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John Czarnecki, the Director of Athletics at Hilbert College, has announced that Melissa Wapshare and Melissa Graham are joining the athletics department this year. They will provide administrative support and will perform area-specific duties to support the continued push for overall improvement in the athletics program.
Melissa Wapshare comes “back home” to Hilbert College this August after accepting the athletic department’s graduate assistant coaching position. The Buffalo native joins Rob Peterson’s women’s basketball coaching staff and she also begins her studies in Hilbert’s Master of Public Administration: Health Administration degree program after graduating from Hilbert in 2009.
Wapshare brings years of teaching experience both in the classroom and on the hardwood. Since 2007 Wapshare served as a substitute teacher or tutor in various public and a private school located in the southtowns during the traditional school year and was a teacher’s assistant at Aspire of WNY Center for Learning in the summer months since 2010.
Most recently Wapshare guided the modified girls’ basketball team at Iroquois Central while serving as an assistant coach to the girls’ varsity program. Wapshare brings AAU head coaching experience after leading an AAU Buffalo Storm basketball team since 2008. She also directed the junior varsity soccer and softball teams at Mount Mercy and Immaculata Academy.
After graduating with a bachelor of science degree in liberal studies from Hilbert, Wapshare then earned her master of science education, social studies certification, from D’Youville College in 2010. She is pursuing her second master’s degree which will prepare her for a lifetime of employment in the non-profit industry.
Melissa Graham joins the Hilbert College athletic staff as the department’s graduate assistant in charge of game management with direct support to the sports information office. Graham’s leadership abilities and work ethic are a perfect fit for professional expectations and demands that come with the job. Graham will balance her Hilbert commitment, her graduate studies at SUNY Buffalo and will continue her intern work for Senator Patrick Gallivan , who represents New York State’s 59th district.
Graham enjoyed a distinguished and impressive basketball career at SUNY Geneseo. At the culmination of her final season, she earned the Geneseo Athletic Department’s Leadership and Contribution Award after garnering DIII All-American honors, a spot on the D3hoops.com All-Tournament team and was named as the SUNYAC women’s basketball Player of the Year. Additionally, she received several individual team awards (MVP, Hustle Award and Defensive MVP) during her four-year career as a Blue Knight.
The Orchard Park native was very involved in the Geneseo community as well. She was a two-year Resident Assistant, a GOLD Leadership Program peer mentor and served as the co-chairperson for the campus S.A.A.C. Graham was a guest speaker at local Rotary Club, College Council, Chamber of Commerce and Alumni Council functions and attended several leadership conferences prior to her graduation in 2013.
Graham graduated with a bachelor of science degree majoring in biology with a minor in environmental studies and psychology while being named to the Dean’s list five semesters. She is currently enrolled in the master’s program at the State University of New York at Buffalo with plans of becoming a doctoral candidate in June 2014.
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