Dickinson Hera Society empowers, educates, and unites female-identifying student-athletes and community

Dickinson Hera Society 2018-2019
Dickinson Hera Society 2018-2019

By Erica Wells '19, and Maureen Moroz '19

The Dickinson College Hera Society, founded in 2016, seeks to empower and unite female-identifying student athletes through their eight core values of scholarship, leadership, equality, service, integrity, sportsmanship, tenacity, and resiliency. Annually, the Hera Society is comprised of eight senior student-athletes. This year, the society members hail from Dickinson field hockey, lacrosse, soccer, softball, squash, swimming, track and field, and volleyball.

Through their leadership and presence on campus, the society is working to organize programs that promote dialogue about topics such as gender, inclusivity, mental health, and domestic abuse. Hera sponsored events include an upcoming facilitation of One Love Foundation training to prevent relationship violence, and continuing to host an annual youth clinic at the Kline Center, to celebrate National Girls and Women in Sports Day on February 6, 2019. The Heras are also striving to welcome a speaker from You Can Play Project to promote respect and celebration of the LGBTQ+ athlete community, as well as events through Girls on the Run, a non-profit designed to empower females through running and interactive lessons.

Dickinson Athletics student marketing/community engagement assistants Erica Wells '19 and Maureen Moroz '19 checked in with each Hera Society member for a Q&A, to learn about the group's collective mission and passion for athletics, advocacy, and service.

 

 

Kayla Bendinelli '19

Sport: Field Hockey

Major: Biochemistry and Molecular Biology

Hometown: Montgomery, NJ (Montgomery)

Campus involvement: President of Women's Club Volleyball; Work in Campus Recreation; Alpha Lambda Delta; Neuroscience Club

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Kayla Bendinelli: Being a part of Hera Society allows me to have an impact on athletics outside of my team, and to reach more female athletes.

Why are you passionate about your sport? How has being a student-athlete shaped your experience?

KB: I am passionate about field hockey because it gave me confidence, and it challenged me to push myself beyond my limits. Field hockey gave me some of my best friends and has always been there as an outlet for me. Being a student-athlete has allowed me to be a part of something bigger than myself over the past four years, and to represent my school on and off the field.

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

KB: Being a Dickinson Red Devil means being a part of something bigger than myself. It means playing with pride, and continuing the legacy that those have left before me.

 

 

 

Killian Donohue '19

Sport: Soccer

Major: International Business and Management

Hometown: Bronxville, NY (Bronxville)

Campus involvement: INBM Majors' Committee; Pi Beta Phi Fraternity for Women; Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC); Spinning Instructor; Education Marketing and Event Management Associate at the Trout Gallery

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Killian Donohue: Being a part of the Hera Society has strengthened my involvement both on campus and within the community. It is inspiring to work with strong, mission-oriented women to promote confidence and empowerment amongst female athletes across campus.

Where can we expect to see campus involvement from the Hera Society this year?

KD: Our first event is facilitating One Love workshops this fall, with all of the female athletic teams. The workshops will be split up, so that it is more intimate and beneficial for every team. All of the workshops are the same format. Next semester, we are working on an event for National Girls and Women in Sports Day, and getting a speaker for It's On Us campaign. Throughout the year we are also working with other organizations to promote different campaigns, and gain more recognition as an honor society on campus.

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

KD: Every student at Dickinson is a Red Devil. Being a Dickinson Red Devil is an honor because I get to represent my college in a unique way. Every day I get to put on my jersey, cleats, and play on Phyllis Joan Miller Memorial Field with such a fun group of girls. It has also created a huge network of friends, fans, and support systems and has enhanced school spirit.

 

 

 

Killian Kueny '19

Sport: Softball

Major: American Studies

Hometown: Ewing, New Jersey (Ewing)

Campus involvement: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC); Trout Gallery Ambassador; The Hive; Arts Collective; Senior Week Planning Committee; Center for Service, Spirituality and Social Justice Service Trip to Guatemala; Study abroad in Bologna, Italy

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Killian Kueny: Being a member of the Hera Society means taking an initiative to create an atmosphere where women know that they will be recognized and celebrated for their achievements, both on and off the field.

