Meet Student Lee Anne Lasher

Lee Anne Lasher '12Student Lee Anne Lasher recalls visiting Russell Sage College Dean Sharon Robinson’s office to pick up the leopard-shaped pin bestowed on Upton Scholars (The Helen M. Upton Scholars Program provides special opportunities and support to undergraduate students age 25 or older.)

“Dean Robinson said the leopard represents our ability to change our spots. That is clearly what I am doing,” said Lasher, who recently sold the landscaping business she owned in Connecticut for 26 years and moved to the RSC campus to study nursing. Lasher earned an associate degree in accounting in 1978 and put her financial acumen to work building her own business. She later earned a certified nursing assistant certificate in order to work at a friend’s home healthcare agency during the winter, when the landscaping business was not busy. She loved the work and began taking one class at a time toward an associate degree in nursing at Berkshire Community College.

“As I pursue my path in nursing, amazing opportunities continue to present themselves, said Lasher, who realized that, with her existing credits, she could earn a bachelor’s degree in the same amount of time it would take to complete an associate degree. “I was attracted to Russell Sage because of its respected nursing program along with its knowledgeable and inspiring instructors.”

Lasher expects to complete her degree in December 2012. “The two years will go very fast and I really want to immerse myself in this,” she said, referring to campus life as well as academics. Her accommodations in Ricketts Hall are on a floor populated with graduate students and she said that dorm living has been wonderful, particularly with all the snow in the northeast this winter and the hour-plus commute to her home in Connecticut. She joined classmates to serve lunch at the St. Maximilian Kobe Soup Kitchen on the Martine Luther King, Jr. Day of Service; attends campus yoga classes; and has enjoyed “Culture Cafes,” highlighting the traditions of Sage’s international students.

Her immediate goal upon graduation is to be a travel nurse. She is eager to work in the south and southwest, particularly New Mexico, due to her interest in alternative and Native American medicine. Her ultimate goal is to earn a nurse practitioner degree and work in a family practice.

Lasher attributes the confidence to “change her spots” to women of influence in her life. “My daughters are living their dreams,” she said. Women’s college graduates themselves, her oldest is a business owner and dressage instructor in Colorado, and her youngest is an English teacher in China. “They are my inspiration.”