Educate Through Sports: Jen Tordella
Jen Tordella is a centerpiece student-athlete, double-majoring in Business Management and Spanish. After earning dean’s list every semester by maintaining a minimum 3.5 GPA, being named to the National Field Hockey Coaches Association National Academic Squad for three consecutive years, and being listed on the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll the past two years, it’s safe to say Tordella has a winning attitude both on and off the field.
“It feels good, really good. I am super thankful to be recognized for all of the hard work I’ve done at Washington and I am very proud of every single one of those awards,” Tordella said. “However, I look back and immediately think of all of my professors that have allowed me to visit their office out of office hours, all of the late night emails to clear confusion, and for answering my many questions until I fully understood.”
Although the 1 a.m. library sessions can be stressful, being surrounded with a group of people with the same goal has allowed her to realize being on a team is much more than the actual sport itself.
“Being apart of a team is like being apart of a family that no one else can truly understand. Immediately coming into school as a freshman I had a group of thirty girls (better known as my sisters) that had my back and looked out for me,” Tordella explained. “You learn from one another, find some of your closest friends, and always have a group of girls that get you in a way no one else can. It’s sort of like having a family here with you at school, a home away from home.”
Head Field Hockey Coach Rachel Boyle couldn’t talk higher on her senior. After recruiting Tordella in high school and coaching her for nearly four full seasons, Boyle has seen it all.
“Jen understands from a bigger perspective, the importance of education and opportunities. She is committed to it, the athletic and academic opportunities and overall is grateful and fully engaged in opportunities presented to her,” Boyle boasted. “Her kindness and compassion is incredibly important - it creates an environment that keeps others striving with the comfort of knowing they have support.”
The hard work Tordella put into her studies paid off with a dream internship. She spent last summer working with NBCUniversial in Rio de Janerio, Brazil for the 2016 Summer Olympic Games. With Tordella having interest in pursuing a career in media production, she soaked in the one-month experience to the fullest.
“It’s something that I’ll never forget and that will forever hold a special place in my heart. It’s taught me to reach as high as possible because you never know what could come from it. It’s taught me to fall back on my training and to just trust myself and my abilities,” she said. “I think building genuine relationships with the people around you is one of the most important things you can do on a job and to always just be yourself. If you work hard and always keep an open mind, I think good things will come. I’ve met some amazing individuals and now have some pretty great lifelong friends.”
In the midst of traveling, playing sports and taking classes, Tordella also finds a way to get involved on campus by being apart of the Wakeboard club as well as the Skeet & Trap club. She also works for Safe Ride, Tracy’s Smoothies in town, and for Game Management in the Spring. With a loaded plate that surpasses the expectations of a well-rounded student-athlete, time management and prioritizing is crucial for Tordella, who also insists that it is essential not to lose track of life. “I think the best advice I could give someone would just be to try and live in every moment and make the most out of it. Also, don’t forget to make time for the little things you enjoy. Those are very important,” she said.
For incoming freshman, Tordella had plenty of advice to give.
“I’d say, never be afraid to be yourself, take advantage of all of the opportunities WAC has to offer, and try some things that are out of your comfort zone. Learn to love your little dorm, ask as many questions as you need until you get the concept in class, and if possible, study abroad. Just explore and take advantage of your time here. It’s a pretty special place to be.”
Filled with positive energy, enthusiasm, a hard-working attitude, and endless characteristics of a winner, there’s no doubt that the post-graduation and the ‘real-world’ will provide Tordella with much success.
-Andrew Chirico ’18