"At Caz, I am challenged to reach my peak potential and guided to academic success."
Nicholas Stagnitti, a junior Management: Sport Management major from Canastota, New York, chose Cazenovia College because he wanted to make a difference, and he knew he would be able to do just that at Caz. Starting his first semester, and to this day, he has held leadership roles in several student clubs on campus, all while maintaining academic success in the classroom and athletic success on the baseball field.
Stagnitti was familiar with Cazenovia College thanks to his sister, Morgan Stagnitti, a senior in the Visual Communications: Graphic Design program. Her positive first-year experience convinced Stagnitti to learn more about Caz and what it offered for sport management.
An avid leader and athlete in high school, Stagnitti has played or watched sports ever since he can remember. Stagnitti's interest in sport management started in grade school when he saw an interview of New York Yankees general manager Brian Cashman and owner George Steinbrenner in which they talked about how they run the organization. "I was completely influenced by their interviews," says Stagnitti. "I knew their work was something I wanted to do in the future."
Stagnitti recognizes the demands of the sports industry and is acquiring the knowledge and experience necessary for being a leader in the field. Designed to prepare students for every facet of sport management, courses in the program cover all aspects of the industry – from amateur sports to the four major professional sport leagues, from statistics to accounting and from business law to legal issues in sports.
Stagnitti's achievements in his statistics course led to his professor's recommendation for the position as Cazenovia College's statistics tutor. "Nick has done an outstanding job as the statistics tutor," says Associate Professor John Livermore. "The students have benefitted greatly from Nick's hard work."
Livermore met Stagnitti during summer advising and knew right away that he was special. "Nick wanted a challenging schedule. He clearly wanted his college experience to be rich and meaningful, and his efforts have paid off for him. Nick has already received an academic scholarship for his work in mathematics and he will certainly continue to be recognized as he finishes his undergraduate work."
For Stagnitti, understanding mathematics and statistics is just as important as understanding sports, and he credits Livermore's rigorous expectations as a motivation to work harder and excel. "I know that mathematics is crucial for understanding finances, so I want to apply my skills to relatable occurrences in the future," says Stagnitti. "Our world is based on mathematical principles. Understanding the depth of these theorems and concepts helps us understand the three-dimensional world that we live in."
Stagnitti holds the bar just as high when learning about policy and legal issues, a commitment that led to his nomination to represent Cazenovia College at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania this coming summer. One of the select three students nominated by the College, Stagnitti was honored by the invitation. If accepted, he plans to use the opportunity to talk with other college leaders from across the nation.
He is also involved in multiple clubs on campus, including the Health Care Club. Assistant Professor Joni Koegel, faculty advisor for the Health Care Club, is a role model for Stagnitti and someone he looks up to on campus. For Stagnitti, she is someone you can talk to at any time of the day, and who provides great feedback.
"Nick has been integral in making the Club a success. He has served Thanksgiving dinner with a smile to senior citizens, made stuffed animals for children, and shown great compassion for sheltered animals," says Koegel, who has also had Stagnitti in two of her classes. "Nick strives to be the best in every facet of his life. He is as much a team player in class as he is on the baseball field. Cazenovia College is fortunate to have him as a student and future alumnus."
Stagnitti, who has played baseball since the age of four, also plays for Cazenovia College. When asked how he manages so many activities, the answer is simple – organization. Stagnitti maintains the same routine every week, and keeps an agenda for his daily activities. "I work out at the exact same time between my classes, and do my homework at the same time around classes and baseball," explains Stagnitti. "I know what I have to do every day and when everything needs to be completed."
Being an athlete helps him understand the concepts of each sport, as well as the behind-the-scene duties that must be performed in order to organize a game. Planning athletics events requires time, organization and knowledge – qualities Stagnitti will need in his career. He understands that, as a manager, it's important that he have a firm knowledge of the operations involved in all sports if he is going to be an effective leader.
"You never know exactly what will happen in life and the sport world. Players can get traded, released, and employees can be fired, or move on to other jobs," says Stagnitti. "If you are organized and know exactly what you have to do, you can prepare for the unexpected more easily than if you have a chaotic work ethic."
Stagnitti hopes to intern for the Syracuse Chiefs this summer. Further down the road, after graduating from Caz, he plans to attend law school where he would like to concentrate on the various laws pertaining to being a sport agent or general manager, for example, player contracts and bylaws.
"At Caz, I am challenged to reach my peak potential and guided to academic success," affirms Stagnitti, who encourages future students to make a difference on campus. "There are immense opportunities to join clubs and meet great individuals. Work hard and gain every bit of knowledge you can from your professors and the alumni."