Alumni Spotlight - Feb. 15, 2011
Melissa Hefner - Field Hockey (Delaware '97)
Director of Business Development, BioPharm Communications, Lambertville, N.J.
One of the top two-sport standouts in Delaware women’s athletics history, Hefner was a four-year starter in both field hockey and lacrosse in 1993-97 and earned team Most Valuable Player honors and all-conference laurels for both squads. A native of Sellersville, Pa., she was a two-time All-America East conference and All-Mid-Atlantic Region forward in field hockey, leading the team to four straight winning seasons under coach Carol Miller. She also was a member of the US Women’s Lacrosse squad.
She scored 43 goals to rank No. 5 all-time at Delaware and set a school record by scoring a goal in 11 straight games at one point. In lacrosse, Hefner was a standout midfielder who scored 59 career goals for coach Denise Wescott, including 30 as a senior in 1997 when she led the team to the America East team title. A 1997 honors graduate of Delaware, she served as captain in 1997 when she also was selected as both the America East Player of the Year and Scholar-Athlete of the Year. She earned all-conference and All-American honors twice in lacrosse.
After a graduation, she served as a graduate assistant coach in soccer and lacrosse at Maris College. She began her professional career in pharmaceutical sales, marketing, and medical education and currently is employed with BioPharm Communications in New Hope, Pa. She resides in Lambertville, N.J. with her husband, Glenn Kapuscienski.
She was inducted into the UD Athletics Hall of Fame this past September.
As a student-athlete, what brought you to the University of Delaware?
"I always considered the University of Delaware an ideal University to attend both for their academics and athletics. I was thrilled when I was contacted by the field hockey and lacrosse coaches as a potential scholarship athlete for Delaware. After my recruiting visit I was even more impressed with the campus, academic programs, athletic facilities and most importantly my potential future coaches and teammates. I was convinced that I needed to be a Fighting Blue Hen for the next four years!”
What do you remember most about your time as a student-athlete at the University of Delaware?
"I remember the times spent with my teammates and friends and the bonds that were formed both on and off the field that still exist today. I remember the road trips, the victories, the defeats and most of all the feeling of unity amongst my team and coaches. When I look back on my time at the University of Delaware, without question I can say……some of the best times of my life!”
Do you continue to follow the team?
"I definitely continue to follow the field hockey and lacrosse teams and can’t believe that it has been almost 15 years since I played in a Delaware uniform. I am currently a member of the Lacrosse Alumni Board which was organized to re-unite the generations of UD lacrosse alumni and to remind all of us that once a Delaware lax player…always a Delaware lax player. I remain a dedicated fan of both teams and I am proud to work with the field hockey and lacrosse programs in any way to support their future growth”.
Tell us about your current career and what makes it so special?
"I am a Director of Business Development for BioPharm Communications, in the medical marketing field. The attributes that were required to be a student-athlete; hard work, discipline, teamwork and competitiveness have been essential in my success in sales. My current career allows me the opportunity to develop marketing programs to inform and educate health care providers and ultimately improve patient care for those in need.
What would be your advice to today's women's student-athletes?
"My advice would be to acknowledge and recognize that being a student-athlete is a true honor and privilege. As a member of an athletic team you are not just representing yourself, you are representing your team and also the University. How you present yourself and handle situations both on and off the field is a reflection of the University as a whole. Leave everything on the field every day. Work hard, be passionate, and believe in yourself and your team. Cherish every moment because it is the best time of your life. HARD WORK BEATS TALENT WHEN TALENT DOESN’T WORK HARD!”
What do you like to do outside of work?
"I love to travel with my husband and two dogs and experience new people and places, with a requirement for vacationing being there must be water! I also enjoy spending time with my family and friends enjoying the simple day to day things in life like nieces’ and nephews’ birthday parties, family holidays, etc. As an athlete, working out is always part of my regular routine, including running the San Diego Marathon and organizing a charity golf outing for Alzheimer’s Disease in memory of my grandmother.
What is one thing that people would be surprised to know about you?
“I believe that jeans are the foundation of fashion! My 29 pairs of jeans are worth more than my husband’s entire wardrobe”. LOL