April 4, 2018

My #WhyD3: Curtis Warren (Colby-Sawyer) & Lexie Walker (Lyndon)

The North Atlantic Conference (NAC) 10 member institutions are participating in the NCAA Division III Week (April 2-8), which is a celebration of the division’s unique philosophy that equally values academics, athletics and student-athletes’ involvement in a full and rich campus life. Division III Week provides an opportunity for all individuals associated with a Division III institution or conference to recognize the powerful impact of athletics on their lives, their campus and the surrounding communities.

Throughout Division III Week, the NAC will be releasing a daily feature titled "My #WhyD3." The conference has gathered a variety of individuals willing to answer some questions relating to their personal Division III experiences. The NAC will feature a variety of conference members, from current and former student-athletes to faculty members to administrators and coaches.

Follow all of the DIII Week stories being told across the country by checking out the Twitter hashtag #D3week and if you want to tell a Division III story of your own, use the Twitter hashtag #whyd3.

Wednesday, April 4, My #Whyd3: Curtis Warren (Colby-Sawyer) & Lexie Walker (Lyndon)

  • Tuesday, April 3, My #Whyd3: Aaron Smith (Castleton) & Paige Carter (UMaine-Farmington) - click HERE 


Name: Curtis Warren
Institution: Colby-Sawyer College
Major: Exercise Science, Pre-Physical Therapy
ACSM Cert. Personal Trainer
Class: Senior
Varsity Sports: Men's Indoor & Outdoor Track & Field
Hometown: Morrill, Maine


Name: Lexie Walker  
Institution: Lyndon State College
Major: BA - Atmospheric Science (concentration in broadcasting)
BA - Climate Change Science
AS - Electronic Journalism Arts
Class: Senior
Varsity Sport: Women's Volleyball
Hometown: Groton, Conn.

What does being a Division III student-athlete mean to you?

  • Warren: “To me, being a DIII athlete has been a continued opportunity to grow as an athlete and a leader. I not only have had the fortune of extending my own career and abilities, but I have been able to guide others in their endeavors both in the classroom and on the track as well.”

  • Walker: “I never pictured myself to be a college athlete. I competed in high school but was never the ‘superior’ athlete; I played sports just because my friends did. The summer before my freshman year I wanted to be involved with the volleyball team knowing I never really had shot at playing at the collegiate level. But that has since changed. I highly value being able to call myself a Division III student-athlete. Being able to get a good college education AND play a sport is absolutely amazing. You can be competitive and play competitively against other schools but yet have fun while doing it, without it being a ‘job.’ I have friends that went to play for Division I and II schools for volleyball and it’s something they didn’t expect. They’ve mentioned the level of competition is way too serious and after a while it’s just not fun anymore. But here at Lyndon, I couldn’t have asked for anything more.”

How do you balance being a student and an athlete, while maintaining your grades?

  • Warren: “I find having the additional commitment of being an athlete beneficial to structuring and managing my time. I plan my schoolwork around practice and competition each week which enables me to successfully focus my efforts where they are needed throughout each day. My days are busy and my free time is sparse, but it is all its own reward.”

  • Walker: “I will admit, being a student-athlete is hard and a lot of work but it’s something you just have to put your mind and energy into to really succeed. Time management is key. Being able to plan your days, week or even weeks in advance is a hard thing to do. Staying on top of your schoolwork is really where it counts. The more you do at the beginning, the less you’ll have to do at the end. Getting 3 degrees in a span on five years is a lot, I’m always busy and have little to no down time between New 7, sports, work, classes, and having a social life but I like it that way. Staying busy keeps me focused and helps me to succeed as a student-athlete.”

What do you believe are the most important skills to possess when trying to excel on the “field” and in the classroom?

  • Warren: “I believe the ability to remain motivated toward individual and group achievement is key. Having goals is what drives me to give my full attention and effort to my education, my teammates, and my performance. It is my goal to attend each class and practice with the purpose of making myself and my peers better and to help create an environment that promotes learning and advancement.”

  • Walker: “Communication. I think it goes a long way whether you’re on the court, in a classroom setting or in a professional job. Making that connection and having a professional relationship with whoever it may be is crucial. Being able to talk up openly and honestly with your boss or teacher (it really helps in a classroom setting) is important, but also having communication between your teammates is beneficial. If you don’t have that communication and strong bond on a court than you won’t succeed and most importantly you won’t have fun.”

