BETHLEHEM, Pa. --- The next alum in the Moravian College Department of Athletics & Recreation's Get to Know Series is former softball student-athlete Melissa Soroka from the Class of 2004. Soroka was inducted into the Moravian Hall of Fame in 2014, and she was a four-year starter in centerfield. She was selected National Fastpitch Coaches Association All-East Region First Team in 2004 when the Hounds finished 40-6 and played for the NCAA Division III National Championship. Soroka was a four-time Commonwealth All-Conference honoree including First Team selections in 2001 and 2004.
How did you choose the sport you played when you were growing up? My parents gave me the opportunity to play different sports, enjoy the process and find what was the best fit for me. They always guided and supported me to work hard, do my best and always finish what I started. As I aged, I found what was the most fun for me and what pushed and challenged me to be the best version of myself. I found that in softball!
Why did you choose to come to Moravian College? I chose Moravian for its sense of community, quality and caring coaching staff and exceptional Education Program.
What experiences as a student-athlete at Moravian helped prepare you for life after college? Being a student-athlete afforded me many opportunities to work as team, build a strong community of people who encouraged and supported my development and showed me how important representing myself positively was also representing the brand/school/organization. It helped me manage my time appropriately, strive for excellence, and create a good balance of enjoying the college experience and working hard.
How did you get into your current occupation? I was involved in KDP on campus and a representative from my organization, ESF Camps and Experiences, came to speak to our group and share information about potential job opportunities to work with youth. This mini presentation 20+ years ago has opened many doors for me as I have grown as an Educator and Leader in my company. This summer marked my 18th year with ESF.
What was your favorite place on campus? Pit Bernie (Basement Dorm in Bernhardt)
What activities/organizations were you involved in at Moravian College as a student-athlete? SAAC, KDP, Boys and Girls Club, Work Study: Football Department
What was your most memorable moment at Moravian? Our 2004 softball season is something I will never forget. This team was scrappy, played hard and had grit. We bared down and stay focused and played with everything we had for 40 + games that season. We missed graduation but celebrated together in Salem, VA with a special graduation ceremony from the best coaching staff. By far my most memorable and most fond memories from my time at Moravian.
What advice do you have for prospective student-athletes looking to attend Moravian College? Have an open mind. Your path may lead you to something you weren't planning or expecting. It may lead you right where you should have been all along.
What advice do you have for current student-athletes as they approach graduation? Be flexible, work hard, stay focused and have fun!
What is the best piece of advice you've been given? Always do your best work because it is a reflection of who you are and what you are capable of.
Who are your role models/most influential people? My mother and father have always played the most significant role in my life. I have also always respected and admired Coach John Byrne, Scot Dapp, Scott Hoke and Ron Cardinal for pushing me to be the best version of myself, always believing in me and supporting me.
Which three people, living or dead, would you like to share a meal with? Saint Gerard (Patron Saint of Mothers), Bill Campbell (see the book Trillion Dollar Coach), Mark Wahlberg
Tell us something about yourself that would surprise most people. In 8th grade I competed on an inline skating team.
Favorite Color – Blue
Favorite Food – Pizza
Favorite Movie – Grease
Favorite TV Show – Dancing with the Stars
Favorite Musical Artist – Mary J. Blige
Favorite Athlete – Tim Tebow
Favorite Pro Team – Chicago Cubs
Hobbies – Health & fitness, running, spending time with family and friends
Most Prized Possession – My family
Ideal Travel Destination – Anywhere that has a beach!
Your Spirit Animal – Tasmanian Devil (Looney Tunes version)
Superpower you'd Like to Have – To be able to clone myself!