In this series, we are taking a look at the diverse nature of people roller derby attracts - who they are in their day jobs and what brings them to the sport.
Today, we're talking to Bo Derelict, who joined Duke City Roller Derby last year and quickly sky-rocketed to a coveted spot on the Muñecas Muertas. She jammed for the second half of the All-Star's recent game against West Texas Roller Derby to great success - earning lead jammer more often than not and helping to secure the 205-44 win.
What is your day job?
I work at UNM’s Center for Teaching and Learning where I am the STEM Program Specialist for the Center for Academic Support (CAPS). Basically, CAPS serves as the learning center for UNM’s undergraduate students. I oversee about 45 tutors who provide academic support to 7,000 students a year for about 50,000 hours. The tutors I supervise facilitate conversations about content, conduct individual appointments, and lead workshops so students can become independent, lifelong learners. Students who use CAPS statistically graduate faster and with higher GPA’s than other students so we are a meaningful part of many student’s lives. A large portion of my job is the training and supervision of my tutors, including their professional development, payroll, and managing budget allocations for the three locations I oversee, and helping them navigate the professional world, perhaps for the first time. On top of my day job, I am also completing my PHD in Civil Engineering which will emphasize in housing policy and the impacts/implications of sustainable design policy on affordable housing.
What brought you to roller derby?
I have played sports my entire life and I love being part of a team. When I stopped playing sports competitively, and no longer had to worry about being injured, I wanted to give derby a try. The outright intensity of derby excited me. When I started, I was thrilled to be part of a team again but, perhaps more importantly, I was thrilled to get the opportunity to learn something new around a bunch of seriously amazing, positive, and uplifting women. If you haven’t gotten the chance to meet the people of DCRD, make sure you do. They are the bee’s knee’s.
What work do you do in the league?
I am the committee head for Human Resources with DCRD. Basically, I help to make sure that everyone has submitted necessary paperwork to play and is up to date on policies and procedures. I send a lot of emails and ask a lot of questions.
How do you feel that your career has transferred to you as a skater and what you do for the league?
My jobs has a few prongs: a) observing others and making corrective measures to ensure the best outcomes, b) researching, and implementing, best practices, and c) being a support system for fellow staff. This requires me to be a bit behind the scenes, observant, and rely on a growth mentality with those I supervise and interact with. The fundamentals of my day job transfer to DCRD really well. At practices and games, I observe techniques and methods for gameplay and skills. Behind the scenes I watch games and read blogs to make sure I understand the things I have observed. Having a growth mentality is also very helpful because it reminds me that we all have to start somewhere, and that we have never fully arrived. When I am learning a new skill, or I am having a frustrating practice, my day job fundamentals come out and it helps me stay positive.
Also, my job is very HR oriented so working DCRD HR isn’t a stretch for me.
How do you balance work and derby and life?
Are Epsom salt, Ibuprofen, and coffee acceptable answers?
To balance work and derby requires scheduling, planning, and dedication. Derby is a commitment of time and energy. The more time you put in the more you get out of it! So I have to plan out my days and my commitments to make sure I am fulfilling responsibilities across the board. But at the end of the day, when you love doing something you can make time for it and it doesn’t feel like a balancing act or a sacrifice. And I love this sport.