After graduating in 2008 from St. Lawrence University, I found myself wondering what I would do next. I knew I wanted to be in education, but I did not know if I wanted to be a teacher. Because I was an athlete at SLU, I thought I would work at a private school as a History Intern, and possibly coach a sport or two to get to what I thought would be my final destination as an Athletic Director. Fortunately, none of that happened. Instead I found myself back at SLU. I became a Graduate Assistant Football Coach while completing my Master’s Degree in 2010.
At this point in my life I was married (to Erin Coakley Lassial ’07, ’13), and I applied and accepted a Residence Hall Director and Director of Intramural Athletics position at SUNY Canton. My thought was I would continue in athletics heading towards my final destination of Director of Athletics, and the Residence Hall Director position was just an add on. During my first year at SUNY Canton in 2010, I quickly realized that I did not want to be involved in athletics from an administrative standpoint, and that I really enjoyed the Residence Life side of my position. Over time I unconsciously made the decision that I would change my career path to becoming a Dean of Students.
After two years at SUNY Canton I was promoted to Assistant Director of Residence Life, I dropped Intramural Athletics, and I began teaching in our First Year Experience Program. Three years later I am now the Associate Director of Residence Life, I still teach in our First Year Experience Program, I work in Judicial Affairs and Student Conduct, and I am involved in eight different committees on campus ranging from Residence Hall Association to Tobacco Free Campus committee.
I have found a joy in helping students confront the same obstacles that I did as a student. I feel as though my Liberal Arts background at SLU and all of the professors and staff members that helped through my four years have given me the tools and passion to pay it forward to the first year students I teach in class and the upper class students I work with in the residence halls.
My love for athletics has not wandered either. I was an assistant coach on the men’s basketball team at SUNY Canton for my first four years working with another SLU alum (Keith Sullivan) for two years and with Jim Bechtel (former Saints Men’s Basketball Assistant) for my final two years. Currently, I am the Head Coach for the Varsity Boys basketball team at Canton Central School and an Assistant Coach for the Canton Central School’s football program.
Some wonder why I was a History major, and why I didn’t use my degree. I respond to those questions by saying I love History and its value to our society, and I use my degree every day once my students figure out I can help them in their history courses.
I hope that the History Department is doing well. Should any students have any questions please feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.