Work Hard, Play Hard

Work Hard, Play Hard

Wilson College student-athletes must juggle the demands of their academics and their competitive schedules. Sprinkle in responsibilities of campus life and soon you’ll see it takes dedication and commitment to be a Phoenix. The challenge is great, but the reward and personal development is immeasurable, and it’s an experience that many cherish.

Two student-athletes, a sophomore and a senior, who both happen to be education majors, reflect on how lessons learned in the competitive environment translate to helping them succeed in the classroom and beyond.

Delaney Fulfer ’24, Special Education (Pre-K-12)

Lacrosse and Field Hockey

Delaney loves being a Phoenix. She describes her time at Wilson as one of growth … personal development that has extended far beyond academics and athletics.

When not student teaching or competing on the field, Delaney serves as president of the Athletics Association, the Student- Athlete Mentors, and the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC). She is also one of Wilson’s SAAC representatives to the United East Athletic Conference and has a work study position on campus with the Athletics Communications office.

Delaney points to team camaraderie as the main driver of her leadership skills. “Being a two-sport student-athlete has helped me to be a stronger leader and has given me the confidence to take ownership of my learning. I have made incredible connections on campus that have led me to have a guaranteed job after graduation.”

After earning her degree from Wilson, Delaney plans to teach special education and continue her current position as a club lacrosse coach. Eventually, she says she hopes to earn a master’s degree in the field and add additional certifications to her skill sets, continuing her professional growth and understanding.

Assistant Professor of Education Daniela DiGregorio, Ph.D. has high hopes for Delaney’s teaching career. “Delaney is a passionate education major with a love for children with special education needs. In my courses teaching English Learners and Educational Psychology, Delaney went the extra mile to learn a variety of different teaching strategies to assist diverse and marginalized students. She will be an outstanding teacher.”

Shelly Novak, head coach of Women’s Field Hockey, agrees Delaney’s hard work on and off the field will serve her well. “Delaney is a team player. She is a positive and supportive teammate and always puts her team first. She is the first one to lift a player if they are having a bad day and she always has a way of making the team smile.”

Jacob McCoy ’26, Health and Physical Education K-12

Men’s Volleyball

Jacob chose to attend Wilson because he could earn his education degree and continue to play a sport that he loves. Our small, close-knit campus offered an immediate sense of family for Jacob, providing a comforting and supportive environment that perfectly blends his academic goals with his athletic passions.

When not in the classroom or on the court, he serves in a leadership role as vice president of the Student-Athlete Advisory Committee, and looks forward to the opportunity to lead as president next year.

When asked to reflect on his experience, he shares that, “Being a student-athlete is a big responsibility. And, being a student comes first, which is arguably the hardest part. I have developed a strong work ethic, which helps me give my all to my class assignments. You must manage your time; it’s difcult, but rewarding at the same time because you can learn so much about yourself.”

After graduation, Jacob plans to become a Physical Education teacher at the elementary level. “I want students to be eager and excited to come to my classroom. Having a positive environment for students can help them learn and achieve so many new things.”

Professor DiGregorio believes Jacob’s dedication on the court will translate to his career goals. “Despite his busy schedule, Jacob managed to have perfect attendance in my Educational Psychology course. He frequently participated in our discussions, applied the theory to real life scenarios, developed excellent teaching philosophy, and analyzed the classroom observations in detail. I know he will be a dedicated Health and Physical Education teacher.”

Head Men’s Volleyball Coach Aaron Hoke ’19 agrees, “Jacob comes to practice each day with a great attitude and work ethic. His growth as a player has been tremendous and that’s largely in part to how much effort he puts into practice every day. He leads by example.”

RELATED: A Q&A with Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice Madhuri Sharma The Rewards of Trying Something New Cool Occasions