Joel Rousseau
Joel Rousseau
Title: Class of 2012
Organization: Men's Swimming and Diving

The name Joel Rousseau is literally all over the WPI swimming and diving record books. The eight-time All-America held 13 school records at the time of his graduation (eight individual and all five relays) and still holds five individual school standards. 

As a freshman, Rousseau made huge splash in college swimming circles. He guided the Engineers to the first of three straight Worcester City Championships, captured the 2004 NEWMAC title in the 100-yard butterfly, and participated in his first NCAA Championships. 

He earned his first All-America award as a sophomore, placing third at the 2005 NCAA Championships in the 100 butterfly, an event where he posted the fastest time recorded all season in Division III. During his junior season, he was named National Swimmer of the Week by CollegeSwimming.com, regained his NEWMAC 100-yard butterfly title, and swam in the finals at the NCAA Championships in the 100-yard butterfly (fifth) and 100-yard backstroke. 

“As a multi-time All-America, most people would assume that Joel would be best remembered for his hard work and determination to be the best, and, while this is very true, Joel was so much more than that,” remembers his head coach Paul Bennett. “He made those around him better. Joel wasn’t the type of personality to call people out or to vocalize his displeasure—he just worked, and when things didn’t go well, he went back and worked harder.” 

His senior season saw him garner Worcester City Swimmer of the Meet honors to go along with NEWMAC Swimmer of the Year award after touching the wall first in the 100-yard butterfly and 100-yard backstroke at the conference championships at Wheaton. Rousseau again brought home All-America honors after placing third in the 100-yard butterfly and sixth in the 100-yard backstroke. 

“I think if you ask him what his favorite moment in his career was, it may not have been earning All-America status or qualifying for senior nationals,” continued Bennett. “It was probably anchoring our men’s 400 freestyle relay to a come-from-behind victory over Brandeis, a team WPI hadn’t beaten in 60 years of swimming.” 

The Pittsfield native certainly left his mark on WPI swimming. He was a four-time NEWMAC champion and six-time all-conference performer. Rousseau participated in four NCAA Championships, earning eight All-America awards, and he still holds the WPI school records in the 50-yard butterfly (22.39), 50-yard backstroke (24.20), 100-freestyle (46.63), 100-yard butterfly (49.09), and 100-yard backstroke (51.23). 

Since his graduation in 2007, Rousseau has worked as both an assistant project superintendent as well as an assistant project manager for Whiting-Turner Construction Company’s Boston Division. Several of the local construction projects that he has worked on include the Burlington mall renovation, the Worcester and Nashua Target renovations, Logan airport terminal B renovation as well as a 150,000 square foot, 5 story office building for Oracle. 

Rousseau is currently working as an assistant project manager on a data center development for a major search engine company in Iowa. He currently lives in Omaha with his girlfriend, Alisa.