LEWISBURG, Pa. – Signifying a new chapter in the advancement of the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy, director of athletics and recreation John Hardt has announced the appointment of Lauren Cavallaro as Bucknell’s first associate director of athletics for leadership development.

Cavallaro comes to Bucknell from Rice University, where she has been serving as assistant athletic director for student-athlete development since April 2013. At Bucknell, her primary responsibility will be to coordinate and implement programming for the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy, a comprehensive leadership development program for student-athletes that is now in its fifth year.

“I am excited to welcome Lauren to Bucknell as the first full-time director of our student-athlete leadership program,” said Hardt. “I want to thank Maisha Kelly for her tireless work in getting the Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy off the ground and developing it into a strong, productive program over the last five years, in addition to her myriad of other duties as senior associate director of athletics. Now Maisha will pass the torch on to Lauren, who brings a wealth of experience and ideas on how to grow our leadership program even further.”

“I am honored and excited to join the Bucknell Athletics family in this new role,” said Cavallaro, who is a native of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. “Educating our student-athletes on leadership will help them excel in sports and in life, and I am committed to working diligently with our coaches, staff, and student-athletes to create a culture in which our students learn to build trust with one another and their coaches, and create a unified department that will continue to push ourselves to the highest level with integrity and service to others. Leadership is a game-changer, and I want to thank John Hardt and Maisha Kelly for their tremendous support and vision for this program. I am thrilled to return to my home state, and I look forward to inspiring strong leaders who will impact the world during their time at Bucknell and for the rest of their lives.”

Cavallaro holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the University of Pittsburgh, and she has been involved in athletics administration and student-athlete development for more than 10 years. During her tenure at Rice, Cavallaro oversaw the Owls’ leadership development program for student-athletes, administrators and coaches. Among a long list of initiatives, she developed transitional programs for incoming first-year student-athletes and graduating seniors, and she oversaw student-athlete health and welfare planning with coaches, staff, athletic trainers and other campus divisions to help enhance the student-athlete experience.

Cavallaro spent the 2012-13 academic year as director of athletics at the Elizabethtown Area School District. Prior to that stint, she worked for four years in a variety of roles at Miami University in Ohio.

Cavallaro started at Miami as director of the CHAMPS/Life Skills program before becoming an assistant coordinator of NCAA compliance. She served as sport administrator for the Miami women’s tennis program, and then later became the Redhawks’ director of football operations. Her final assignment at Miami was as director of student-athlete academic services and football administration. She also taught a pair of classes: “Learning Strategies for College Success” and “Transitional Skills for the New College Student.”

From 2006-08, Cavallaro was coordinator of the Office of Cross Cultural and Leadership Development at the University of Pittsburgh. While in that role, she created and managed a fundraising campaign that raised $500,000 for the University of Pittsburgh Cancer Institute. She also spent time as a teacher in the Teach for America program, and as an associate with the Big 33 Football Classic. 

Away from work, Cavallaro serves as a Team in Training marathon coach and participant in conjunction with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. She is a yoga instructor and has also volunteered with Girls on the Run and at Texas Children’s Hospital.

Bucknell is a highly-selective, privately endowed liberal arts institution in Central Pennsylvania with an enrollment of 3,500 undergraduate students. Bison student-athletes compete in 27 intercollegiate sports at the Division I level. The University is a charter member of the Patriot League and has won the league’s all-sports championship in 18 of the 25 years it has been contested. Bucknell ranks among the all-time leaders in total number of Academic All-Americans and annually ranks in the top 10 nationally in student-athlete graduation rates and Academic Performance Rate (APR), according to the NCAA.

The Bucknell Bison Leadership Academy strives to deliver programming and instruction that bridge theory, development and real experiences in an interactive learning environment. Through this endeavor, team leaders can enhance their impact on their teammates’ and their program’s performance immediately and for years to come.