Fifth-year senior Jessica Calderone, the captain of the Robert Morris Women’s Softball team for the past two years, worked hard to become a team leader. Her teammates affectionately call her “Grandma” to honor her seniority, but that is not the image that comes to mind when you look back at her softball career at RMU.
Calderone suffered a shoulder injury in the first game of her sophomore year, just a season after being awarded the 2008 Northeast Conference Rookie of the Year. Now, she says she sees the experience as “a blessing in disguise,” because it allowed her to develop as a leader.
Calderone’s leadership carries over to other aspects of her life as well. Last year Craig Coleman, head coach of the softball team, asked her to lead the team efforts in fundraising during the 2011 “Beat Cancer With a Bat” event. By finding community sponsors, selling t-shirts, and running a raffle during one of the softball games, the team raised over $3,500 to support the National Foundation for Cancer Research.
“I am somewhat of a perfectionist. I don’t delegate,” says Calderone. “The hardest part for me was playing the game and not checking to make sure the raffle was going well.”
Calderone said she is looking forward to participating in the program again this year. In the meantime, she keeps busy weekly mentoring high school students as part of the “Community Alternatives” program in Beaver County.
Calderone is also currently enrolled in RMU's Master of Education program and maintains a 4.0 GPA. She completed her undergraduate degree in business administration and sport management last year and hopes to coach softball while teaching at a high-school level upon graduation.