Jasmin (Smith) Moore (Women's Rowing) 1999-2003
Oct. 4, 2012
Jasmin (Smith) Moore noticed a boat on the lawn at Strong Hall one day on her walk across campus during her freshman year in 1999. Seeing the boat that day led Jasmin to eventually become one of only 12 coxswains in the 17-year history of the Jayhawk rowing program to be awarded the Nikia Rosenberger Coxswain of the Year. Moore won the award following the 2002-03 season.
Jasmin, her husband, W. Todd Moore (’96), and their 1½ year old, Ezekiel Rock Moore, recently relocated back to Kansas City to be closer to family and to further their careers. Todd recently began employment at the KU Medical Center as Project Director for Community Partners for Health in the Frontiers: The Heartland Institute for Clinical and Translational Research.
How did you become interested in competing in rowing?
“I was an athlete in high school, but rowing was not offered as an option. When I came to KU I knew I wanted to be involved in athletics and I saw the rowing team’s boat out on the Strong Hall lawn. I went to an informational meeting and realized I was clearly too short to be a rower, but they needed coxswains to steer the boat and be the coach on the water. I did not think I would make the team, but saw this as a chance to learn a new sport and meet people. At that time, pretty much all the freshmen were on the novice team and it was a fun atmosphere where everyone was learning the sport together. I stuck with it, and after the first year moved up in the ranks quickly with the support of experienced rowers and coxswains.”
What is your favorite KU memory outside of rowing?
“I’ve lived in a warm climate for the last seven years and I really miss the changing seasons, especially fall. Fall at KU is the greatest; the trees on campus are exploding with color, you reconnect with friends, there are tons of events to go to, you discover new shops on Mass Street, and of course, basketball season starts.”
How did you balance academics and athletics?
“Academics were always important to me and being an athlete actually helped me be a better student. Rowing has a very short off-season, so we were all dedicating a good chunk of our time to rowing nearly all of the academic year. This meant that between classes and rowing, we only had a limited amount of time for school work and any other activities. I quickly discovered that the busier I am, the more efficient I am with my time, so my experience on the rowing team helped me prioritize and execute my work. This is a skill that is very attractive in the job market and is especially relevant as a new mom.”
How did your education at KU help you get to where you are now?
“I graduated from the Department of Applied Behavioral Science, where I specialized in Community Health and Development. It was in this program where I learned that one person can make a significant impact in a community. It was satisfying to know that what we learned in class had a practical application in the real world. I find myself using many of the skills I learned in this program in my work as a community planner.”
What led you to your career decision?
“There was one speaker in particular that changed the course of my professional ambitions. The Department of Applied Behavioral Science hosted a guest from the US Center for Disease Control who spoke about how reducing traffic by 20% during the 1996 Olympics resulted in a 40% decrease in asthma hospitalizations. This opened my eyes to how changing the built environment can greatly affect the public health of a community and encouraged me to pursue a Master’s degree in urban planning at the University of Texas at Austin. I have worked for the City of San Antonio and the Metropolitan Planning Organization for Central Arkansas in Little Rock on developing sustainable communities and creating smart, intuitive municipal regulations.”
What does your new job entail?
“Starting in mid-October I will be the Sustainability Manager for JohnsonCounty. Sustainability is living today like you believe there will be a tomorrow. It’s about health, economic development, quality of life…it’s really about everything. I will be coordinating sustainability policies, programs and operations throughout Johnson County government and the community. Essentially, I will help identify ways that the county and its residents can use their resources, both natural and financial, most efficiently.”
Do you still keep in touch with former teammates?
“We try to meet up with the Catloth’s when we are in town. One reason Jen and I are close is because she was the ‘stroke’ in the boat and we saw each other’s faces as I faced the rest of the team in the coxswain seat. We had a really great relationship when we were on the team.”
“Spending that much time with people over four years you become close. You see people in challenging situations that you may not see in a typical friendship. You see them in a different light in athletics. The experience definitely strengthens friendships.”
Do you still follow Jayhawk rowing?
“I took my family to watch them every time they came to Austin while I was in grad school and we attended the boathouse grand opening. Since having a baby, I mainly keep up with the team on Facebook. It is exciting to see the investment the University is making in rowing, the realization of the boathouse, involvement of former athletes and the success of the program.”
Eco-Hero: Jasmin Moore of Metropla