Jackson, Gauntner appointed as new Assistant Athletic Directors
The Carnegie Mellon director of athletics, Susan Bassett, has appointed Todd Jackson and Sara Gauntner as assistant directors of athletics, with Jackson heading intramurals and club sports and Gauntner heading the instructional programs and recreation.
“We believe that leading an active lifestyle is an integral part of the educational experience. By adding Todd and Sara to our leadership team, we are confident we can provide the most conducive environment for recreational participation for all members of the Carnegie Mellon family,” Bassett said.
Gauntner remains the director of aquatics and assistant men’s and women’s swimming and diving coach, and Jackson will also become the director of intramurals to replace Mike Mastroianni. Mastroianni left Carnegie Mellon after a 23-year career with the athletics department to become director of athletics at Quaker Valley High School.
With the departure of Mastroianni, Bassett decided to restructure the department and create two more vital positions that will continue to develop the fitness and wellness programs set in place.
Bassett expressed her enthusiasm for the new appointments, saying, “We are truly excited that Todd and Sara will lead our recreational athletics programming to the next level. This area of our department serves 90 percent of our student body as well as the campus community. This is a tremendous opportunity to bring fresh ideas to the department and encourage more individuals to engage in an active lifestyle.”
Jackson comes to Carnegie Mellon with three years of experience at Cornell University as the Robert D. Kennedy director of intramural sports, and has worked with recreational services at his alma mater, the University of Connecticut, where he graduated with a master’s degree in education, and Nova Southeastern University.
“I’m looking forward to working with an outstanding group of successful athletics department staff members, and I’m really excited about the opportunity to become engaged in recreational programs that involve the entire Carnegie Mellon campus community,” Jackson said.
Gauntner enters her fourth year at Carnegie Mellon with involvement with aquatics and varsity swimming. Last season, she was a member of the University Athletic Association Men’s Swimming and Diving Coaching Staff of the Year.
With a master’s degree from the School of Sports Leadership at Duquesne University, it is clear that her leadership as a coach and on the logistical side of aquatics demonstrates her keen ability to enhance the facilities, programs, equipment, and overall fitness and wellness experience at Carnegie Mellon.
“With this position, I am really looking forward to working with more people on campus and trying to get as many students involved in recreation,” Gauntner said. “The athletic department, university programs staff in particular, is very dedicated in reaching out to our campus so we can provide them with many opportunities outside the classroom.”
As she looks to the future, she anticipates expanding the fitness programs offered and hopes to “work closer with Donna Morosky [director of fitness] and Pattye Strager [operations manager and assistant director of fitness]. They bring much experience in fitness and recreation and I have enjoyed my last four years with them. We all share the same passion and can bring all our ideas together, which will certainly benefit the students.”
Since today is the first day of classes and the appointments are new as of last week, we can only look forward to the improvements in store for the spring semester.