June 2013 Archives

New Smith Center Court Design Progress

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Just over a month after the news of a new Tex Silverman Court design in the Charles E. Smith Center (and subsequent approval from fans and media), the project is progressing with anticipated completion in mid-July.  Take a sneak peek at the progress in the @GW_Sports Vine post below, and an @GW_MBB Twitter post after the jump:

Yesterday, we announced that three transfers, Maurice Creek (Indiana), Domonique Bull (MIssouri) and Ryan McCoy (Manhattan) are joining the GW men's basketball program. Why should you be excited? We've got 10 reasons, after the jump:


Student-Athlete Summer Blog: Maggie Skjelbred #5

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The day after our first match of training camp we had another game against another team in the same division. However, only six players showed up. Some of the girls were wearing t-shirts from Topp Volley Norway (my old school), so I had actually played against them before! This match ended up being a very mental game because this team was able to get every ball over and they made very few mistakes. Our team pulled through and we ended up winning this game too!

Student-Athlete Summer Blog: Kasey Colander #1

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Hello! My name is Kasey Colander and I row on the GW men's rowing team. I was selected last month to come to Boston for the World University Games (WUG) selection camp for a shot to represent the USA abroad this summer.

Just for a little background, the World University Games are held every two years and host all the Olympic sports for the best university athletes from each county. It's kind of like the Olympics for university students. This year they are being held in Kazan, Russia, and the United States is sending around 500 athletes to compete in everything from badminton to wrestling. They have an athlete village constructed to house all of the athletes where each country will be living in a tower. There are communal dining halls in the village where all the countries can enjoy their meals together. 

Several George Washington men's basketball players are into their fifth week of workouts during Summer Session I, and the rising sophomores have been been putting in work with @ColonialsStrong and Assistant AD for Strength & Conditioning Ben Kenyon.  The last two weeks, Paris Maragkos and Kevin Larsen have earned the #WorkoutWarrior awards, check out the Vines below to see why:

It's been a week since my trip and I have learned to appreciate things a lot more. For example, being able to communicate with almost everyone you talk to is a plus, or being able to read the menus at restaurants. I am very fortunate to have gone on the trip, and besides learning to appreciate the things I have, I gained a lot of knowledge, which has helped me create new goals. I have learned that I seem to be a very ambiguous Asian, because every country we went to the locals asked if I was a native. Two, I learned that flirting with the ladies in the market can really help in getting discounts. And three, life is weird when Facebook and YouTube are blocked. In all seriousness though, I learned a lot about how culture affects the business process, the importance of bringing a map with you wherever you go, how useful it is to learn another language and how you should not expect everyone just to know English.

The trip also helped me lay out some goals for myself. Experiencing the businesses firsthand and seeing all the opportunities that can arise if I am able to get a job in one of those companies has made me desire to work for one of those companies. Because of the trip, I realized that I want to go into the field of HR and I want to work in a country outside of the United States. Doing the site visits has given me a newfound motivation to work hard so I can become successful. I know that GW will give me all the opportunities to achieve my goals, I just need to work hard and take advantage of them. GW has taught me the importance of knowing my priorities and sticking to them. I learned that if I understand what they are I can become more efficient and excel in both academics and athletics. 

I want to say thank you to my professor and TA and the people I went on the trip with; I could not ask for a better group of people to go with. We had a joke that we were sort of like the Breakfast Club - although we were not friends before the trip, we learned to get along and we became good friends because of it. Thank you to my parents, aunts and uncles for helping me fund the trip, and thank you to Patrick Nero and Jessica Bernheim for helping me out with the blog. Thanks to those of you who have red the blog; I appreciate it and I hope you learned something from it.

As always, take care and RAISE HIGH!

Student-Athlete Summer Blog: Maggie Skjelbred #4

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After seeing the U-23 Beach Volleyball World Championship, I took a bus from Katowice to Rzeszow to meet with the National team. Even though I have traveled a lot, I was nervous about traveling in Poland because no one speaks English. I was really lucky and found some Australian girls that were taking the same bus and knew where to go. On the bus the ticket man wouldn't let me buy a ticket at first because I couldn't pronounce Rzeszow correctly. After saying the city's name incorrectly about six times, a lady behind me understood what I was trying to pronounce and I finally got a ticket.

