New Jersey native Monica Conley was already a well-known name in women's fencing before she ever stepped foot on Columbia's campus. Growing up a mere 30 minutes outside of New York City, Conley racked up two first team New Jersey All-State honors, was named the 1999 High School State Women's Epee Champions and the Division II NAC New Haven Champion, and was voted "Best Sportsman-Female Fencer" at the New Jersey All-State Fencing Awards.
Conley's success continued in college. She was a four-time All-American for Columbia from 1999-2003. She continued to make headlines in her hometown while at Columbia. Conley was named a Top-Ten Fencer of the Century by the Newark Star Ledger in 2000. Amidst her numerous awards as a collegiate athlete, Conley was also a three-time first team All-Ivy honoree and NCAA first team All-American in 1999, 2000, and 2002.
As team captain for the Lions in 2001 and 2002, Conley fenced among the best, as she dueled her way to become the Northeast Regional Women's Epee Champion in 2002.
It all came together for Conley in 2003, when Columbia won the Ivy League Championships, and Conley earned the 2003 Columbia Most Valuable Player Award.
After graduating in 2003, Conley started a fencing camp in New Jersey and taught classes at the YMCA before embarking on a career in design.
Shortly after graduation, Conley became the Women's Chair of the Columbia Fencing Advisory Board. Today, Conley remains an active Columbia alumnus by helping to fundraise, contributing to the fencing social media efforts and hosting alumni events. She has also served as the Varsity C Executive Committee secretary, treasurer, and President Elect.