The Felician sports information office has started a new online feature for the 2015-16 academic year. In "Where Are They Now?" we will periodically attempt to catch up with Golden Falcon athletics alumni who have gone on to interesting and successful career paths.
In the fourth installment, we visit with Sunny Vadopalaite '06. After transferring to Felician from Division-I Long Island University (now LIU-Brooklyn), Vadopalaite has returned to the D-I ranks as a coach.
Name: Saule "Sunny" Vadopalaite
Year of Felician graduation: 2006
Sport(s): Women's Basketball
Major(s): Management & Marketing
Twitter handle: @SunRock23
Hometown while in high school: Vilnius, Lithuania
Currenty town/city of residence: Troy, N.Y.
List any post-graduate studies or certifications
Master of Business Administration, West Virginia Wesleyan College (2009)
Doctorate in Educational Leadership, Lamar University (expected 2016)
Current full-time employment
Assistant Women's Basketball Coach, Siena College
Other positions held since Felician graduation
Women's Basketball Recruiting Coordinator & Director of Operations, Lamar University
Assistant Women's Basketball Coach, Kean University
Substitute Teacher, Elizabeth (N.J.) Public Schools
Graduate Assistant Women's Basketball Coach, West Virginia Wesleyan College
Any other life events you would like to tell us about?
Reached NCAA Division III national quarterfinals with Kean University
Won a conference regular-season championship at Lamar University
How have you applied your experience participating in college athletics to your current employment?
Basketball is still my life, just from the sidelines now. After graduating from Felician, I soon became a graduate assistant, and made my way back to Division-I basketball. Entering my ninth season as a coach is something I never thought would happen. I learned many lessons as a player at Felician and prior, and those experiences help me a lot now as a coach. I can better relate to our players, and help them on and off the court.
How has your Felician academic coursework and other extracurricular activities impacted your life, especially professionally?
Earning a degree in business is always of value, regardless of the career choice. Felician offered many different courses that continued to spark my interest in the field.
One of my favorites was a marketing course on advertising. It was just so interesting - never a dull moment in that class! And now as a coach, I spend hours and hours on recruiting, which is nothing but marketing! I have to find different and innovative ways to sell our program to recruits and their families, and market it to our fans and community members.
On a more personal level, one of my best friends is a former teammate. So thank you Felician Women's Basketball for that!
What advice, about any aspect of college life, would you give to a current Felician student-athlete?
My main advice would be to take advantage of all networking opportunities that come along. Develop meaningful relationships with your peers, professors, administrators, alumni, and boosters, because those will be very important people in your future.
Also, don't settle just for getting by. Being a student-athlete is a one-of-a-kind experience. Make it count, because those four years will go by quicker than you think!