Student-athlete profile on Courtney Power '15
Courtney Power '15 is the women's hockey team captain this season. Courtney leads Hamilton into a two-game NESCAC series at Williams College this Friday and Saturday as the Continentals aim for their sixth straight win. Courtney, who has played defense for most of her collegiate career, scored her first goal at Hamilton in Tuesday's 6-0 win at SUNY Potsdam. She is a communication major.
Q. Could you tell us a little bit about where you grew up?
A. I grew up in a town called Oakville, just along Lake Ontario, in southern Ontario. There’s a lot to do within the town but it’s also a quick 15-minute train ride to Toronto. I went to a French immersion elementary school (where we spent half of each day speaking and taking classes in French) at Linbrook Public School and later attended high school at Appleby College, which is also located in Oakville. I’ve lived in Oakville my entire life, right next door to my cousins. This has to be my favorite part about growing up. We’re all within three years of each other, so we spent every minute together. Everyone used to make jokes that our two houses were just revolving doors since it’s a constant open-door policy between the two. On weekends, I often would go up to my family cottage on Lake Simcoe, about two hours from Oakville. I’ve spent a lot of time there on the water, boating, water-skiing, tubing, etc.
Q. Is there anything unique to Canada that you wish you could bring to the U.S.?
A. Actually, living in southern Ontario is much the same as living in the Eastern U.S., so I can’t think of anything specifically unique that I’d like to bring from Canada to here. We’ll definitely keep our Olympic hockey team though. Let the gold medals keep coming (ha-ha).
Q. How did you become interested in hockey?
A. Probably similar to most girls, I became interested in hockey because I wanted to be like my older brother. My dad, a life-long hockey enthusiast, definitely had some influence as well. My mom wanted me to sing and dance and take over the stage, but unfortunately my dad and brother won out. While I started playing because of their involvement in the game, I kept playing simply because I love to play hockey and sports in general. Sports defined who I am growing up, whether it was field hockey, soccer or ice hockey. I love the competition, the feeling of being on a team, and the feeling of accomplishment after achieving something you’ve collectively worked hard for. It’s a really unique thing that I am privileged to have experienced. Sports have taught me a lot and will continue to always be a part of my life.
Q. Why did you choose to attend Hamilton?
A. In Canada, liberal arts schools like Hamilton don’t exist. Most of the schools I was looking at were larger universities with specific programs. I first heard of Hamilton when head coach (Brendon) Knight contacted me during the fall of my senior year, but my interest in Hamilton grew after speaking with my guidance counselor. He happened to be familiar with Hamilton, as one other student from my high school had attended Hamilton and also played hockey. After speaking with this individual, I was quickly taken by his stories. NESCAC schools are essentially unheard of in Canada, so the prospect of attending one was extremely exciting for me. Coming from a smaller, private high school, Hamilton seemed like the perfect fit. On the recommendation of my guidance counselor, I went on an overnight visit to meet coach Knight and the team. After walking around talking to coach, seeing the campus and getting to know the unique open curriculum, I knew Hamilton was the place for me.
Q. What is your favorite Hamilton hockey memory so far?
A. It’s really hard to pin down one memory but one weekend that sticks out is the Williams sweep my sophomore year. I don’t remember the details, but coming in to their rink and beating them two straight was awesome. It was a great team effort and I remember everyone being so happy and excited throughout the game and afterwards. What I will remember most are the moments hanging out with the team. There’s really nothing like having a team, and a lot of my memories at Hamilton are those of us goofing around and laughing with each other.
Q. As the captain this season, what qualities make someone an effective team leader?
A. What makes someone an effective leader is their ability to relate to everyone. I’ve seen a lot of individuals who try to lead by intimidation or dominance, and it limits the potential of the individual being led as well as the group as a whole. The job of a leader is to help and enable each individual achieve their potential or better themselves. This is done by getting to know people and enabling them in their own way, not by intimidation. I’ve never been the best player on the team and I won’t pretend to be, but this sense of self-awareness is what makes me most effective. I’m leading from who I am, in the position that I’m in. Just being yourself goes a long way.
Most of all, I love this team and feel really lucky to have been chosen as captain this year.
Q. Where is your favorite place on campus?
A. We have a beautiful campus, so I have to say my favorite spots are those that allow you to take it all in. I love the quad outside of Carnegie, the area surrounding the Dunham Green and the view looking toward campus from Steuben Field. A few honorable mentions would have to be the Science Center atrium, Russell Sage Rink and Ferguson Dorm.
Q. What has been the most interesting part of your major so far?
A. The most interesting part is still to come. This coming semester I’ll be writing my thesis, something that I spent a lot of time planning and designing in Methods class this fall. I have chosen to look at the way particular organization structures, or cultures, effect the individuals who work in them with a particular focus on the financial industry. My thesis is based on sociologist Irving Goffman’s theory of total institutions, which says that all organizations have features that work to attract and motivate their employees. Some organizations, however, have more extreme features than others. Total institutions are those that have totally encompassing features, which result in changing the identity and behavior of the individual.
I was given a lot of room to choose and discover my senior thesis topic, and that is what’s so great about the communications major; there’s a lot of versatility and applicability within the field.
Q. What internships/research projects have you participated in?
A. During the summers after my freshman and sophomore year, I worked in the domestic banking human resources division at Scotiabank, one of the larger banks in Canada. Most of my tasks involved preparing presentations of the bank’s demographic information, reviewing nation-wide employee engagement surveys and helping organize internal events and conventions. Last summer after my junior year, I interned at a small talent agency in New York City called Evolution Media Talent. The agency worked to find jobs for their clients in the sports, lifestyle and news broadcasting industries. This internship was a lot more hands-on and I was able to help the two founding partners in reviewing, evaluating and promoting client reels, recruiting new clients and contacting news/network directors. My experiences at these internships were very different. One difference was the size of the company -- going from a large corporation to a partnership -- but I enjoyed both immensely. I particularly enjoyed my internship last summer mostly due to the partner I was working under, Seth Mayeri. He really let me find my own way and I learned a ton about the television industry, as well as the proper way to communicate and correspond with executives.
Q. If you could have lunch with anyone, who would it be?
A. I thought a lot about this question and after going through numerous academic and athletic figures in my head, I’d have to say my mom, Joanne Power. Unfortunately, my mom passed away from leukemia the summer after my freshman year. A lot of who I am today, especially the way I have led the team so far, comes from my mom. She was energetic, resilient and insightful. Due to the way she passed, I was unable to talk with her about a lot of things I would have liked to. A lot has happened and I have changed a lot these last few years, so I would love to sit down with her and talk about school, life, politics or anything we could think of. Her imaginative and unconventional ideas were always the most valuable ones!
Q. What do most people don't know about you?
A. Hmm, I can’t think of anything too exciting. A fun fact is that my entire family -- mom, dad, brother and I -- is left-handed!