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Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Own Words by Jonathan Tikhonoff

Jonathan Tikhonoff Division III Week image

WASHINGTON – Gallaudet University athletics is proud to participate in the seventh annual NCAA Division III Week (April 2-8) in an effort to celebrate the impact athletics and Bison student-athletes have on our campus and surrounding community. GU is joining 450 Division III institutions and 43 conferences in this week’s celebration.

To help focus on the many student-athletes that represent Gallaudet athletics we will spotlight two different student-athletes each day this week. You will learn more about them as they express their feelings on what it is like to be a Division III student-athlete here at Gallaudet. Interviews were conducted by the Gallaudet Sports Information Office.

Senior Jonathan Tikhonoff (Folsom, Calif.) recently finished his third season on the Gallaudet men's swimming and diving team. He is majoring in Information Technology and will graduate in either 2019 or 2020.

In My Own Words: Jonathan Tikhonoff

What is it like to be a student-athlete in college?
JT: As a student-athlete in college I am the most comfortable I have ever been. That slight anxiety every time I feel every time I converse with a hearing person is gone and I did not even realize that relief until I arrived here at Gallaudet.

What is it like to be a student-athlete at Gallaudet University?
JT: It makes me feel glad to be involved in something so unique as Gallaudet, the only Deaf university. To be a student-athlete here makes me feel like I can give back to the world that gave birth to me.

What are your goals after graduation, what do you hope to do in life?
JT: I majored in IT to be able support myself as an independent game developer. I disagree with the current mainstream direction of game-development and wish to expand the world of gaming in more innovative ways.

Coming from a homeschooled background, how does it feel to be apart of a college swim team? Also, did you compete in athletics during your homeschool career?
JT: I am glad to be back on a swimming team. A college swim team is quite different from year-round swim team I competed with during my homeschooling [years]. I once competed in Deaflympic's in 2005 before I stopped swimming. Now I am back, and I expect to be bigger and badder than before.
Division III Week Fact of the Day
Did you know that Division III student-athletes have a graduation rate approximately 5 percent higher than the overall student body.
Division III Week Student-Athlete Spotlight: In My Words
Thursday: Jonathan Tikhonoff (Men's Swimming) | Sabrina Hernandez (Women's Soccer)
Wednesday: Michael Haynes (Men's Track and Field) | Fatuma Ali (Women's Cross Country)
Tuesday: Matthew Carcraft (Football) | Shakeedra Hubbard (Women's Basketball)
Monday: Ren Hohneke (Men's Cross Country) | Jana Kiefer (Women's Swimming)

About Division III Week
Division III Week is a positive opportunity for all individuals associated with Division III to observe and celebrate the impact of athletics and of student-athletes on the campus and surrounding community. During the week, every Division III school and conference office is encouraged to conduct a type of outreach activity that falls into one of three categories: academic accomplishment; athletic experience; or leadership/community service/campus involvement. For more information log onto

About Gallaudet
Gallaudet University, federally chartered in 1864, is a bilingual, diverse, multicultural institution of higher education that ensures the intellectual and professional advancement of deaf and hard of hearing individuals through American Sign Language and English. Gallaudet maintains a proud tradition of research and scholarly activity and prepares its graduates for career opportunities in a highly competitive, technological, and rapidly changing world. For more information about Gallaudet University please log onto