|Title:||Volunteer Assistant Coach|
|Previous College:||Stanford '10|
Jessica Watkins enters her second season as an assistant coach with the Caltech women’s basketball team.
“Jessica brings us a deep well of knowledge about being an elite-level academic student in the STEM fields while at the same time being a world-class athlete," Head Coach Sandra Marbut said. "She knows what it means to do both things well and serves as a tremendous role model. She has a great balance of push, compassion and competitiveness and is a daily example of the pursuit of excellence in work and play. I am so grateful to have her as a part of our program."
The Boulder, Colo. native was a member of the Stanford University women’s club basketball and soccer teams, as well as the Cardinal Women’s Rugby squad, which won the Division I National Championship in 2008 and was the runner-up in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Watkins was named First Team Collegiate Rugby All-America in 2008 and 2010. As a member of the U.S. Women’s Eagles National Sevens Rugby team, she participated in several international tournaments, including the inaugural 2009 Women’s Sevens Rugby World Cup in Dubai, during which she was the leading try-scorer for the U.S. in its third-place finish. In 2014, she was a Resident at the United States Olympic Training Center in Chula Vista, Calif., training semiweekly with the Eagles in preparation for rugby’s debut in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games.
As a postdoctoral fellow at Caltech and collaborator on the Mars Science Laboratory Science Team, she participates in daily planning of rover activities and uses rover image data to investigate the geology of Mars. She recently received a Ph.D. in Geology from UCLA, after earning her B.S. in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University in 2010.