Athletics Department embraces young talent

Callahan (left) and Shultis (right) bring a wealth of experience and experiences to their new positions. Callahan looks to improve intramurals while Shultis brings unique experience. Photo By: Vassar College Athletics
Callahan (left) and Shultis (right) bring a wealth of experience and experiences to their new positions. Callahan looks to improve intramurals while Shultis brings unique experience. Photo By: Vassar College Athletics
Callahan (left) and Shultis (right) bring a wealth of experience and experiences to their new positions. Callahan looks to improve intramurals while Shultis brings unique experience. Photo By: Vassar College Athletics

This semester Vassar Athletics is joined by two new faces. Mike Callahan will be coming in as the assistant director of Athletics for Sports and Recreation, while the training room will be accepting Ian Shultis. Shultis will be replacing Josh Bellavance, while Callahan will stiffen the core of the athletics department who will soon be waving goodbye to Roman Czula.

Mike Callahan has worked at Vassar before. He served as the Summer Sports Camp Manager during the summer of 2011, from April to August. Callahan, among many other obligations, will again be responsible for the summer sports camps, a prospect that drew him back to Vassar. The strong academics and athletics that Vassar has to offer also brought Callahan here.

“The athletic facilities here at Vassar are top notch, which will help make my job much easier,” Callahan wrote in an emailed response.

Before he began work at Vassar, Callahan worked at Iona College for three and a half years as Coordinator for Recreation and Intramurals. While there, he looked after far more than just the intramurals program. He organized game day operations, transportation for twenty one teams, and a host of other responsibilities, including the coordination of over one hundred student workers.

With all his experience, Callahan is undeterred by his new challenge. At Iona,  “I had to wear many different hats just like I am going to have to do here at Vassar,” he wrote.

While Callahan is responsible for far more intramurals at Vassar, he says his main goal in the coming semester is to increase student participation in the intramural program. Callahan has big plans to make this happen. He intends to offer more leagues and tournaments. “Each league and tournament will have a playoff, a championship, and each champion will be awarded a championship T-Shirts. I also planned to offer more leagues and tournaments.” He also will introduce an Instagram page and he’s working on an app for Vassar Intramurals and Recreation.

“We need to improve how we get our information out to the students on what programs we are offering,” he wrote.

Following up on this plan, Callahan revealed that Vassar athletics has recently partnered with IMLeagues, an organization that will help with registrations, keeping track of statistics, standings and getting information out quickly and efficiently to the student body. IMLeagues provides services to more than 800 institutions across the U.S.

Callahan seems more than prepared for the kind of work that needs to be done. “In this day and age, social media is essential to any organization,” he said. “I have just recently created Facebook and Twitter pages for Vassar Intramurals and Recreation,” he wrote.

Callahan graduated from nearby Carmel High School in 2005, about thirty miles from Vassar, and then attended Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts where he played basketball and majored in Business Administration. He was captain of the basketball team his senior year at MCLA, and while in high school earned an All-League selection. He did his graduate work at Manhattanville College, receiving his Masters in Sport Business Management in 2011. He has coached basketball at the high school level for two years.

Ian Shultis recently graduated from Marist College with a B.S. in athletic training. Homeschooled in his youth, he did the majority of his high school education at a local community college.

“I decided to come to Vassar as it presented a great opportunity at the right time, as I was looking to get into the sports medicine field,” Shultis wrote. This position will be Shultis’s first full-time position in the sports medicine field.

Shultis has been on the U.S. Fencing Sports medicine team for three years prior to this, and will continue to be here at Vassar. He has added to those responsibilities Men’s Volleyball, Men’s Lacrosse, and Women’s rowing and rugby. Head trainer, Susan Higgins, informed in a written response, “Ian has a wealth of experience beyond his years.  He is very well respected by his mentors and peers and has worked in very high level fencing events which will include the Junior Olympics this Winter.”

Apart from his involvement in the U.S. Fencing team, he has taken many internships in the field, as well as in sports management. He served locally at the Arlington High School and Poughkeepsie High School, while also a little further afield at the New York City Half Marathon. Shultis was also in the wrong place at the right time, serving as one of the first responders at the Boston Marathon.

The Boston Marathon offered Shultis the most violent injuries he’s ever had to contend with. Shultis was on a volunteer trip there, assessing runners as they crossed the finish line when the bombs went off. He and his classmates were some of the first to arrive on the scene.

Such tragic events as those in Boston are not Shultis’s regular experiences. In the sporting world, Shultis has faced more common place, but difficult injuries.He wrote “I would say a Spondylosis or a vertebrae fracture in one of my football defensive backs.” Shultis was on the Marist football medical team.

Considering the most common injuries of college athletes, Shultis wrote, “In this setting, ankles are very common, but especially long term overuse back and hip strains and general stress along the spine/hip junction, or the SI joints.”

As well as being a part of fencing from the medical side, Shultis has also competed both at high school and college levels. Shultis trains for obstacle course running and road racing.

Susan Higgins is very pleased with Shultis so far. Higgins wrote, “Ian brings a very strong work ethic and excellent educational background.  He works well with various teams and makes an extended effort to educate the athlete along the way.” His wish to teach the athletes he works with is something Shultis takes very seriously. He wrote, “I want to be around sports and the practice of treating and teaching athletes.”

Shultis has high aspirations for his work in the area, and a clear interest for his field.

“I chose to continue into sports medicine after achieving my associates in exercise science. It was a practical way to go so as to learn more about the way athletes of all types train. Honestly if I had a dream job it would be me being a professional athlete, or expanding into a military setting.”

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