Leslie Laster, a two-time Lakeland graduate and a member of the university's Athletic Hall of Fame, has been named Lakeland University's first director of student-athlete development. Her first day at Lakeland is Sept. 12.
Laster, who received her bachelor's degree in psychology from Lakeland in 1998 and her master of arts in counseling from Lakeland in 2010, will work with various areas of the campus community to ensure student-athletes have the tools and resources necessary to succeed in the classroom and in personal and professional development.
She will focus primarily on first- and second-year student-athletes, but will provide overall support and guidance as necessary to support retention and graduation of all student-athletes. She will report to the dean of students and work closely with the director of athletics.
Laster will also advise Lakeland's Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC), work on enhancing Lakeland's game-day experience and coordinate with the Lakeland alumni office to engage alumni in mentoring and networking opportunities with student-athletes.
Laster returns to Lakeland after working more than 15 years with young people, primarily in counseling roles in the Sheboygan Area School district. She most recently was a counselor at Horace Mann Middle School.
She came to Lakeland as an undergraduate from Iron Mountain, Mich. The former Leslie Jerks was a two-sport standout, earning numerous honors in both basketball and volleyball. She was inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame in 2014.
Laster lives in Sheboygan with her husband, Santino Laster, a 2005 Lakeland graduate, and their three sons.