Faculty member inducted into University’s Sports Hall of Fame

Faculty member inducted into University’s Sports Hall of Fame

Jennifer Krawec, Ph.D., of UM’s School of Education and Human Development, shared remarks during the 2019 UM Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Jungle Island. 

Photo courtesy Jennifer Krawec

By Brittney Bomnin

Jennifer Krawec, Ph.D., of UM’s School of Education and Human Development, shared remarks during the 2019 UM Sports Hall of Fame induction ceremony at Jungle Island. 

Photo courtesy Jennifer Krawec

Faculty member inducted into University’s Sports Hall of Fame

By Brittney Bomnin
Former student-athlete and current faculty member, Jennifer Krawec, Ph.D., talks to us about being inducted into the University’s Sports Hall of Fame, and how sports prepares you for life.

As a young person growing up in St. Catharines, a city in Ontario, Canada, life as an athlete was all-consuming for Jennifer Krawec, Ph.D., clinical assistant professor at UM’s School of Education and Human Development. The daughter of Canadian Olympic athlete Walter Krawec, she and her three siblings played several sports growing up and eventually all rowed competitively in high school. Krawec and her siblings had multiple opportunities to travel for races to places like Philadelphia, Boston, and even England for the Henley Royal Regatta, the best-known regatta in the world—one of her favorite memories.

Among her many memories lies a recent one—being inducted into UM’s Sports Hall of Fame for her time as an accomplished student-athlete from 2001-04, an honor bestowed upon Krawec at Jungle Island during a ceremony on May 2. Notably, she’s the first member of Miami’s rowing program and the fifth UM faculty member to be inducted. While she may have once dreamed of heading to the Olympics, these days you’ll find her in the classroom where she has ultimately focused her career on special education.

What does your life look like today?

While I no longer row, I love what I do now. I pour myself into my family, which includes raising a daughter, and my career in education. In my day-to-day at UM, I teach undergraduate and graduate students in various education courses. I also direct the undergraduate teacher preparation programs at the University. I hope to have some impact on student outcomes through my work with pre- and in-service teachers, helping them best meet the needs of their students. Through my research, I hope to have a hand in making changes to improve best practices and instruction for educators and schools.

Tell me about the induction ceremony.

I never thought they’d select me to be inducted into the UM sports hall of fame. As a student-athlete, I worked hard, loved competing, and did well but getting inducted was never a goal of mine. The ceremony itself was almost like a reunion. Of the eight that were inducted this year, five of us overlapped in our time at UM. It was a great opportunity to reminisce about and appreciate our time as UM athletes, and also catch up with everything that has happened in our lives since we graduated.

 

What do you take away from your time as a student-athlete?

Rowing is such a challenging sport. You push your body past what’s comfortable—it’s not a “fun” sport like basketball, volleyball, or soccer, which I also did growing up. But I love the mental strength that rowing demands as well as the competitiveness and team aspect. I miss that today.

Sports teach such valuable life lessons. Whether it’s about commitment, time management, persistence, or how to deal with failure, you see it all when you are an athlete and involved in sports. I’d love for my daughter to get involved in sports when she’s older—she’s already a regular attender at the UM football, tennis, basketball, and baseball games!

Who inspires you?

While my mother was never an athlete, she was definitely our biggest cheerleader. Every meet, every game, she was there supporting her family. My mom is going through some really tough health issues and she’s facing it all with so much courage, positivity, and strength. I am in awe of her for that.

Where is your favorite place to be?

Anywhere on the water. At UM, we typically rowed on Indian Creek, the intracoastal waterway in Miami Beach, FL. And it was this funny contrast of the peace and serenity of an early sunrise out on the water with the intensity and punishment of a killer workout. But even now, wherever there is water, I love to be.

 

 

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