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  • Writer's pictureLJ VP LAFIURA

Athletic Communications operates without a director

Director of Athletic Communications Robert Papazian, event staffer Zachary Dunnack, and graduate assistant Ray Bruno sit at the scorer’s table Nov 19. Photo by LJ VP LaFiura

The Director of Athletic Communications at this university is crucial, not only overseeing communications but also heading game day management and scheduling. The Lasers, however, have operated without a Director of Athletic Communications for much of the fall semester.

“It’s been challenging. We’re doing everything we can to support the athletes,” Athletic Director Kristy Walter said.

Trevor Wenners, the last Director of Athletic Communications, left this summer to become the Manager of Athletic Statistics and Record Keeping at Williams College, a private liberal arts school in Williamstown. Wenners’ departure comes less than a year after Kent Cherrington ended his nearly four-year tenure in the role, leaving to become the Athletic Communications and Operations Coordinator at Babson College.

Following Wenners’ departure, the Lasers were unable to get a new director started in that role until Nov 7.

“It’s a hard position to fill. There’s a lot of open positions out there. So we didn’t get a ton of applicants,” Walter said. “It’s a hard time to fill the position because people are at their jobs. So Trev- or left right before the fall season began. We didn’t get a ton of applications at that time. We didn’t get very strong applications at that time. So it’s just taking time to go through the process.”

Wenners’ successor is Robert Papazian. Papazian studied at Becker College and received his master’s degree at Boston College. Papazian worked for the Worcester Bravehearts, a collegiate summer baseball team in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League, then became the Assistant Athletics Director at Presentation College in Aberdeen, South Dakota, then the Sports Information Director at Albright College in Reading, Pennsylvania.

“I knew that this was always where I wanted to be. I wanted to be in Massachusetts. To be in this area,” Papazian said. “When I saw the Lasell position open up, I was like, ‘You know, I know I just got here at Albright, but this is a once-in-a-life time opportunity for me to do what I’m good at. Do what I love to do at a school that is right there.”

In the interim, the responsibilities of the Director of Athletic Communications were divided amongst Walter, Assistant Athletic Director Cait Connolly, as well as Graduate Assistants Janard Jones and Raymond Bruno.

Graduate assistant Janard Jones works on the livestream during the Men’s Basketball game against Brandeis Nov 19. Photo by LJ VP LaFiura

“My staff has been great,” Walter said. “Janard’s done a great job with the social media, Ray’s has helped kind of organize everything, and we’re all doing the game management stuff.”

“It’s been a challenge, but I think that’s something that we both were prepared for either way because we’re both, you know, new to some aspects of the department,” Jones said. “It’s definitely been difficult, but it’s also been something where I’m grateful that we’ve been able to run it at a very good pace and very good standard.”

In his first semester, Bruno also embraced the challenge. “We got thrown into the fire and learned on the fly. We got to see what a real SID job looks like as grad students,” Bruno said. “We were able actually to deal with a work-life balance. A lot of people don’t usually get that at a grad student job…I’m not officially in the real world, but for three months, I got to learn what it’s like to be in the real world and have a social life.”

Papazian acknowledges the work done by Jones and Bruno. “If you didn’t know that there was no one in this position, you would have no idea that Lasell was operating without a Director of Athletic Communications because those two guys have done an amazing job,” their new boss said.

A point of emphasis while entering his role is to scale back the work of his graduate assistants. “The one message I’ve been very clear with Ray and Janard has been I want you guys to keep doing exactly what you’re doing. The only difference is I’m going to take some of that off your plate so that you guys can go back to being regular graduate students that aren’t working 40 hours a week.”


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