is to be the drummer for a famous country band or singer based in Nashville while traveling the country in the summer to perform.
What extracurricular activities do you participate in?
I've been both a proctor and a Residence Assistant for first-year students at Bowdoin. I play the drums in a pop/alternative cover band and volunteer at a community soup kitchen in Brunswick. I love taking advantage of the beautiful state of Maine by skiing and hiking.
If you participate in any service activities, what are they and how did you get involved?
My physics professor, Professor Msall, was the faculty advisor for a student led and organized soup kitchen in the Brunswick community. My sophomore and junior year I was a co-leader for the efforts supported by Professor Msall. I also volunteer teaching youth ministry for my church in Brunswick on Sunday nights.
What has been the greatest part of your college experience so far?
Playing Rutgers-Newark in the NCAA Tournament last year in front of friends and family in sub-freezing temperatures. It was a game I'll never forget.
What are three top things on your bucket list?
1. Go surfing in Australia
2. Go helicopter skiing in Alaska
3. Win a national championship
What has been your favorite class outside of your major? Why?
Classical Mythology. Professor Nerdahl gave each student a character in a Trojan War interactive game. We dressed in character, debated, and voted on decisions regarding the war efforts in a Greek court system. I was a herald named Talthybius, who was tasked with running the court meetings and keeping order when the Greeks were too rambunctious.
Who is your favorite professor? Why?
I've taken Political Leadership and Watergate and American Politics with Professor Rudalevige and although he is a very challenging professor, he has always been fair and available for office hours to discuss upcoming papers. He has worked on campaigns and in many different political circles which means he is teaching topics that he's lived. His jokes mid-lecture on spot on as well.
What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
I completed my second and final six-week training increment at Marine Officer Candidates School (OCS) at Marine Base Quantico, Va. The mission of OCS is to screen and evaluate potential candidates to become Marine Officers and lead Marines across the world. Whether in the classroom, completing physical training exercises, or conducting field exercises in the hills of Quantico, I learned how to fail daily. OCS affirmed how important failure is to my growth and development as a human and as a future Marine Officer.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
I've learned the importance of a strong support system. The upperclassmen on my team were instrumental in my transition to college and painted the picture of how I should act and support my teammates. Whether it be listening about family troubles at home, selecting classes or working out with one another, the Bowdoin men's soccer program has been my support system since the day I stepped on campus. The brotherhood in our program has deep roots.
What advice would you give to yourself as a high school first year?
Embrace the recruiting process. Most Division III student-athletes will complete their four years and move on to an amazing career that doesn't involve their sport. The lessons you learn sweating each day playing your sport will make you an asset to any career path you choose beyond college.
What is the best gift you have ever received or gave? Why?
My parents surprised me with a drum set on my eighth birthday but forgot to get themselves ear plugs. Best day ever.
Who has been the most influential person on you during your time in college so far? Why?
Peter "Millsy" Mills. My assistant coach who has been the first to congratulate me in the good times but also my greatest critic when I make a mistake. His positivity is contagious when he walks in a room.
What is something interesting about you that others might not know?
My brother worked for Grassroot Soccer for 10 months in Zimbabwe and, naturally, he decided to bring home a puppy named Nkosi. He's a mix of Yellow Lab, Boxer and Rhodesian Ridgeback and stands with my father near the corner flag for every game I play.