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Diversity Week Day 2 - Beyond a Label

Joao Brusamolin (standing left) giving a presentation to one of his engineering classes.
Joao Brusamolin (standing left) giving a presentation to one of his engineering classes.

Junior goalkeeper Joao Brusamolin and senior midfielder Gabriel Torres of the University of the District of Columbia men's soccer team embody what it means to debunk the "dumb jock" stereotype and be a true "Student-Athlete." Both are students first, and athletes second. And still, both have had tremendous successes both on and off the classroom here at UDC. Read their stories below.


Joao Augusto Renno Brusamolin

Electrical Engineering 


I'm João Augusto Rennó Brusamolin, and I'm studying Electrical Engineering at the University of the District of Columbia. I transferred from Brazil, and I chose to take my undergraduate degree in a foreign language. I'm also part of the UDC soccer team which helps me to build and learn great lessons for life.

I've chosen Electrical Engineering because it's a broad area that gives you many options after graduation. Furthermore, I enjoy working on electronic circuits and building projects that allow you to link your knowledge to real-life experiences. With that in mind, I started working as a research assistant at the Center of Biomechanical and Rehabilitation Laboratory on a study focused on elderly balance rehabilitation, which train and help participants toward improving their balance using walking and standing exercises.

Right now, my focus is divided between my soccer season and my studies. The time I have to devote to my schoolwork has become shorter since the season started, but I'm still focused to get the expected results in class. I've heard people say that: "Hard work pays off," and even though this is cliché, I believe it to be very true, and that's how I live my life.

It would be great to start my master's degree right after graduation; however, to find a job and start working is something that I think about and consider a lot. I will leave the future for God to take charge of, and I continue to focus on my goals today.

Finally, it has been a great personal and academic experience, and I'm thankful to the University of the District of Columbia, because it has given me much more than I ever could have dreamed. Also, I have no words to thank my coach, Matthew Thompson, for making this dream come true.



Gabriel Torres

Electrical Engineering

Second Team Academic All-American

CCA Men's Soccer First Team All-American


When I had the opportunity to come to an American university, I knew that I was not coming to play sports only. I was coming to be granted with one of the best educations in the world, and that's why I push myself harder, in both soccer and classes.

As an athlete, I'm always disciplined and focused, and from my first semester here at UDC, I have been able to transfer these attributes to the classroom.

So when I graduate, I will be able to say that I have enjoyed my experience, and I am ready to be a valuable engineer.