Our Awesome Alumni

Mar 20, 2018

by Communications Staff
Edited for content and length

Our alums are one of the best in the world. We often follow up with them after graduation to see how they’re doing. To no surprise to us, we find out that they’ve gone on to accomplish some pretty impressive stuff. Like start their own companies or bands! Recently, we reached out to some recent grads and they had a lot of exciting adventures to share with us. Most importantly, they all credit their success to the awesome education they received here!

Yuichi Sasaki ‘11

Hometown: Nara, Japan

Yuichi Sasaki

Occupation: Senior Sports Therapist at National Sports Institute of Malaysia

Major at FSC: Athletic Training /Exercise Science

Why FSC: As a transfer student, it was really important to me to find that perfect fit. When I visited the FSC campus, I felt like I was guided here by something in retrospect. Sue Stanley-Green, our Athletic Training Education Program Director, and Associate Athletic Director Al Green were very welcoming and the students were so friendly and motivated!

Relationship with professors:

At FSC, I met three mentors, all from whom I still seek wisdom, time to time. The first mentor is Sue Stanley-Green. This lady with a big warm heart is so good at reading student behavior and changing the interaction style. Second mentor is Al Green — The Legend. He is the leader you want to follow and learn from, especially when it comes to business, organization structure and event planning/operation. Last but not least is Professor of Athletic Training Dr. Mick Lynch, M.D., an amazing physician who can understand not only sports medicine but also strength and conditioning.

You’re currently working for the National Sports Institute of Malaysia, an agency that strives to take Malaysian sports to new heights. That’s awesome! What’s it like living in Malaysia?

Well, it is FUNtastic. I do what I love to do – orthopedic rehab and Strength & Conditioning. Also, Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia, is very convenient and it is great not to have cold weather anymore too. Basically, it is like I live in Orlando again.

What do you do as a Sports Therapist there?

I am more in charge of the Strength and Conditioning (S&C) program for the injured athletes as a part of Return to Play in one-on-one basis as a sports therapist. I am one of the first professionals to recognize the injury risk and actual injury, just like a certified athletic trainer, and refer the athlete to the appropriate professionals.

Advice: Steve Jobs in his commencement speech for Stanford University graduates said: “If you haven’t found (what you love) yet, keep looking.” Who knows, maybe you will find it overseas.

Amy Gaskins ‘06

Hometown: Chagrin Falls, Ohio

Amy Gaskins

Occupation: Principal Consultant at Panopticon, Inc., Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina Area

Major at FSC: Political Science

Why FSC: Legacy! Both of my parents are alumni. And also for the ROTC program’s reputation.

Relationship with professors: My political science professors inspired my love of international affairs and supported a holistic understanding of political geography and globalization.

Talk to us about your journey after college.

As an intelligence soldier and officer, I always had an interest in international affairs. Everything I've done has been an extension of that, though not always in a clear path! Now through my own consulting practice, I help companies around the world better understand their place in the market, how they can expand, and what to expect when entering a new geography. I also enable them to build data literacy among the workforce and use analytics to improve operational efficiency. Companies in certain markets and industries have a distinct need for assistance in cross-regional expansion, particularly to avoid regulatory pitfalls. Panopticon helps organizations with global strategy, building partnerships, competitive/market intelligence, management practices, and data literacy. There's a particular focus on helping foreign companies understand and enter the US market.

Advice: Graduation doesn't mean an end to the learning process. Step outside your comfort zone, whether it's choosing classes that look interesting or moving to a new city for work. Explore the world...travel, travel, travel.

Matthew Gailey ‘99

Hometown: Palm Bay, Florida

Matthew Gailey

Occupation: Director of Education and Performance Programs at PHAME, Portland, Oregon Area

Major at FSC: Music Education

Relationship with professors: I met some pretty wonderful people on the music staff as well as made lifelong friends in some of my fellow music majors. My music professors, including our Associate Professors of Music Diane Stahl and Music Department Chair Paula Parsché, had a very positive impact on my arts education and development on a human level. I came in as pretty raw material and I don’t think any of them realize the great impact they had on me as an artist and a future music educator.

You went on to Indiana University, one of the best music schools in the country, for your graduate studies. What led you to apply there and how did you prepare to get in?

I knew I wanted to get around other performing artists and learn from them and collaborate. I quickly zeroed in on schools like Indiana University, Julliard, Berklee, etc. But, just like FSC, once I met the incredibly talented and renowned staff at IU and saw their gorgeous campus I was hooked.

Now, you’re a singer, songwriter, and independent musician. Talk to us about that journey and about your band!

Once I moved to Portland and started getting immersed in the music scene here I knew I wanted to be a part of it. I also had a small collection of original songs I was working on and wanted a vehicle for them for live performance. Once I met the right musicians it was pretty straightforward.

In addition to your band, you’re now working for a non-profit organization PHAME Academy that serves adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities. Can you tell us more about the program and your role in it?

I began working at PHAME part-time in 2011 as their first Music Director and I’m now the full time Director of Education and Performance Programs. This organization works with a community of adults (17 years or older) and part of our mission is to level the playing field so artists who have a cognitive or developmental disability have the same access to art and the ability to become artists themselves. The authenticity, energy and dedication of the students and artists put into their work is really jaw dropping.

To what do you credit your success?

Florida Southern. It allowed me to explore more of my potential than I ever believed possible and enabled me to leave with a solid framework around who I was, what I excelled at, and a focus on what direction I wanted to go after school.

Advice: Don’t waste everyday opportunities to enrich and be enriched by people you meet personally and professionally. It’s easy to do and I wish I had been more aware of this when I was in my twenties.