Why are you passionate about your sport? How has being a student-athlete shaped your experience?

KK: Softball has taught me everything I know. 14 years of playing has provided me with countless opportunities to learn accountability, work alongside other driven players, travel, and challenge myself. I love the sport; it's always an enjoyable and exciting test. Playing at the collegiate level has drastically shaped my overall college experience in the best way possible. It has introduced me to some of my closest friends, brought me to new places, but most importantly has forced me to tackle adversity and uncertainty head on. I love being a student-athlete because it is an experience that I get to share with the Dickinson College community.

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

KK: Being a Dickinson Red Devil means getting involved and supporting those around me. Dickinson provides, what I would argue is, an extremely unique opportunity to be involved in various different ways across campus. This creates a community of close-knit, but distinguished individuals that are all simultaneously working to improve their surroundings and enhance the college experience. No one person is just a student, or just an athlete. Ultimately, this works to create a huge network of friends, fans, and motivators that are constantly pushing each other to be the best Dickinson Red Devil that they can be.

 

 

 

Olivia Lyman '19

Sport: Swimming

Major: International Studies, and Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Hometown: Mount Kisco, NY (Horace Greeley)

Campus involvement: Facilitator of She's The First; Intern at Landis House; Intern at U.S. Army War College (Carlisle, PA); Service Trip Leader; First-Year Mentor; Study abroad in Tanzania

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Olivia Lyman: Being a part of the Hera Society has meant having a space on campus where I can unapologetically be myself. Being a student-athlete is a huge commitment and although we all come from different sports, I am surrounded by a group of women that is just as passionate about their sport as I am. Beyond this, we all recognize that we have a unique platform on campus to advocate for the celebration of female athletes everywhere and through this advocacy, learn and grow from the various strengths and passions that we all bring to the table. I am constantly inspired by everything that these seven women do on campus and beyond and the unconditional support that they provide is felt for miles.

As a part of the Hera Society, how do you anticipate uniting and empowering female student-athletes on Dickinson's campus?

OL: Regardless of your gender identity, sexual orientation, age, race, class, national origin, we see you, we support you and we respect you. Athletics should never be about the way that you look or where you might come from, to me, it has and will always be about how and where you show up in your specific sport and how much of a team player you are, the way that you contribute to the community aspect of your team. As a society that advocates for uniting and empowering female athletes, we hope to create spaces where we can have conversations about these vulnerabilities and instead of seeing them as negative aspects of our mind, body and spirit. Everyone deserves to be celebrated and seen for nothing less than exactly who they are, which is our goal as leaders of our team. We hope to bring a speaker from You Can Play to campus, an organization that celebrates student-athletes for the skill and talent that they bring to the table, fostering a dialogue of celebration among the LGBTQ+ community.

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

OL: To me, being a Red Devil means community. I am a first-year mentor this year. During orientation, we were able to receive a lot of feedback from the first-years on why they chose to come to Dickinson. An overwhelming amount of first-years expressed to me the immediate sense of community that they felt the minute they got to campus. Hearing this was incredibly heartwarming because it is exactly how I felt and still feel today as a Dickinsonian. I am surrounded by some of the most driven, passionate and intelligent individuals that push me to be a better person every day and I could not be more grateful.

 

 

 

Sam Marmo '19

Sport: Lacrosse

Major: Law & Policy

Hometown: Upper Saddle River, NJ (Immaculate Heart Academy)

Campus involvement: Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC); Dickinson Friends; Study abroad in Bologna, Italy

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?  

Sam Marmo: I am fortunate to be a part of the Hera Society because it gives me the opportunity to instill female empowerment in women and young girls in the community. Supporting women and young girls is important because when strong, confident, and tenacious women come together we are able to confront and break down barriers that try to suppress our ability to achieve greatness on and off the field. My hope as a Hera is to be a role model for women and young girls. Our plan is to build relationships, coordinate events, and have important conversations that will create a strong voice on campus and in the community. 

