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Rubin Showcases Selflessness Regardless of Injury

Senior women's tennis player Jessie Rubin stays active both on and off campus

November 8, 2012

Rubin Showcases Selflessness Regardless of Injury

Contact:Katya Medianik

Vestal, N.Y.—Binghamton women’s tennis player Jessie Rubin has surpassed a strenuous injury to lead the Bearcats into her final intercollegiate tennis season. It has truly been an inspirational story of how one can stay so positive and optimistic through a struggling chapter in one’s athletic career.

With the Patella Femoral Pain Syndrome, Jessie was forced out of training from 2010-11, in total an entire 18 months. She says, “the cartilage in my knees were wearing away and the tissues are really hard to build up again; so my bones were rubbing together which is incredibly painful.” It took several months of physical therapy, three times a week for two and a half hours each session, to get Jessie back up and running.

“Jessie has not been able to be on court with the team, but she provides invaluable leadership in how to conduct yourself through difficult situations,” said third-year head coach Libby McGovern. “It is very difficult to be the person on the sideline that’s not able to practice and compete. Through her injury, she has been completely selfless and comes out and cheers on her teammates during practice, workouts and matches.”

Outside athletics, Jessie has numerous activities on her plate. She interned at the Promotions Department at Fox News Channel/Fox Business Channel in New York City, worked with The Wall Street Journal producing online segments, and interned at VH1 (Viacom) in New York City as well. As for her involvement with Binghamton, Jessie is the Vice President of Hillel, a Jewish student group on campus. She raised $1,000 for the Jewish National Fund with Hillel to go to Israel and conduct community service for 10 days. Her most recent involvement, with the ‘Leaders From The Locker Room’ at the Magic Paintbrush Project Foundation landed her the role of new Magic-Maker where she will work with impaired children within the Binghamton community.

“She is involved in so many different areas on campus and has been a fantastic role model in terms of how to get involved in your community while juggling being an athlete and excelling as a student,” McGovern explained. “She is very balanced and that is something that all incoming players need help with because their academics and athletics can become overwhelming. She has been an invaluable asset to our very young program through her three years, especially with five newcomers entering the program.”

Jessie not only stayed loyal to her team, but also showcased guidance through internships, both on and off campus, including volunteer efforts. Currently Jessie is working hard with coach McGovern, to get back into the game and represent Binghamton University in the spring.

You are so involved both on and off campus, what is the key to juggling all your activities?

JR: If there is one skill that has helped me the most here at BU, it’s time management. I’m passionate about a lot of things and want to be a part of so many groups and projects that I need to balance my time well to participate in them.

How are you able to manage being part of a Division I athletic team and also be recognized on the America East Academic Honor Roll for the previous three years?

JR: It’s important to remember why we’re chosen to be a part of the Bearcat athletic family. Yes, we are brought here to work and play hard for our sport, but most importantly we are here to focus on our studies.

How did you get involved with the Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC)? What are your major duties?

JR: I got involved with SAAC my sophomore year at BU. I think it’s an amazing opportunity for student-athletes to interact with athletic administration and let their voices be heard. Last year I organized and directed a benefit concert for Hillel at Binghamton in which I got a few of the athletic teams to sponsor through SAAC. My goal has always been to breach the gap between athletics, the rest of campus, and the greater Binghamton community.

In what ways has being the Vice President of Hillel at Binghamton, one of the largest student groups on campus, shaped your perspective of people from all over the nation?

JR: Being Vice-President of Hillel, I learned a lot about leadership skills and working as a team with my executive board. Being a leader for such a wide-reaching campus group gave me the opportunity to meet so many different people on campus that I would not have interacted with otherwise. I learned a lot about how to empower students, to help them find their passions and reach their goals.

Over the summer, you interned with VH1 in New York City. What was that experience like? Did you meet any interesting people?

JR: Working at VH1 was one of the most amazing experiences of my life. It was an absolute pleasure to work with people who love what they do everyday and are excited to come into work. The environment was so inspiring, I never wanted to leave. When they asked me to give them an end date, I remember asking them, “If I don’t give you an end date, can I just stay forever?”  I loved working in Manhattan… I didn’t even mind the commute. I’d always do my best thinking on the train. I met a lot of interesting people and I was in awe of everyone who I worked with. They are all so talented and motivated.

With a major in English, what are your career aspirations?

JR: I’m still figuring it out a little bit each day. But as of right now I want to go into digital editorial and social media in the entertainment industry.  Maybe I’ll be an executive producer someday.

What is the ʻLeader From The Locker Roomʼ at the Magic Paintbrush Project Foundation all about? Being the new “Magic-Maker”, what are your responsibilities?

JR: There’s about 12 of us who are the new ‘Leaders From The Locker Room.’ We will be working with teenagers who are a part of an organization called ‘Glove House.’ This organization helps children and young adults who have experienced multiple crises and trauma in their lives, which include abuse and neglect, sometimes even abandonment. We will be mentoring some of these young adults at the Magic Paintbrush Project. The program starts in the spring and I really can’t wait.

I’m also the new Social Media Magic Maker for the Magic Paintbrush Project. I’m doing my best to improve their social media outlets for this amazing organization. I am working on their Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. By building up their followings, the rest of the world will be able to see how incredible they are.

Who are your role models, both athletically and personally?

JR: This is by far my favorite question because I get to give a shout out to my best friend – my mom. My mom is one of the strongest women I know. She has had to overcome a lot and she still manages to be the warmest and most loving person you’ll ever meet. I hope I’m growing up to be half as wonderful as she is.

Athletically, I’d have to say that my former teammates have shown me the way. I’ve had the privilege of being a part of a team for four years that has always had great leadership.  In particular, Danyelle Shapiro, who was a senior when I was a freshman, from my first day at BU I always looked up to her. Everyone respected her and she was such a great leader. She knew how to balance athletics, academics and a social life in a way that I always modeled myself after.

How does it feel being the only senior and having such a young team? Is there any added pressures?

JR: I really look at my team with pride. We have so much talent, heart and determination on our team. Even though we have a lot of young players, I am confident and have no doubt in my mind that they will rise to the occasion in the spring. I am especially proud of Katya Medianik and Melissa Edelblum for stepping up and taking leadership roles on the court while I am out on injury. They are both incredible role models.

It is extremely inspiring how you have stayed so optimistic through your injuries and decided to take on the role of a manager/mentor for the team. Talk about what motivates you to continue being involved with the womenʼs tennis team.

JR: I just love my team so much and so badly want them to succeed. Being on a team, I’ve learned that it’s not about me, it’s about us. My hope is that I can motivate my girls and be there for them whenever they need me. I just want to do whatever I am capable of to help them be the best that they can be. Hopefully in the spring I’ll be feeling good enough to start hitting with them again.

Being injured for the past two semesters, how does it feel getting back on the court? Do you think youʼll be able to compete and represent Binghamton University for your final semester here?

JR: That is definitely my dream. Getting back into playing is incredibly hard both physically and mentally, but it’s something that I want to do more than anything. I’m taking it one day at a time and hopefully I’ll be able to represent BU on the court in the spring!

What individuals supported you and helped you overcome this injury?

My coach (Libby McGovern) is by far the number one person who has supported me all the way through. She has been encouraging and motivating every step of the way and always has my best interest at heart.  I absolutely could not have done it without her.

What is the best element of being a part of the Bearcat family?

JR: That’s the best part, “family.” It’s an amazing feeling of both pride and belonging. Because I’m a Bearcat, I’ll always have people who will be proud of my accomplishments as if they were their own. It’s the feeling that I’ll never stand alone, that we’re all here for one another no matter what.


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