Are you involved on your campus Student-Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)? If yes, why do you believe the formation of this committee is important?

  • Warren: “Yes, I feel as though Colby-Sawyer’s Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) gives a large and active campus population a voice of representation as well as a collaborative means of giving back to the campus. We in the CSC SAAC also work to enhance the student athlete quality of life and act as a leading body that supports the ideals of the school and a DIII environment.”

  • Walker: “Yes I am involved in SAAC. I am the President of the Lyndon SAAC and was just recently voted the NAC SAAC President for next year, 2018-19. SAAC is the gateway between athletes, administration, faculty/ staff and other athletes on campus. SAAC reps are the voices of the student athletes. As many did before us, it only takes one voice to make a difference and that is what SAAC is for, to make a difference to future athletes that will once be in our shoes.”

Is there any advice you would give to your peers or aspiring collegiate student-athletes that you believe would help them benefit more from their collegiate experience?

  • Warren: “I think that balancing athletics with academics becomes easier when you fully commit to both, as opposed to being tentative and unsure. Tentativeness leaves room for the ability to waver from responsibility, lose consistency in both areas of performance, and creates a more stressful environment in one’s life than would exist otherwise. Another aspect to success as a student athlete is acceptance. It is important to accept early on that you will most likely have to miss out on something at some point because of a practice or contest. However, if you come to terms with the fact that making sacrifices is what it takes to participate in the sport you enjoy, then those sacrifices will be meaningful and easier to make. Becoming a student athlete is a lifestyle choice that requires commitment, dedication, and sacrifice but will reward you with experience and knowledge not found in other paths in life.”

  • Walker: “Things happen for a reason, timing is everything and don’t stress about the things you can’t control. This is my life motto, if you will. Not everything is going to happen the way you want them too… and that is okay, whether it be a certain situation or timing. Not stressing about the things you can’t control, easier said than done, but if you open up, swallow your pride, and let things happen then you can see the difference in the way you live your life. Also, it’s okay to say no. Staying and being busy is okay but being overwhelmed is not. Have that self-control to say no. Finally, don’t forget about your family.”

Beyond your sport, what are you most passionate about?

  • Warren: “Outside of athletics and academics I enjoy spending my time in the outdoors. I enjoy fishing, camping, hiking, mountain biking, and skiing. Like most other people I also love spending time with my family and friends. I chose to pursue Physical Therapy as a career partly because of my passion for sport and exercise and partly because of my passion for helping others. I try my best to have well planned out goals in life but to also to enjoy each day along the way to achieving those goals.”

  • Walker: “I’m very passionate about making a difference in someone’s life. Whether that is a small or big difference, I want someone to look back and enjoy his or her experience and leave happy, whatever the situation may be. I strive to put a smile on someone’s face, have him or her walk away and think about that moment and enjoy life.”

What are your plans after graduation?

  • Warren: “After graduation I will be moving to Portland, Maine with my girlfriend to attend the University of New England for their Doctor of Physical Therapy program. I hope to have a career as a DPT working with athletes to help them on their road to recovery to return to sport so that they may continue to pursue their athletic dreams as I have.”

  • Walker: “After graduation my hope is to get a job somewhere within my job market, 210 job markets to be exact. Being a broadcast meteorologist, the job placement is very high after graduation and I can go anywhere. Knowing the unknown is scary but it’s a part of life and I can’t wait to see where my journey brings me next.”

More information on Division III Week:

For resources regarding NCAA Division III Week click HERE.

Any institutions that are celebrating DIII Week should submit their activities to the NCAA by clicking HERE.

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.

During NCAA Division III Week, every member institution and conference is encouraged to schedule at least one activity, which celebrates an aspect of the Division III student-athlete experience, from these three categories:

  • Academic accomplishment, including activities such as taking time during a game to acknowledge student-athlete academic achievement, or asking teams to select a faculty member to serve as a guest coach for a practice or competition.
  • Athletics activity, including conducting events such as a youth sports clinic or competition, or scheduling recognition of school teams’ or individuals’ athletics accomplishments during a game.
  • Community or campus outreach, such as scheduling a community-service activity during the week, or participating in an event involving a local chapter of Special Olympics as part of Division III’s partnership with that organization.

Follow all of the DIII Week stories being told across the country by checking out the Twitter hashtag #D3week and if you want to tell a Division III story of your own, use the Twitter hashtag #whyd3