As a part of the Hera Society, how do you anticipate uniting and empowering female student-athletes on Dickinson's campus?

SM: Using the platform of athletics, the Heras plan to empower female athletes by inviting influential speakers on campus as well as facilitating events that will get women and girls together to talk about women's issues and female embracement/power. Specifically, the Heras are working on events that involve the One Love Foundation, Girls on the Run, and organizations that focus on embracing and celebrating our differences. 

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

SM: I believe being a Dickinson student-athlete is an honor, and I take a tremendous amount of pride wearing the red. It is amazing to be a part of an athletics program that not only supports athletes, but makes effort to embrace others. Even when I am not wearing my uniform and playing on the field, I still understand my influence. No matter where I am, I know I am representing Dickinson Athletics.

 

 

 

Alanis Perez '19

Major: Biology, Minor: Women's, Gender and Sexuality Studies

Sport: Squash

Hometown: New Haven, CT (Canterbury School)

Campus involvement: TA for General Chemistry and for Introduction to Molecules, Genes, and Cells: Topics in the Molecular Basis of Disease

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Alanis PerezBeing a Hera is an honor.  I get the opportunity to work alongside seven other women who have the same desire to make a positive impact on all the women's teams at Dickinson prior to our graduation.

Where can we expect to see campus involvement from the Hera Society this year?

AP: Students and faculty can expect to see the Hera Society involved on campus by seeing us at sporting events and planning events such as One Love training for our athletic teams (preventing relationship violence), and hosting National Girls and Women in Sports Day.

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

AP: Being a Dickinson Red Devil means being a part of a family that is willing to support me along my four-year journey here.  It means being a teammate, friend, peer, and advocate. Being a Dickinson Red Devil means that I am a part of a group of people who all have the same ambition and drive as I do.

 

 

 

Grace Stromberg '19

Sport: Volleyball

Major: Environmental Science

Hometown: Baltimore, MD (Notre Dame Prep)

Campus involvement: Liberty Caps Society; Kappa Kappa Gamma; Study abroad in Brisbane, Australia; Internships at the National Aquarium and the Lake George Land Conservancy 

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Grace Stromberg: As a Hera, we are given the ideal platform to spread acceptance and empowerment among women's athletics, which is an opportunity we wouldn't get elsewhere.

As a part of the Hera Society, how do you anticipate uniting and empowering female student-athletes on Dickinson's campus?

GS: Uniting female athletes as a community is a very important goal for the me.  The Hera Society is looking to host social events for female athletes this year, as well as information and educational events.    

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

GS: The culture of Dickinson Athletics has grown enormously in my past four years here.  I am proud to be a Red Devil and also thankful to have chosen an athletic program that has made such a positive impact on my life.  

 

 

 

Naji Thompson '19

Sport: Track and Field

Major: Africana Studies and Anthropology

Hometown: Springfield, NJ (Oak Knoll)

Campus involvement: Member of the 95th Class of Wheel and Chain; Black Student Union (BSU); House Divided intern; Learning Community Coordinator

What does it mean to you to be a part of the Hera Society?

Naji Thompson: It's an honor to be a part of something so new. I can tell how dedicated my fellow members are to building something special for the Dickinson community for years to come.   

Why are you passionate about your sport? How has being a student-athlete shaped your experience?

NT: I am passionate about sports and track in particular because it has taught me passion, discipline, and dedication. From being a student athlete, I've honed my time management and leadership skills. I've learned how to put all my offer forth to excel and be successful in all aspects of my life here at Dickinson and elsewhere. 

What does being a Dickinson Red Devil mean to you?

NT: Being a Red Devil means representing my school alongside my teammates with dedication, pride, and sportsmanship.

 

Photography and production by Erica Wells '19, and Maureen Moroz '19

 

 

FOLLOW | Dickinson Hera Society Instagram - @theHeraSociety

Additional Dickinson Hera Society features:

Uniting Female Athletes - Feb. 15, 2017

Dickinson Hera Society to host Feb. 4th event for National Girls and Women in Sports Day - Feb. 2, 2018

 

 

 

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