The NESCAC has a plethora of student-athletes who excel in numerous ways on their campuses and the "Friday Feature" is a way for fans to get to know them throughout the academic year. This year, the series resumes by introducing Connecticut College's Mike Fothergill who has developed a keen interest in learning about government through his favorite professor.
Mike Fothergill, Connecticut College
Senior, Men's Swimming & Diving
Meford, Mass./Arlington Catholic
Why did you choose to attend your institution?
When I first visited Connecticut College I immediately felt a sense of pride on campus. The students were eager to show me around, the professors were very engaging and the swim team and Coach Benvenuti in general made me want to be a part of this community. I visited the campus once and when I left I knew I wanted to make it my home for the next four years.
Why did you choose to be a Division III student-athlete?
I chose to be a Division III student-athlete because I wanted a full college experience. It allowed me to properly balance academics and athletics, and excel in both.
What has been the greatest part of your college experience so far?
The greatest part of my college experience so far has been the past three NESCAC Swimming and Diving Championships I have attended. Each one has been special in its own way because each team has been very different. The competition has always brought out the best in our team and it has been exciting to see how the team has progressed since my first year. I have been able to race with some really great guys from my team and others. My younger brother Dan is also a swimmer at Bates and being able to race him every year like we had done so many times before college has been great.
What is your pre-game ritual?
Before each competition our coach gathers us together and we go over how we are going to approach the meet. Once he is finished the seniors take control of the huddle to really spell out who we are and what are doing. Everyone fires each other up, then we break with a different quote each time.
Who is your favorite professor? Why?
My favorite professor is John Tian. I have taken nearly all of his classes and each one has been better than the last. He keeps us up to date with current events and is always entertaining. I never expected to study government in college, but after I took his first class I knew I realized how much I enjoyed it.
What internships/research projects have you participated in? What did you learn from these experiences?
This past summer I interned at Bain Capital, an investment firm in Boston. It allowed me to test my knowledge and apply myself to a new set of challenges. I learned a great deal about myself and future career options I would like to pursue after college.
What is the greatest lesson you have learned from being a student-athlete?
The greatest lesson I have learned is that you can be a leader in many different ways. There are guys on our team that are leaders in the classroom and guys who are leaders in the pool. Everyone still has the same balance of athletics and academics, but you can lean on different guys for different things.