skip navigation

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by Jana Kiefer

D3 Week Image: Jana Kiefer - Women's Swimming

WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the seventh annual NCAA Division III Week (April 2-8) in an effort to celebrate the impact athletics and Bison student-athletes have on our campus and surrounding community. GU is joining 451 Division III institutions and 43 conferences in this week’s celebration.

To help focus on the many student-athletes that represent Gallaudet athletics we will spotlight two different student-athlete each day this week. You will learn more about them as they express their feelings on what it is like to be a Division III student-athlete here at Gallaudet. Interviews were conducted by the Gallaudet Sports Information Office.

Junior Jana Kiefer (Leander, Texas) recently finished her third season on the women's swimming and diving team. She is on track to graduate in May 2019 as she majors in Business Administration with a concentration in Human Resources and Entrepreneurship.

In My Own Words: Jana Kiefer

What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
JK: Being a student-athlete has made a huge difference for me in college, where we all are learning more about ourselves. As a student-athlete, I learned a lot more about myself such as getting out of my comfort zone and being louder for myself, considering I came here as a shy, quiet student. Being a student-athlete is hard because it is all about time management, academics, prioritizing and other commitments.

What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
JK: Being a student-athlete at Gallaudet University is really a rich experience. Most of my life, I have been involved with hearing swim teams and clubs. There was always some lack of communication; I always felt left out. However, being on the swim team here, there was a huge difference where I always had communication access, support, and was able to have a sense of belonging.

What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
JK: My goal after graduation is to find a job, possibly relating to Human Resources back home in Texas. Although, I have always wanted to set up a business of my own one day.

How has swimming impacted other areas of your life? What has it taught you about overcoming obstacles, growing both individually and as part of a team?
JK: Being on a swim team has taught me to work with people that have different levels of swimming skills. I have learned to have patience and be supportive of them because there will be days where they would feel like they are not an asset to the team and this made me always give them reassurances that everyone is an asset to the team, no matter what. Being on the swim team has gave me an advantage where I learn to have some personal growth and leadership. This experience has made me gain skills such as prioritization and communication where I can apply them in my daily life.

Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know that 81,176 (42%) women compete in Division III sports, and 218,567 (44%) women compete in NCAA overall.  

Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
Monday: Ren Hohneke (Men's Cross Country) | Jana Kiefer (Women's Swimming and Diving)

About Division III Week
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. For more information log onto

About Gallaudet
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world. For more information about Gallaudet University please log onto