Data Unavailable
The Student News Site of Landmark College




Campus Leadership Profile: Josh Ascani

Josh Ascani
Josh Ascani

There are many leaders in the Landmark College community, ranging from fellow students to staff and faculty members who specialize in a number of different fields and work in many divisions of the college. One leader stood out to me the most because of my personal involvement with the department and programs he helps plan and lead. That leader is Josh Ascani, the current Director of Athletics, Fitness, and Recreation. Josh is a model leader, someone who guides an important department at the College, helps plan engaging programs, and inspires others around him, both colleagues and students, to become leaders themselves.

Josh began at Landmark as the Assistant Director of Recreation and Outdoor Programs. A few years later, he became the Director of Athletics, Fitness, and Recreation. Using the actions of leaders around him, Josh takes a wholistic approach to leadership and highlights what inspires him. The perseverance of students he works with, sacrifices of families, and hard work of colleagues all inspire him. He described the need to recognize the human piece of leadership and the importance of everyday heroes as leaders and inspiration.

Josh described leadership as a “broad and complex topic.” He shares that many different factors contribute to his effective leadership. Examples include his active participation, presence, and belief in the core principles of the college community.

Since he started at the College, Josh’s presence has had a major impact on the student body and the college community as a whole. He described his presence, just “being there” and “showing up” as making him an effective leader in the Landmark College community.

To be effective, leaders need to actively participate with the communities and individuals they serve. I had an important personal experience where Josh showed this active participation. During my first year as a residential student, I was the only attendee to an outing to Keene. While many in Josh’s position would cancel, he still took the time to converse and get to know me although only one student showed up to a program of his. Through his description of his leadership and a personal experience of mine, Josh holds this important quality which in turn makes him an effective leader.

Josh also says that “…if you are not present you are not really part of the community.” He believes community has an influence on life choices, which makes his presence important.

Josh believes in the College’s mission and core values. An example would be the college’s core principles: respect, understanding, safety and honesty (RUSH). He views himself as serving in a “supportive role for students.” Josh helps run and organize athletic and recreation programs, such as intramurals or the basketball teams, which provide another outlet for students to enjoy their college experience and learn outside of the classroom.

Before Landmark, Josh worked seasonally in the outdoor industry, an experience he believes influenced the leader he is today. He originally taught outdoor education, which required him to use his own teamwork and leadership and build these same skills in those he worked with. He believes that leaders form and grow over time and with experience,and says that he was fortunate to be involved in outdoor education, have community, and be around people who challenged and pushed him. This all positively impacted where he is today as a leader.

I interviewed Molly Lawson, Josh’s colleague and the current Assistant Director of Recreation and Outdoor Programs, to get another perspective on Josh’s leadership from someone he works closely with. I first asked Molly about the qualities Josh possesses that make him an effective leader. She described that Josh builds positive relationships with other professionals at Landmark College and the student population. He is aware of and able to cater to student needs, is a strong listener, and shares his experience in order to train others. She also appreciates him for using his experience in preparing her for the position she is currently in.

I then asked Molly how she believes that Josh built his leadership skills. A big reason she described was through mentorship, especially including the guidance and advice from the former director, Kari Post. She describes that the two of them had a “foundation of working side by side” and “a lot in pairs.”

Molly explains that there are “many aspects of being a leader.” She describes three qualities as the best descriptors of Josh’s leadership: “friendly, outgoing, direct.” I then asked what Molly believes are the qualities needed for effective leadership. Molly says that the mission needs to be known and used as the basis, along with strong motivation and communication and “follow through, seeing something through.”

Molly describes herself as a leader, but working alongside Josh has inspired her to build on her skills and experience. She describes that Josh’s skillsets have motivated her to excel more in her role as a leader and the new Assistant Director and is grateful for his guidance and experience.

Through both personal experience with his programs, him as an individual and the interviews, there is one quality that Josh holds and utilizes in his leadership: his confidence. In the text, “Introduction to Leadership: Concepts and Practice”, confidence is defined as “…a trait that has to do with feeling positive about oneself and one’s ability to succeed” (Northouse, 2008, p. 27). For example, whenever I am around Josh, I notice that he is confident in his decisions and abilities and in the potential of others around him. I am inspired to grow and improve as an individual and leader through my interactions and experiences with Josh.

Josh knows about his potential as a leader and positive influence in the communities he is part of, which he portrays to others. This in turn inspires, encourages and supports others, including student athletes and the wider Landmark College community.



Ascani, J. Personal Communication. (2023, October 17).

Lawson, M. Personal Communication. (2023, October 23).

Northouse, P. (2008). Introduction to leadership: Concepts and practice. SAGE Publications Inc.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All LCVoices Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *