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What could possibly be harder than writing a senior thesis at Harvard?
Try writing one bridging two concentrations—while starting in goal for the men’s ice hockey team as well.
That is the life of senior goalie Dov Grumet-Morris. Though most Crimson hockey fans know the Grumet-Morris who dominates the ice, flashing his glove and robbing shots, fewer people know his scholarly side.
“Dov is very, very motivated academically,” said blockmate and assistant captain Ryan Lannon. “Sometimes, I don’t know how he does it, balancing the hockey and the school.”
But Grumet-Morris is not just the average student-athlete. While all Harvard athletes must deal with the college’s significant workload, Grumet-Morris has an increased burden. Not only is he writing a senior thesis, he is a dual concentrator in Government and Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations.
“Dov works hard on and off the ice,” said senior forward Brendan Bernakevitch. “He’s doing a thesis this year, which is a lot more than most people can ask for from a student-athlete.”
“I know he’s going the honors route, writing a thesis. He’s a double-concentrator, so he keeps himself busy,” Lannon added.
Grumet-Morris, however, is quick to point out that everyone at the college has additional commitments, from theater buffs and musicians to journalists and members of political groups.
“I think it’s pretty much a similar schedule that anyone else has,” Grumet-Morris said. “It’s the same idea of a balance and knowing how to structure your time and your schedule.”
His teammates contend, however, that Grumet-Morris’ modesty is unwarranted. Although almost everyone at Harvard participates in extracurricular activities, not all are as physically and mentally demanding as hockey.
“They say it’s four hours down here, but it’s more like five or six one you get around to it,” Bernakevitch said. “Having a thesis alongside of that—it’s a lot.”
Nevertheless, Grumet-Morris isn’t fazed by the workload. Somehow, he seems to manage all his obligations and still have his free time.
“Most of us end up rushing to get papers done Thursday nights,” said blockmate and captain Noah Welch. “He has all his stuff done by Tuesday, so I think it works to his advantage.”
“I think he’s just one of those kids where the more stuff he has going on, [the better] he juggles it,” Lannon added.
Grumet-Morris’ intelligence helps him on the ice as much as it does in the classroom.
He always asks lots of questions—to both coaches and teammates alike—to get continual feedback on his performance and on how he can improve.
“It’s pretty much more about communication than anything,” Grumet-Morris said. “I definitely try to ask a lot of questions.”
And Grumet-Morris’ awareness helps his teammates as well. He is always very vocal on the ice, making sure that other players are doing their jobs.
“In the locker room, and off the ice, it’s safe to say that he’s a vocal kid,” Lannon said. “[He’s always] talking on the ice, telling you where you should be and where the puck is and how to move around. He’s skilled, he’s a very smart player, and he’s a talker.”
Grumet-Morris’ success on and off the ice has given him a sense of confidence. When he’s in net, he’s very much in control—and his teammates feed off his strong presence.
“This year, like every other year, [Grumet-Morris] has that same confidence, and we have confidence in him because he stands in there,” Bernakevitch said. “He may get scored on with a bad goal, but he always bounces back. He just gives us confidence.”
Grumet-Morris’ greatest strength is his ability to structure his schedule to accommodate his numerous commitments.
But as good as he might be at managing his time, Grumet-Morris will certainly benefit from the extra hours he’ll have once he completes his senior thesis. That will give the perfectionist more time to devote to hockey.
“He’s going to have a great senior spring once all of that’s over,” said Bernakevitch, referring to Grumet-Morris’ academic commitments.
But until the spring rolls around, Grumet-Morris will continue to be known as the smart guy on the team. Though he insists that the constant wise cracks about his intelligence don’t bother him, the other players amuse themselves thoroughly at Grumet-Morris’s expense.
“I personally think he spends a little too much time with his academics,” Welch said.
“He gets teased a little bit for being the smart guy on the team,” added sophomore forward Ryan Maki.
Whether they mock him or not, one thing remains true—Grumet-Morris’ teammates have great admiration for his intellect.
“It’s something,” Lannon said. “If I were half as academic as he was, my life would be a lot easier.”
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