Each week during the 2018-19 academic year, the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference will feature two student-athletes (one male and one female) from one of its eight institutions for a "Student-Athlete Spotlight" Q & A segment. The segments, presented by Culver's, will be also posted every Thursday on the WIAC website.
Name: Jessica Bernardo
Hometown (High School): Millford, Mich. (Lakeland)
Year in school: Junior
Sport: Women's Gymnastics
Major: Biology Healthcare Science
Why did you choose to attend UW-Oshkosh?
UW-Oshkosh was definitely on my radar during the recruitment process throughout high school. After visiting I was shown how great the campus, training facility and team dynamic was. I was pretty set on UW-Oshkosh from the beginning, but I was really shown how great the team was when I got sick during my senior year. I hadn't committed to any school yet, and I was in and out of the hospital while gymnastics and school were both put on hold. Recruiting was the last thing on my mind, but my coach called me and promised that she would watch out for my health and wellbeing while going to school far from home. The entire team and coaching staff kept up with me while I was recovering and really showed how much they cared! This process confirmed that UW-Oshkosh was the best option for me!
What do you like most about competing in the Wisconsin Intercollegiate Athletic Conference?
Gymnastics as a whole has a relatively small number of athletes. A lot of the gymnasts in the WIAC have known each other from competing while growing up together or have gotten to know each other through meets at the collegiate level. It makes for a really fun atmosphere to be doing what I love with a lot of friends around me whether they are from my school or not! Gymnastics has a really supportive community, and I am grateful for the opportunity to be surrounded by such great people.
What is your favorite…
Menu item from Culver's? Vanilla Concrete Mixer with brownie pieces
Flavor of the Day from Culver's? Chocolate Eclair
Spot on Campus? The Mi Taza in Reeve
TV Show? Grey's Anatomy
Food? Ice cream
Musical Group/Artist? Florida Georgia Line
Professional Sports Team? Detroit Lions
Hobby? Going out on the lake
Vacation Spot? Capri, Italy
Quote/motto? "Every setback is a setup for a comeback."
What is your greatest sports moment?
When I was a freshman, I originally did not make it to nationals in the all-around competition. Because the other conference did not qualify enough athletes, I got the opportunity to go and ended up placing second at nationals!
What is your favorite thing to do outside of the gym with your teammates?
My teammates and I all love dancing wherever we are. It could be to any song in any place and you will find the majority of us dancing!
If you could change one rule about your sport, what would it be?
If I could I would give a longer touch warmup time before competing each event.
The best thing about your hometown is?
My town has a lot of lakes, which makes it a really fun summer town!
When you surf the web, the site you most often go to?
What is your greatest fear?
What do you plan to do after graduation?
After graduation I plan on attending physician assistant school and hopefully will end up with a job in general surgery. I hope to move back to Michigan to continue with this.
Three things on your "bucket list"?
Learn how to sail a boat
Do you have any pre-game/pre-event rituals? If so, what are they?
Yes, I always visualize my routine before competing, and then I have to give knuckles to all of my teammates around me before I start my routine.
What is your biggest "pet-peeve"?
Loud chewing or chewing with your mouth open.
2018-19 UW-Oshkosh WIAC Student-Athlete Spotlights