When I got to Rzeszow I got picked up by my coach. We drove about 20 minutes to Kielnarowa Sportssenter, where we were going to spend our camp.

Last week, Coach Mike Lonergan tweeted about the project for the construction of new locker and team rooms, the latest GW Athletics facilities upgrade that will benefit both the men's and women's basketball programs.

A week later, demolition is virtually complete in the space that will house the new state-of-the-art locker and team rooms that will rival the best in the Atlantic 10. Take a look at the space in the @GW_MBB Vine below, and click here for a Photo Gallery of the project. Photos will be added to the gallery throughout the construction process.

Megan Nipe Leads Way for @GW_WBB in Weight Room

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The GW women's basketball is putting in work in the weight room this summer. Assistant strength and conditioning coach Paul Berry singled out Megan Nipe as this week's @ColonialsStrong #WorkoutWarrior for leading the summertime charge in the weight room and helping her teammates push hard to return from their injuries.

Student-Athlete Summer Blog: Maggie Skjelbred #3

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After a week of being home I went down south in Norway to visit my old high school, Topp Volley Norway. On Friday, I had a reunion with some of my old classmates in Stavanger. It was awesome to see them all again and catch up. From my old class, seven girls went to the United States and three guys went to Canada to study and play volleyball. Before this group, only one girl has gone to the States and two guys had gone professional in Europe.

During my visit to my old school, a coach from University of the Pacific was visiting to watch one of the boys play. This coach actually had our program's old coach, Joe, as an assistant a couple of years ago. It's crazy how small this world is!

Along with playing on a new, unique, district-themed court design in the Charles E. Smith Center main arena in 2013-14, the GW men's and women's basketball programs will enjoy new state-of-the-art locker and team rooms rivaling the best in the Atlantic 10 Conference next season.  GW men's basketball coach Mike Lonergan tweeted about the project on Thursday night:

Check out Vines from @GW_MBB and @GW_WBB with the early stages of the project after the jump and return to 22&G throughout the summer for construction updates.

George Washington men's basketball continues to put in work with Assistant AD for Strength and Conditioning Ben Kenyon, in addition to their work on the basketball court with assistant coaches and in the classroom during Summer Session I...

Coach Kenyon singled out rising sophomore guard Joe McDonald as this week's @ColonialsStrong #WorkoutWarrior for his extra conditioning efforts to improve his speed and lower body.

Brian Mojica is a rising junior on the men's water polo team. He will be traveling to Singapore, Vietnam and China as part of a Dean's Scholars study tour May 20-June 5 and will be blogging about his experience.

The last three days in China were a lot of fun. We did a lot of sightseeing, had a couple more business visits and got good at bargaining in the Chinese markets. Sights in China were all very grand. However, my favorite place we visited was the summer palace. I thought it was the coolest because the lake and longevity hill were both man-made. It was spectacular because the lake is about 1.2 square miles and the hill is about 200 feet. The clay that was dug up to make the lake was then used to make the hill for the palace. It was a very grand place, and although it was foggy, the view was still amazing.

The business visits were pretty cool. My favorite one was the Microsoft visit. Initially it was cool because they gave us a tour of all the new technology they have, which actually almost convinced me to become a PC guy. Other than the showroom, the lecture given was also one of my favorites. The guy talked to us about what made Microsoft's business model in China very different from other companies. It was cool to see the different techniques companies use to be successful in the new country they are expanding to. 

The summer palace and the Microsoft visit were both interesting, but the place I had the most fun was the markets. It was a lot of fun trying to bargain with the shop owners. It was like a game - both you and the shop owner know that the item for sale is up for grabs, it's just finding the right price for it. Sometimes I win while other times they get the better deal. It is hard to walk away from the negotiation, especially when you really want something. It was really funny because the shop owners would be really nice to you until you start negotiating with them. Once the talks started to happen, they changed their demeanor and became really aggressive. One of the people on the trip got punched because they could not agree on the price, and another person got tapped in the head with a calculator. Luckily none of this happened to me because my negotiating technique was not as stern as my peers. I personally found that trying to make the sellers laugh worked for me, so luckily I never got hit. However, I did get a friendly slap in the hand because I told one of the ladies she was cute. I did get a good deal from her, so I wasn't too angry.

