Former student athlete brings Division III experience to the L&C athletic community
By Rocky McNeff /// Staff Writer
In 2001, Shana Levine faced the same question as all students will at Lewis & Clark: What will I do after I graduate? Considering Levine’s success and ability to fill the position of LC athletic director, one would believe that she had the answer to that question as a senior at Washington and Lee University. And yet, Levine graduated from college with a degree in biology.
An athlete on the women’s soccer team, Levine has more to bring to LC than just representing the head of athletics. She brings the spirit and knowledge of a Division III student-athlete, along with the skills to guide students trying to answer that looming aforementioned question as students. Levine loved the DIII aspect of school because soccer would still be a large part of her life, but would not overwhelm her academics.
She went to Washington and Lee thinking she would follow the pre-med route, until she took a course in organic chemistry and decided that she would stick with biology. Immediately following graduation, Levine started law school at the University of Pittsburgh: “I’m happy I did it because once I had gotten out of the student world, I don’t know if I would’ve gone back.”
Law school wasn’t a tough adjustment for Levine because she had a packed schedule as an undergrad with soccer and biology, while law school only took a couple hours out of her day. In the mean time, Levine began assistant coaching at a DIII school. As a coach, she was able to see “behind the scenes” of college athletics: budget, eligibility, recruiting and beyond. Levine realized that, “the bus doesn’t just know that we have a game and show up.”
The philosophy of DIII is what Levine loves about college athletics. She believes that athletics are educational and that in a DIII setting, they enhance what a college has to offer. The law world just didn’t work for Levine, so she proceeded to intern for the NCAA. This turned into a series of NCAA jobs over the course of the next four years. While working, Levine received great advice that led her to her current position: “Stop trying to find a job that lets you do the athletic stuff and just go work in athletics.”
Despite encountering some obstacles, Levine has found a way to do what she truly loves. She confessed that,“it was not a well thought out plan at all. It just kind of happened.”
Levine looks back on her four years as a student athlete and takes away one key aspect of her college life. She said you need to enjoy playing for your team and for your school because you only get four years. Additionally, she highlighted the importance of finding something outside of athletics that you love to do. Although here at LC we cannot follow Levine’s footsteps and join Greek life (that’s right, she was in a sorority), there are still many people to meet, clubs to join and classes to take that will introduce you to things you love to do beyond the field.