From one frozen four to the next: one law school student’s journey with Quinnipiac

May 04, 2023

ryann glushek, a platinum blonde wearing a white shirt and light blue shorts, poses by a puck shaped frozen four in tampa bay sign with her brother alex in a quinnipiac hat and hockey jersey, and other the side are her parents

Ryann Glushek ’20, JD ’23, saw Quinnipiac make it the Frozen Four twice before she became a Bobcat. Little did she know at the time, the third time would be the charm for Quinnipiac — with a national championship win in Tampa.

The last time Quinnipiac competed in Tampa was her senior year of high school, and she had seen the Bobcats come so close to the title only to lose it to North Dakota. Glushek’s family has always been into Quinnipiac hockey — since her father, Keith Glushek ’97, was a goalie for the school. Add in her mother, Sarah Glushek ’96, and you get a recipe for strong Bobcat pride in the entire family.

This year, when the tournament rolled around, Glushek knew she would be in Tampa.

“Seeing us win Quinnipiac’s first national championship title for the men’s ice hockey program in person will always be a special memory, but it was even more so for me since my family was there. My dad played here at Quinnipiac for Rand Pecknold when he started, so when the team won that game all I wanted in that moment was to hug my dad. It was great for me that I got to experience that with my family there," she said.

Having skated and danced in high school, she knew she wanted to keep doing both in college, and witnessing other schools’ hockey cheerleaders, she knew it was something that existed, she just had to find the right place.

Quinnipiac not only had the IceCats, but it also had an international business program. 

Knowing how important joining the IceCats was to her, she started practicing harder and focusing on being prepared for tryouts in the Fall of 2016. The hard work helped her earn a spot on the team and some of the best memories for the next few years.

“The IceCats were everything I could’ve have wanted more. I got to have memorable experiences with amazing people, all while continuing to do what I was passionate about. I have made lifelong friendships during my team on this team and that’s something I will always be thankful for,” Glushek explained.

The team can fluctuate from around 12 to 16 students a year, with backgrounds in dance and/or ice-skating, with the occasional person with experience with both — like Glushek. The energy of the team builds on teamwork and comradery to help every member develop the skills they don’t already have, and every season the team improves.

Glushek became the coach at the start of the 2021-22 season, during her second year of law school. Having taken a COVID-19 break during the previous season, the IceCats needed guidance from someone who had done it all before, and when she got the phone call, Glushek immediately said "yes!"

She now does more work behind the scenes, with practices, preparation for gamedays, working side by side with the athletics team and planning events for the team. Being a part of the IceCats has been a rewarding experience, Glushek said.

“When you’re performing at games or going to events, it’s more than just dancing or skating. You’re interacting with the community the entire time, whether that’s a fan, a high school student looking to apply, or a kid that wants a picture, it doesn’t matter; you are a representative of Quinnipiac in that moment and these moments have taught me and my team the importance of public speaking and how a five-minute conversation can impact someone," she said.

Traveling with the IceCats is also a wonderful experience. Post-season crowds are bigger and the energy in each arena is electric, she said.

“Seeing my team give performances at the top of their game each and every time, while making these memories together, made me speechless. Some of my favorite team memories come from traveling this season. The Frozen Four in Tampa is my favorite place we’ve traveled,” Glushek shared. “The moment I knew was watching the IceCats perform with the Pep Band before the first game and how these two groups worked together to give a memorable performance. I had fans coming up to me the rest of the evening asking me about the groups and if every home game at Quinnipiac was like this. In those moments, I just could not have been prouder and that will stick with me forever.”

Time management became her top priority in order to grow and teach the IceCats while also being successful in law school.

Having four hours of practice a week with the IceCats, some in the studio, some on the ice, weekend games to attend with her team, a full class schedule, externships, working as a graduate assistant in undergraduate admissions, being a publication editor on the Health Law Journal and being the vice president of the dispute resolution competition team, she’s got a full schedule.

Choosing to continue her education with Quinnipiac was an easy decision for Glushek.

She wanted somewhere she could succeed. Having had great accomplishments as a Quinnipiac undergraduate with professors who were willing to invest in her success and collaborative classroom settings, it was an obvious choice.

When Glushek graduates, she’ll be working specializing in commercial litigation, securities litigation and professional liability.

Her focus at Quinnipiac Law on dispute resolution has prepared her for a career of helping clients resolve legal concerns without having to go to trial, as collaborative communication, much like she was taught at Quinnipiac, is the best solution for a resolution.

Her seven years of education at Quinnipiac has taught her about public speaking, personal presentation, effectively representing and advocating for people, as well as managing and leading a team. All of these skills may have been taught in the classroom, but they were executed in her leadership of the IceCats.

Glushek urges students to say “yes.” “You may never get another chance at opportunities you have an interest in. A lot of the experiences I had while I was at Quinnipiac were once-in-a-lifetime and I took advantage of them when they came my way. If you want to try out for a team, go for it. If you want to participate in a travel abroad opportunity, go for it. The worst thing that can happen is being told no; but if you get that yes it could lead to the most amazing memories.”

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