May 26, 2010
MADISON, Wis. – A rookie on the lightweight rowing squad, Constance Chucholowski came to the University of Wisconsin from San Diego and has already been an invaluable addition to the team – both on and off the water.
“Constance is just a fantastic person,” lightweight novice rowing coach Dusty Mattison said. “I recruited her to come to UW and noticed right away that she is a very mature girl. She has come a long way from home to be here. She never shows homesickness or anything like that, and she has been very mature in her approach to being a student-athlete. She is able to balance everything really well.”
For Chucholowski, “everything” encompasses much more than classes, practices and friends.
In addition to her commitment to rowing, where Chucholowski has already earned a seat in the varsity eight boat, the political science major served as a volunteer at the Boys and Girls Club of Dane County throughout the school year.
“I was really interested in seeing what the Madison community was like since I’m not from Madison or even Wisconsin,” Chucholowski said. “I played a lot of athletic games with the kids and helped them with their homework. We played computer games, things like that.
“I had done something like [the Boys and Girls Club] before, but working with this organization in particular exposed me to a lot of things I had not been exposed to. It was really interesting. I think it opened my eyes a lot because I had not been in that type of community before.”
For her work with the Boys and Girls Club, Chucholowski received the W Club’s Community Service Award for the lightweight rowing team this year. However, the unassuming Chucholowski shyly shakes her head at the recognition of her service.
“I wouldn’t say I’m one of those people who says that everyone needs to do community service,” Chucholowski said. “If you’re doing it because you have to, then I don’t think you’re doing it for the right reasons. It’s just the fact that you’re helping someone. It’s fun.
“The children’s attitudes stand out the most to me in my experience. They are really light-hearted, warm kids, especially for the circumstances they are in.”
Mattison was impressed when she found out that Chucholowski was involved with the Boys and Girls Club.
“She did it all on her own,” Mattison said. “As a freshman, Constance volunteered with the organization all year, and being able to do that in addition to being a student-athlete with everything else she has going on, it shows she is really well-rounded. It reveals a lot about her, that she’s willing to put in that time when she could be spending it with friends or relaxing. I think it’s very admirable.”
Chucholowski has impressed her coaches on the water as well.
“Constance is doing a really good job,” lightweight head coach Erik Miller said. “She’s performed really well all season long and is blending well in whatever boat we put her in this season. She has a great attitude, and she is going to be the class captain for the sophomores next year. She has the respect of her teammates. Overall, she has done a really good job.”
The compassion and devotion Chucholowski shares with the children at the Boys and Girls Club carries over to her relationships with her teammates.
“Constance is very aware of her teammates and how they’re doing, how they’re feeling,” Mattison said. “She is very thoughtful and insightful, and you don’t always get that with a freshman.
“Constance goes out of her way to get to know everyone on the team and especially on a team like this, where some of the team comes in with rowing experience and some does not, she is really like the bridge that brings the two together.”