Student Spotlight: Jessica Morales '23

Women’s fencing first-year Jessica Morales of Wilmington, Massachusetts, has been named the November 5th Brandeis Athlete of the Week, presented by The Chateau Restaurant Group.

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Morales was one of six Brandeis medalists at the 2019 New England Intercollegiate Fencing Conference (NEIFC) Fall Invitational, known as The Big One. She was one of two Brandeis fencers to take home gold.

Morales emerged from sabre pool play with the #3 seed in the direct elimination tournament after going 5-0 in pool play with a +23 indicator – the margin of touches scored against touches allowed. Morales rolled past opponents from New Hampshire and Amherst, 15-3, to get to the quarterfinals. In her first tight match, she defeated MIT's Kristen Palmer, 15-10, to get to the semis. Against second-seeded Gillian Lawlor of Boston College, Morales claimed a 15-9 win. In the gold-medal match, Morales prevailed, 15-11, over classmate Maggie Shealy  of Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

This was the first intercollegiate competition for Morales. The Judges return to action on Sunday, November 16, with the first Northeast Fencing Conference meet of the season at Brown University.

Jessica Morales '23 on the left, fencing at a US national team trial.


Major: Biology

Favorite part of competing for Brandeis: Getting to compete on a team, because I’ve always fenced individually.

Goal for 2019-20: Reach the NCAA Championships

Favorite high school subject: World History, because I loved learning about ancient civilizations

Last summer’s plans: Traveling to different countries for competitions (Canada/USA, Hungary, Peru).

Dream job: A pediatrician because I love children.

Favorite TV Show: Money Heist

Favorite book: The Lovely Bones

Surprising fact: I do not fence for the United States internationally. I fence for Colombia!

This is the fifth year that the Brandeis Athlete of the Week program has been presented by The Chateau Restaurant Group. The Athlete of the Year Program highlights a top Brandeis student-athlete who has had an outstanding athletic achievement from the week prior.  Each selected student-athlete will be featured on the Brandeis athletics homepage and inside the Chateau Waltham and Jake N Joes

Owned and operated by the Nocera Family, the Chateau Restaurant of Waltham opened in 1933 and set the standard for providing the tradition of Italian family dining, friendly service and quality food at reasonable prices for its customers.  Located on 195 School Street, with 900 seats, the Chateau is always ready to accommodate large parties.

The Nocera Family consists of 6 brothers who have always had a passion for playing sports.  In 2010, The Nocera Family launched a new concept, Jake n JOES Sports Grille.  Jake n JOES Waltham opened in 2014 and is the best place to watch a game and enjoy quality food.

"Brandeis student-athletes are fantastic role models in our community,” says Chateau President Joe Nocera, “They exemplify the ideals of excellence and commitment both on and off the playing field. The Chateau Waltham and Jake n JOES Waltham are proud to partner with Brandeis Athletics to continue to enhance a positive focus within the Waltham Community."

For more information on Brandeis women's fencing, visit the team’s web page at

Morales is a 2019 graduate of Wilmington High School.

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