Alyssa Leonard

There’s no doubt that Vermont State University (VTSU) has the ability to lead students to different career paths, activities, clubs, and organizations.

Alyssa Leonard ’14 was able to not only pursue the career and major she wanted but also continue her athletic career and interests.  

“I wanted a small knit environment where I would build relationships with my peers, professors, and the athletics department staff,” she said. “I was able to be more than a student-athlete and start to formulate the career I wanted later in life. VTSU Castleton provided me all of that and more.”

In true Vermont fashion, Leonard has continued to share what she has learned at different schools. Leonard attended West Virginia University, where she received a master’s in Sport Management. She currently works at the University of Massachusetts – Amherst as the assistant athletic director of sales and fan experiences.

“The courses I took and the experiences I was provided have served as the foundation of my career. These opportunities provided me a wide array of experiences and helped teach some of the fundamental principles I needed to begin in this field,” she said.

Leonard has maintained a strong connection to the Castleton campus and has a group of professors and coaches she keeps in contact with. Between all of the support from the athletic department and serving as a community advisor, Leonard had plenty of learning experiences that contributed to her success today.

Women’s Basketball Head Coach Tim Barrett and former Assistant Coach Jeff Weld were two people that Leonard credits with teaching her valuable lessons.

“They taught so much more beyond the game of basketball, including life skills, lessons, strong values, a tremendous work ethic, and drive to always be the best at anything you do,” she said.

A professor that served as a mentor for Leonard was Sport Management Program Coordinator Marybeth Lennox-Levins, who helped her to gain an understanding of where she wanted her career to take her after Vermont State University.

“Through her experiences and the classes she taught, I was able to absorb so much information, and build a strong relationship with her where I trusted her opinion in helping me decide where to next,” she said.

Upon reflection of her time at VTSU Castleton, Leonard has a few words of encouragement for current students.

“College is truly the best four years and they go by fast. Soak it all up, take everything in, try not to pass up on opportunities, and have fun!” she said. “Adulting hits you fast and you’ll want a few days back in college. This University is truly a family, and something not many people get to experience.”