Marocka is majoring in Civil Engineering
BREVARD COUNTY • MELBOURNE, FLORIDA – Being a scholar-athlete at Florida Tech takes an incredible amount of hard work and dedication to excel both in the classroom and on the field. We caught up with Panther men’s rower Domantas Marocka, a senior who is majoring in Civil Engineering, for this edition of Scholar-Athlete Spotlight.
Making the journey to Melbourne from Vilnius, Lithuania, Marocka has been a consistent presence in the Panther boat throughout his career.
This past spring, he helped lead the Varsity 8 to victory at the FIRA Regatta and a third-place finish at SIRA Regatta and AARC Sprints. His top performance as a Crimson and Gray rower came in May 2022, when he was a member of the Heavyweight 4 that won the Grand Final at the Dad Vail Regatta in Philadelphia, their first win in that event in nine years.
Following the 2021-22 season, Domantas was named to the Florida Tech Athletic Director’s Honor Roll.
Before the Panthers made the trip to Massachusetts to compete in tomorrow’s Head of the Charles Regatta, we talked with Domantas about how he’s made it all work.
Tell us a little bit about your major, what made you choose it and what do you want to do with it?
I’m majoring in Civil Engineering here at Florida Tech and ever since I was a kid, I was always interested in being on construction sites.
I even spent some summers working on construction sites for my dad’s friend and it made me interested in this industry and I really liked being there, get that hands-on experience, and I thought that in my future I could do that in more office-related work.
Growing up in Lithuania, what was it about Florida Tech that made you want to be here?
I sent a lot of emails for my future universities and Florida Tech was one of those who really cared about me, especially the coach [at the time], and obviously the weather here is unlike Lithuania. In Lithuania in the winters, we don’t have good weather and we cannot be on the water, while here we can always be on the water and it’s a big advantage.
Obviously, the academics here are the highest priority because if you want to be a student that is a competitive scholar-athlete, you have to get involved in the academics and athletics and you have to be successful in both in the classroom and on the water.
What’s something you’ve learned at Florida Tech about your field that you didn’t know before?
One of the main things I learned after coming here is that civil engineering has different parts of engineering, like geotechnical or transportation engineering. I think I’m gonna be really interested in some of those and get involved in future workplaces, for those types of engineering.
How has being a collegiate athlete prepared you for what you’re doing now and are there lessons from rowing that you apply to your studies?
Oh yeah, definitely discipline because waking up at 5:30 [A.M.] every single day, it gets really challenging and when you get in the real world situations, you will rely on that discipline and it will definitely help you in your future career and pursuits.
What advice would you give to an athlete coming to Florida Tech that has an interest in Civil Engineering?
My main advice for incoming freshmen athletes in civil engineering would be to responsibly,schedule your classes when the registering time comes up, because with all those brutal practice schedules, it’s gonna be really challenging to complete that and it’s really important not to take 8:00 A.M.
[classes] in the mornings because the schedule is really tight. You do practice in the morning, you must eat breakfast, you have to shower and then you have to get ready for class and go to class the whole day. So, it’s extremely important to make your own class schedule that fits exactly into your day.
What’s something you’ve done in the classroom that you’re most proud of?
One of my main projects we’re working right now is the Senior Design project.
It is about affordable housing for veterans, and I am taking a transportation engineering role in that project, which is gonna be really important towards the process of the project. We’re looking for good areas here in town to make that project really happen.
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