Life as a student-athlete in college can be a difficult undertaking. For some, it takes time to adjust to the new lifestyle, while others are prepared to balance practice and problem sets. The latter characterizes Gann alumnus Daniel Mael, who has found success as a student-athlete at Washington University in St. Louis.
Mael, a sophomore on the Bears’ baseball team, credits Gann for his achievement as a student-athlete. “I feel that Gann prepared me for the time commitment at Washington University,” he said, adding that the time commitment only increases as the level of play and competition increases. In fact, it has never been as significant as it is right now while he recovers from shoulder surgery for which he trained in Texas this past summer.
Mael’s Gann experience also paid dividends for the academic side of being a student-athlete. Accustomed to being challenged in the classroom, Mael has seen differences between himself and other students thus far, explaining that some students are reluctant to contribute in class and have trouble accepting opposing views.
But as a leader in the classroom who has “no second thoughts” about participating, Mael attributes his ability to be vocal in the classroom to the environment Gann fostered. That active approach serves as the foundation in his pursuit of a political science and entrepreneurship double major.
Back on the diamond, Mael is confident that he will contribute this season in some capacity despite the team losing only two pitchers and arms being plentiful. “If I perform how I know I can, I’ll be given some opportunities and continue to make progress,” he said.
Sue Johnson, Gann’s Athletic Director, is not surprised that Mael has continued his success from Gann to higher education. “Danny was a talented, passionate and committed three-sport [Gann] student-athlete who excelled both on the playing fields and in the classroom,” she said. “By as early as his sophomore year at Gann, Danny expressed the goal to pitch at the college level [and] it is a pleasure to hear that he is achieving this goal now at Wash U.”
Between training for the upcoming baseball season and consulting Fortune 500 companies on the future of social media for a class in the Olin Business School, there is still time to reflect fondly of his time at Gann.
“There is such a sense of community and people who actually care about you,” he said. “It’s definitely a unique environment to have so many students, teachers and administrators who you can have an open conversation with in the hallways.”
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