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Get to know Athletic Director Shana Levine

December 01, 2014

Shana LevineShana Levine

In March, Shana Levine was named Lewis & Clark’s new director of physical education and athletics. She most recently served as associate director of athletics at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Virginia. Levine is a Washington and Lee graduate and holds a J.D. from the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.

What sports did you play as a kid?

I played just about every sport growing up because I was an only child and we moved around a lot. Every time we moved to a new place, my mom would sign me up for as many activities as possible so I could make friends. I have done a variety of sports, from horseback riding to gymnastics. Soccer is the sport I stayed with, eventually playing at Washington and Lee.

When did you realize you wanted to work in college athletics?

While I was in law school, I coached soccer at Carnegie Mellon, which is right next to the University of Pittsburgh. I was looking for a law job after graduation that would allow me to keep coaching and stay involved in athletics. Fortunately for me, a smart university administrator told me I should just work in athletics. After law school, I ended up applying for, and received, an NCAA internship. Working in athletics has turned out to be a great career as it allows me to combine my law degree with my passion for athletics and a liberal arts education.

What are the strengths of Lewis & Clark’s athletics program?

The athletics program—and the college more broadly—is set up to empower student-athletes to excel on the field, on the court, and in the pool, as well as in the classroom. The people and relationships make all the difference, and Lewis & Clark has amazing coaches, staff members, and student-athletes. We also have wonderful alums who stay involved with the college and support our student-athletes.

What are your goals for your first year?

My main goal is to learn as much as I can about Lewis & Clark, both in terms of the athletics program and its history as well as the academic side. Specifically, I want to get to know alumni and learn about their experiences, which will help inform me going forward.

How do alumni fit in?

Alumni play an important role in our program. We want them to come out and support our current student-athletes, but also to form relationships with them as mentors and advisors. Having alums who can help student- athletes get internships or simply offer advice is invaluable. Formalizing these relationships can also benefit our programs as they help us recruit potential student-athletes.

How does Division III athletics complement the overall liberal arts experience?

Division III athletics doesn’t just complement the liberal arts experience, it enhances it. Division III is grounded in experiential learning and collaboration. Athletics provides a forum for our student-athletes to experience success and disappointment as well as an avenue to push themselves outside of their comfort zones. It goes back to learning in the liberal arts environment: you are often asked to explore beyond what you’re comfortable with. Athletics provides that opportunity on a daily basis.

What attracted you to Lewis & Clark?

I was focused on finding an institution that truly values the academic experience as well as the athletic experience. Lewis & Clark does a great job integrating competitive athletics into the educational journey.

This content originally appeared in the fall 2014 issue of The Chronicle.