Connecticut College News
Junior Brigid O´Gorman named finalist for 2010 Hockey Humanitarian Award04/14/2010
Brigid O´Gorman ´11, center, poses with children during a medical mission to Kaberamaido, Uganda
O´Gorman, a women´s hockey team captain, is an extraordinary student-athlete who connects ice hockey with public service, according to her coaches.
In March 2009, O´Gorman planned to travel to Uganda with a group of Connecticut College students on an Asayo´s Wish Foundation medical mission to rural Kaberamaido, Uganda. There, the group was to deliver much needed medical supplies and help provide basic medical care to the village´s residents. O´Gorman delayed her departure when she learned that her Connecticut College women´s ice hockey team had made the NESCAC semi-finals.
The group, minus O´Gorman, left the College in the early morning hours of March 7, 2009, to head for the airport and, eventually, Uganda. They didn´t make it. The van the students were riding in was struck by a drunk driver. One student was killed, others were injured. As the college community grieved over the loss, O´Gorman resolved to fulfill the original goal of the mission, which, in the face of such a tragic loss, seemed more important than ever.
O´Gorman gathered all of the medical supplies the students had planned to take to Uganda, and her coach, Kristin Steele, took her to the airport.
The trip had been planned through the Asayo´s Wish Foundation, an organization based in Salt Lake City, Utah, which founded an orphanage in Kaberamaido, Uganda.
"Since September of 2008 we had collected medical supplies, school supplies, clothes and money donations. The group was supposed to leave March 7th and they weren´t able to get there," O´Gorman explained. "So I decided to take over all the donations that we raised."
In the classroom, O´Gorman is a pre-med student majoring in biochemistry, cellular and molecular biology. She is a member of the Pre-Health Club and the Connecticut College Emergency Medical Corps. In her home state of New York, O´Gorman is an Active Emergency Medical Technician-B, with training in basic life support.
Once in Uganda, O´Gorman worked with a local doctor in two different medical clinics and in the orphanage. "I got to take samples of blood from patients and examine them under a microscope powered by the sun," O´Gorman said. "My father is a doctor, and he donated bottles of antibiotics, which are hard to come by there. I was able to prescribe them to people who otherwise would not have had a cure to their sickness. It was really special."
Steele said O´Gorman is an inspiration to her teammates, both on the ice and off. "Brigid means a lot to our team. She leads with her talent and her commitment to the team, and her dedication to the game and to her teammates is unparalleled. As a coach, I look for someone who is willing to challenge herself and others - Brigid always pushes the envelope."
As captain, O´Gorman helped lead the team to a successful season. The Camels made their third consecutive appearance in the New England Small College Athletic Conference Championship Tournament.
The 2010 BNY Mellon Wealth Management Hockey Humanitarian Award will be awarded during an April 9 ceremony at Ford Field in Detroit in conjunction with the 2010 NCAA Frozen Four. The Hockey Humanitarian Award is awarded annually to college hockey´s finest citizen and seeks to recognize college hockey players, Division I or Division III, male or female, who give back to their community in the true humanitarian spirit.
- By Will Tomasian