Commencement 2014: Quiet URI student-athlete has no trouble calling attention to other Rams’ accomplishments

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Seniors like Newport’s William Janes Jr. just get things done

KINGSTON, R.I. – April 18, 2014 – An eloquent but quiet senior student-athlete was surprised earlier this year when he was chosen to address his peers, faculty and staff at the University of Rhode Island’s dean’s list reception for athletes.


William Janes Jr. has enjoyed his experience at URI because he grew up in this state and he gets to compete with teammates he knows and in front of family and friends. He is at home competing as he is in the classroom.


However, he didn’t feel this way as a freshman. That changed quickly as his involvement grew with the URI men’s track and field team. It helped him increase his connection and enjoyment of URI because of the tremendous support he received and to the strong relationships he developed with coaches, teammates, friends as well as the memorable events in which he competed.


Now he is ready to begin the next chapter of his life.


“My dream career is to become a physician’s assistant,” said Janes who maintains outstanding class standing while completing internships and various volunteer commitments.


“My goal is to help patients with getting better physically,” he said. “Through my internships and volunteer experiences, I gained exposure to the fields of physical therapy, cardiac and pulmonary rehabilitation, and I was an observer of a physician’s assistant in the surgery field.”


He has also been certified to use automated external defibrillators. Furthermore, he is a member of the benevolent and protective order of Elks where he serves veterans, people with disabilities and children.


It’s clear that majoring in exercise science at URI has been a perfect match. “The program provided many opportunities to work in agencies where helping people get healthier and back to normality is the main goal,” Janes said.


His 3.64 grade point average has made him a regular member of the URI Dean’s list throughout his time at the University.

But his achievements are not restricted to the classroom. The captain has helped lead a team that has won three Atlantic 10 indoor championships and two A-10 outdoor titles. This year, he was the A-10 indoor weight throw champion and last year he won the A-10 hammer throw. Qualifying for the NCAA track and field championships three times, he was 18th in the hammer throw at the 2013 NCAA East Track and Field Preliminaries.


Janes was one of six athletes who earned U.S. Track & Field and Cross Country Coaches Association All-Academic honors in July of 2014.


In addition he was one of 10 URI student-athletes to be recognized at the Rhode Island House of Representatives for their academic and athletic achievements. He also earned second place honors in the weight throw at the 2012 New England Indoor Championship.


“Some of my favorite times were traveling to meets with my teammates,” he said.


But his junior year was the most memorable. “I was sick for a long time, but then things turned around for me late in the year, and I was able to win both the A10 and New England hammer throw. I was so proud and happy for me and my teammates,” Janes said.


He strongly believes that winning team awards are much better than individual awards because the whole team experiences the feeling of victory.


Janes feels that being an athlete and a student can be challenging. “There are a lot of late nights and caffeine that go into it.


Acknowledging that student-athletes are motivated, Janes offered the following advice to his peers, “Eat your Wheaties and Stay Confident.”


This press release was written by Sylvia Bogusz, a Communication Studies and Italian double major interning in the Department of Marketing and Communications.