(Far left) Jocelyne Lamoureux and Monique Lamoureux test their gold medals with teammates after winning the 2013 International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championship. (Photo credit: HHOF IIHF Images on Ice).
Lamoureux Twins excel on the ice and in the UND classroom
With no professional contracts being signed and not being able to make a living by playing professional hockey upon graduation, University of North Dakota student-athletes and twin sisters Jocelyne and Monique Lamoureux know the importance of getting an education.
"We want to play in three Olympics," said UND senior forward and defensemen Monique Lamoureux. "There's no NHL for us, and it's something we've always known. Right now, we're pursuing our dreams of playing hockey, but we know that we're going to have to have careers after this."
That mindset has helped two of UND's most successful athletes become outstanding role models both in athletics and in the classroom.
The Lamoureux's received their undergraduate degrees in physical education, exercise science and wellness, and subsequently started on their master's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in sport psychology.
Being involved in NCAA Division I hockey and being members of the USA National Team, missing school has been inevitable.
"In the spring semester, we always miss up to three weeks of school with the national team along with missing school to finish up our college season, so it's something we make sure our professors are aware of," said Monique.
"These ladies are wonderful, model citizens who have taken responsibility with missing class," said James Whitehead, professor and graduate coordinator of the kinesiology master's program. "They're very diligent with doing their homework at major national championships to make sure it gets done on time. Add that onto the fact that they do it remarkably well too."
Being away from the classroom and not being present for lectures is always a challenge, but the Lamoureuxs take it in stride.
"They often work ahead of the other students," said Sandra Short, professor and chair of kinesiology and public health. "They haven't heard me lecture about a topic, yet they have to do homework on it and basically teach themselves."
"It helps that we're both taking the same classes so we have someone else to talk about the material with," said UND forward Jocelyne.
Having a graduate level course load, fitting in daily practices, all while trying to maintain somewhat of a social life can be stressful.
"I think it's a matter of good time management," Jocelyne said. "There isn't enough time in the day so you just have to learn how to manage it. We learned early when we went to high school and while we were in prep school to manage our time well."
Aside from being role models for women in sports, they're examples to all student athletes. They're able to balance an exceptional career in sports and yet are able to carry 4.0 grade point averages in the classroom.
"These two young women work hard academically but they're also working hard in their sport and that can't be denied," Short said. "They realize it's a privilege to play and they're willing to put in the work."
The Lamoureux's athletic commitments have involved four full NCAA Division I hockey seasons, one Olympic tournament, four International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) World Championships, four IIHF Four Nation tournaments and various camps with USA Hockey, yet their levelheadedness and modesty is overwhelming.
"They went from celebrating a World Championship to sitting in my statistics class two days later," Whitehead said. "Talk about a return to reality!"
A good work habits were instilled in the sisters at an early age.
"Our parents always told us that whatever we do, we need to always put our best foot forward and work our hardest at it," said Monique. "If you're not going to put 100 percent into something, then why are you doing it? It's something that we've always applied to school and to hockey."
"If you're going to do something, you might as well give it all you've got," said Jocelyne.
It safe to say the Lamoureuxs have given everything - on and off the ice.
Emily Aasand, UND University and Public Affairs Writer