HOMETOWN: LIVONIA, MICHIGAN, USA
MAJOR: BUSINESS MANAGEMENT
MINOR: ENVIRONMENTAL STUDIES
Academics are a priority and a strong-point for Northland College senior captain Anthony Stempin. He'll graduate this spring with a degree in business management and a minor in environmental studies - a gleaming GPA rests on his transcript. But maybe the most impressive thing about Stempin is how his academic commitment is an expression of his character and values. He comes from a hard-working family and he is quick to credit his mom and dad as the reason his leadership roles are what they are today. Stempin is interested in business and is currently working on a business and finance internship in the Northland College athletic department.
GIVE US A LITTLE GLIMPSE INTO YOUR ACADEMIC LIFE AT NORTHLAND.
I'm majoring in business management and minoring in environmental studies. Our school has an emphasis on environmental studies and most classes implement the environmental aspect into the coursework. It's really interesting. I come from a good, hard-working family. I was fortunate enough to attend a good school in Detroit (University of Detroit Jesuit H.S.), and they emphasized and taught us to "be men for others." I try to live that out every day. I'm so glad and thankful to my parents for enabling me to play hockey all these years, and to help me attend Northland. I try to work hard for them, to get good grades, make them proud, and see where the future takes me.
HOW DO YOU BALANCE ACADEMICS AND HOCKEY? THEY ARE BOTH DEMANDING.
Obviously, I try to never miss class. It's hard with hockey road trips and everything, but I just stay on top of everything as best I can. I try to do my best in class, and always help the guys (teammates) out if they're struggling or need some help. It's kind of part of being a leader on and off the ice. But it's all about time management skills and working hard, planning things out, in order to balance everything. You want to tell professors sometimes how hard it is being a student-athlete. You have to find time to do your homework, find time to work out, find time to eat right and time to rest. It's not the easiest thing being a student-athlete, but there's no excuses. You're expected to work just as hard off the ice as you do on it. Professors don't accept late work, so you have to plan your time out really well.
YOU'RE DOING AN INTERNSHIP IN THE ATHLETIC DEPARTMENT THIS SEMESTER. WHAT DO YOU EXPECT?
I'm excited. It looks like I'll be learning and working with the administrative side of things - ordering equipment, scheduling practice time - that sort of thing. All the finances.
ANYONE FROM THE FACULTY WHO HAS HELPED YOU ALONG YOUR ACADEMIC PATH?
There's a couple people who have stood out. The head of the business department - Richard Joyal. Ever since I came in freshman year, the hockey players say, "Go talk to Dickey J," he'll help you out. So I went right to him. And right when I started out, I had some problems scheduling classes, so he helped me through that. He helps the boys out with any problems that come up. They call him "The Hockey Professor." Really cool and helpful guy. Another professor, Jennifer Kuklenski. She's a newer professor, but she has been really smart and helpful. Last semester I had three courses with her and I learned a ton from her.
POST-GRADUATION THIS SPRING. WHAT MIGHT BE NEXT FOR YOU?
Who knows what the next step in hockey might be. If there's a good financial fit, a good location, I would consider continuing my hockey career. But if not, depending on what happens, I've been working with my brother for a while now, in his landscape business back home (in Michigan). That's always something I can help with. Maybe I can partner with him, make the business bigger, more growth. Something like that. So we'll see.
YOU WERE CHOSEN A CAPTAIN AGAIN THIS YEAR. WHAT DOES IT MEAN TO YOU, TO BE A CAPTAIN?
It's a pretty big honor this year to be captain, with us having three alternate captains and then me as the lone captain. It's a big honor. I act like, kind of like a parent sometimes with the guys - giving them help, being there for them. I try to keep a smile on everyone's face, yet we get pretty serious come game time.
Anthony Stempin Northland College