Baruch College Swimming’s Asimina Hamakiotes Named CUNYAC’s Female Scholar Athlete of the Year
July 27, 2020
Asimina Hamakiotes (’20), a four-year swimmer for Baruch College, was awarded the 2019-20 City University of New York Athletic Conference (CUNYAC) Female Scholar Athlete of the Year Award.
“I feel proud, I take my academics just as seriously as I take my swimming. You win one race; you get that fire to win another race. It’s the same with my academics. I just want to keep improving and improving,” Hamakiotes said.
Watch: Video featuring 2019-20 CUNYAC/HSS Scholar-Athlete of the Year, Asimina Hamakiotes, can be seen here.
Hamakiotes, a Macaulay Honors student, is a three-time CUNYAC All-Star with a bachelor’s degree in mathematics and minors in philosophy and interdisciplinary studies. She graduated from Baruch with a grade-point average of 3.7. In the fall, she will be attending the University of Connecticut to pursue her PhD.
“Since I was little, I always wanted to learn how things work, and why they work the way they do. I was always pretty good at math; I remember being in the fourth grade correcting the teacher. But my passion for advanced math developed when I was in high school. I went to the high school for Math, Science and Engineering at City College. I love learning and math is a subject that you can infinitely learn something. The more you learn the less you know,” Hamakiotes said.
Hamakiotes attended Baruch because of its strong financial math programs, but her switch to general mathematics opened so many doors during her academic career. She interned at the New York Stock Exchange, received grants from the National Science Foundation (NSF) for research, competed at trade events, traveled to different universities in the country and traveled abroad to one of the best mathematical programs in the world, the Budapest Semesters in Mathematics.
“The Budapest math program was all math, all the time. Some weren’t standard undergrad level math equations, they were more graduate level, so it was very hard. But it was a great experience. I was also accepted to REU [Research Experiences for Undergraduates], which is a research experience for undergraduates at Oregon State University which is funded by the NSF. For math, it’s really hard to get. There’s only a one percent acceptance rate. It’s an eight-week program where I worked with other professors and it was there where I wrote my first paper, Elliptic Curves,” she said
For Hamakiotes, her academic accolades could not have been possible without the support of head coach, Charles Lampasso. “He’s always been there for me, in and out of the pool. I definitely appreciate him. He’s motivating, he always wants us to be better. He’s always supportive when it comes to my academics. He never made an issue of my academic studies. Coach did more than I could ever ask for,” Hamakiotes said.
The senior helped Baruch win back-to-back CUNYAC Championships her first two seasons on the team. In 2016, Hamakiotes took gold in the 800-freestyle relay and silver in the 200-yard IM. “It felt great. It was my first CUNYAC Championship, so I did not know how the competition was going to play out. We were tired prior to championships but I was glad to come out with the win,” Hamakiotes said. In 2019, Hamakiotes collected five medals, one gold and four silver, helping the Bearcats to a second-place finish.
Her time at Baruch came with failures and success, as Hamakiotes feels Baruch helped her prepare for the next chapter of her life.
“Baruch taught me how to balance a busy schedule. I know in the next five years, I’ll have to balance a lot. I know what it feels like to really want something and want to win and achieve it from swimming. I carried that with me with math and the opportunities gained from that. The discipline that swimming has given me, I’m going to carry that throughout life,” Hamakiotes concluded.
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