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Student Leader of the Month

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The Student Leader of the Month program recognizes student-athletes who go above and beyond in both leadership and community service efforts. We are looking for student-athletes who not only lead on the pitch, but are making a positive impact off the pitch.

Nominate a Student Leader of the Month



Jai-Ja “JJ” Lee

NCR and Rugbee.Co proudly recognize Jai-Ja “JJ” Lee as the Student Leader of the Month for April. Lee is currently pursuing a Bachelor's Degree in Interdisciplinary Studies at Weber State University, with a focus on professional sales, construction management and geography.

Lee is a first generation Hmong American, born and raised in Fresno, California. His family moved when he was 15 to Valdese, North Carolina. After completing high school, Lee embarked on a two-year mission trip for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints in Sacramento, where he taught the Hmong community about Christianity in their native language. It was during this mission trip that Lee discovered his love for rugby, playing touch rugby with Tongan church members.

Returning home Lee enrolled at Weber State University where rugby found him once again. Lee was a part of helping the team rebuild after the Pandemic, serving as club secretary. Under his leadership, the team expanded its player base and became a part of NCR in the spring of 2023.

Now serving as the club president, Lee has devoted countless hours to preparing the team both on and off the field. He pursued a level 1 referee course and trained with National Athletic Village 7s, eventually earning the opportunity to officiate at the CRCs this spring.

Lee’s nominators have high praise for the club president, “Jai-ja saw the need to implement this program to teach new players the Weber State standard of rugby as well as to provide a "big brother" to assist younger players with life and school issues. Jai-ja believes its important to not do life alone and through this program each player is able to feel welcomed on campus and as a part of the rugby club.”


Molly Cancian

NCR and proudly recognize Molly Cancian as the March Student Leader of the Month. Cancian, a senior English major with a minor in psychology at Baldwin Wallace University, has an impressive background in rugby spanning eleven years and various teams and positions.

During her time at Baldwin Wallace, Cancian served as Vice President and later President of the Women's Rugby Club, as well as team captain in multiple years. Her numerous accolades include being a two-time NCR All-American, a three-time NCR Scholastic All-American, and receiving recognition at various national and conference tournaments. Cancian was a recipient of the US Women's Rugby Foundation 2022 15 under 30 award. She was recognized for her leadership and contributions at Baldwin Wallace, receiving the Excellence in Athletics Award at the 2023 Obie Bender Multicultural Awards Ceremony.

In Cancian’s sophomore year, she helped create the annual "Powerful Women on the Pitch Tournament." The tournament focuses on empowering and celebrating women in sports, with guest speakers each year that highlight that year's theme. Her dedication to community service is further highlighted by her role in organizing a tackle-a-thon to raise funds for breast cancer research.

Nominated by her team, they had this to say about Cancian, “She is leading the next generation of women in rugby leadership and doing so with patience and kindness recognizing that they are going to make mistakes and that her feedback and training will help guide them to the same kinds of successes she and her board have had while creating their own paths and experiencing the benefits she has gained as a leader in rugby.” 


Joel Casingal

NCR and proudly highlight Joel Casingal as the recipient of February's Student Leader of the Month award. Casingal, a senior chemistry major and a premedical student, has been playing rugby for the past decade since he started in 7th grade. Currently, he plays scrumhalf for the Villanova University Men’s Rugby team.

During his time at Villanova, Casingal has exhibited strong leadership qualities, holding positions such as match secretary in 2022, president in 2023, and captain for the 2022-2023 season. Additionally, he is actively involved in Villanova’s Service Learning Community, where he has served as co-chair for the past two years.

Casingal dedicates his time to volunteering with organizations such as “Back on My Feet,” which focuses on combating homelessness through fitness and community support. He also organized volunteer opportunities for the Villanova team at the university’s Special Olympics competition. Apart from his volunteer work, Casingal is heavily involved in helping to coach and run practices for the team.

A teammate who nominated Casingal said, “He is the most inclusive leader of any organization I’ve ever been a part of. The culture of Villanova rugby welcomes anybody and everybody no matter who you are, and this is mainly thanks to Joel.”


Lindsay Foster - East Stroudsburg University

NCR and are proud to recognize Lindsay Foster as November’s Student Leader of the Month. Foster is the current captain and President of the East Stroudsburg Women's Rugby club. She is a senior majoring in Exercise Science and minoring in Sport and Exercise Psychology. 

When the season for the East Stroudsburg Women's Rugby team started coachless, Foster, with the help of her vice president and co-captain, stepped up to fill the role. They organized the club, trained new players, and effectively filled the coaching role until a suitable replacement was found. This experience allowed Foster to discover her voice as a leader and apply it both on and off the pitch.

Beyond her on-field dedication, Foster organizes fundraisers twice a semester to support the team and community causes. She leads the team in volunteering at a local women's shelter and is currently planning "The Hidden Opponent," a game aimed at raising awareness about student-athlete mental health.

Nominated by her teammates, they had nothing but kind words to say about their President and captain. “Lindsay’s leadership motivates our club in numerous ways. She inspires us to improve as individuals and become in touch with our community. As one of the most experienced players on our team, she works with us with patience and passion in the art of rugby.”


Ian Stadelmaier - University of Maryland

NCR and are proud to recognize Ian Stadelmaier as October’s Student Leader of the Month. Stadelmaier is the current captain and President of the University of Maryland Rugby Football Club. He is a senior majoring in Kinesiology and minoring in Business within the Honors College. 

Stadelmaier started his rugby career in high school, playing for Baltimore Poly Rugby. In addition to being the club President, Stadelmaier is also the Spring tour coordinator and leads team fitness sessions outside of practice. 

Nominated by his coach, Jeff Soeken says, “He is a constant supply of energy in all tasks, large or small. As a long time coach, I often forget to praise the good leaders. He makes all the coaches' experiences with the team better and motivates us.”

This March, Stadelmaier is helping to plan a team trip to Spain. The team will be practicing and scrimmaging with local clubs in Madrid and Barcelona. This is the first time any club sport from the University of Maryland has traveled overseas. This tour will give the team a chance to see a new culture and country through the sport of rugby.


Hannah Timm - University of Wisconsin Stout

NCR and are proud to recognize Hannah Timm as September’s Student Leader of the Month. Timm is the President of the University of Wisconsin-Stout Women's Rugby team. She is a Junior majoring in Family and Consumer Science Education.

Timm started playing rugby her freshman year, and despite not having enough players for a full 15s team during her first two years, the team was able to scrimmaged other teams in their conference. During the 2023 spring 7s season, Timm and her team recruited heavily on campus and they were able to play in a few tournaments. The team now has over 20 dedicated players and are playing in Great Water’s first Festival Tournament. Timm is excited to see the program continue to grow in the years to come. She is committed to building a strong presence for Stout Women's Rugby in the Midwest. Timm has also started a mentorship program within the club, maintaining a relationship with alumni, and keeping the team involved with community outreach. 

Teammates of Timm spoke very highly of their President. “Hannah has created a welcoming, inclusive, and positive environment so that every single person who joined the team last year has returned. Hannah’s leadership is a powerful force of motivation for her teammates and coaches every day. She is the catalyst for the unprecedented growth of Stout rugby.” 

In addition to playing for Stout, Timm has also played with college and senior level teams from all over in various tournaments. She has also had the privilege of playing with the Great Water's All-Star small college team and Wisconsin Selects in 2023.