China made me realize how useful it is to learn another language, especially one that can potentially help in the business world in the future. The overall lifestyle was very different from the U.S., and it was fun to put myself in the middle of it and experience what it was like. Thank you to our driver and our tour guide, who helped make the trip more memorable.

Take care and RAISE HIGH!

Student-Athlete Summer Blog: Maggie Skjelbred #2

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Margrethe (Maggie) Skjelbred is a rising sophomore on the George Washington volleyball team. This summer, she will be traveling and competing as a member of the Norwegian Senior National Team and will be blogging about her experience.

Since my last blog post I have been pretty busy with non-volleyball activities. After training camp with the National Team, I went back to my hometown of Bodo which is in northern Norway, about three hours north of the Arctic circle. Whenever I explain the location to someone in the United States, I just say it's about the same latitude as Alaska.

I started working immediately when I got back from training camp at the office of a music festival that is held in my town every August called Nordland Music Festival. The first thing I did was translate all the information about the artists into English. It was fun being able to use one of the things I learned over the past year in America, even though I am not majoring in translating. 

In the two weeks since I have been home the weather has been beautiful! It has been very hot, around 65-75 degrees every day, which is not normal for this time of year. It has been great being able to do activities outside, like hiking and playing beach volleyball!

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Picture taken while hiking, you can also see these mountains from my house. The bridge you can see is world famous, because it goes over saltstraumen, which is the strongest tidal current in the world!

One great thing about living in Bodo is that we have the midnight sun and I have been able to experience the 24 hours of daylight multiple times since I have been home.  

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 So Beautiful! I just love being home when it is like this!!


When I was home I was also able to play volleyball with my old club team which was so much fun! It was great seeing all of my old teammates and how they have developed in volleyball. Two of the girls on the club team used to go to my high school, ToppVolley Norway.

This week I am going down south again to visit my old school.  I am so excited to see my former classmates and catch up with the students that also have been studying in North America like me. 

I resume training with the National Team in a few weeks and then we head to Poland for our first tournament. 

Keep Raising High!




Brian Mojica is a rising junior on the men's water polo team. He will be traveling to Singapore, Vietnam and China as part of a Dean's Scholars study tour May 20-June 5 and will be blogging about his experience.

I've been in Beijing, China, for three days now, and although it's been great, I've experienced quite a culture shock. Never in my life have I felt so helpless as in China. I can't read any of the characters and I cannot communicate with anyone here. Trying to find my way back to the hotel is always an adventure and trying to order food is difficult when there are no pictures. However, all of these obstacles is what makes being out here fun. It is interesting to try to interact with people who speak very little or no English at all. You have to be creative when trying to ask for simple things like directions. Hand signals, hotel cards, apps that translate into different languages are all things I've used so far. Each time I attempt to go out without the guide is quite the adventure and I get the biggest sigh of relief when I find my destination.

Besides getting lost and finding my way around, we've had one business visit and we also took a tour of Jingshan Park, the Beijing Bell and Drum Tower, Ghost Street and the Great Wall. The business visit was really interesting because we got to compare the way Ernst and Young operate in Vietnam and China. The same company in different locations act differently because of the cultural norms of the country they are in. An example would be in hiring employees. In Vietnam, employees are less willing to travel to another branch, whereas in China people are more willing to travel. This means that in Vietnam the company needs to hire people who are local, whereas in China they can hire and transfer people to the greater Chinese region. It is just one of the many differences, but it was very interesting to see firsthand. 

The tours we took in the very short time we have been here were all very exciting. The hill on top of Jingshan Park is considered to have the number one view of Beijing. On the top you can see how the city aligns itself from north to south. At one side of the park looking north you can sometimes see the Olympic Park, then heading south you hit the Bell and Drum Tower, then the park, then looking south you see the Forbidden City. It is a marvelous view, and although I haven't seen many sightseeing spots in Beijing, I could agree that it is an amazing view. Our tour of the Great Wall was also very cool. It was weird walking along the Great Wall because growing up I've heard so much about it. It was amazing and it is truly a wonder.

Although we've only been out here for a few days, I feel like I have learned a lot already. We have a lot planned for the rest of our trip, so keep checking out the blog.


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