Alumni Spotlight - Katie Stopera '16

Alumni Spotlight - Katie Stopera '16

Alumni Spotlights are Q&A's with former Lasell student-athletes, across a myriad of sports, as they reflect on their Lasell experience and how it has shaped their lives today. Read more spotlight features here. 

Name Katie Stopera

Graduation Year 2016

Major Fashion Merchandising

Sport(s) played at Lasell Women’s Basketball

Hometown Hollis, NH

Current Town/City Watertown MA

Why did you decide to attend Lasell? I transferred to Lasell for my major. I liked the uniqueness and specification of Fashion Merchandising-I grew up with a passion for clothes and was interested in studying them.

Current Occupation/Employer and Job Title Product Line Manager for PUMA Basketball Apparel

Tell us about your job. What do you like most about your current role? What’s really cool about my current role is that I still get to surround myself with two of my favorite things every day, clothing and basketball. What I love about my current role is that I’m consistency learning and being challenged. I work to build apparel lines about 18 months before you get to see them on the market, this requires creative as well as analytical skills for understanding everchanging trends.

How did your experience at Lasell help prepare you for what you are doing today? Lasell is a unique place because it’s such a small campus. You have the opportunity at Lasell that you don’t have at a big school, take advantage of it. Be a leader on campus, go after things (the school is open and wants to hear from you!). I think if you learn to speak up at Lasell and get involved it’ll help you build confidence and simulate opportunities in your future professional roles, as it has done for me.

What advice/insight do you have for Lasell alumni and current student-athletes interested in your career field? Reach out! Make connections. There are a lot of great Lasell Alumni out there in awesome roles at outstanding companies who want to help out their fellow Lasers. Go to campus events, functions, and now Zoom gatherings, these are put in place for you to learn and you’ll never know who you can meet during them.

Looking back on your time as a Lasell student-athlete, what is one of your favorite memories? I was supposed to score my 1000th career point during an away game at Emerson, I need 18 points. With flowers in hand, a lot of my family came to the game, including extended family. By the fourth quarter I needed 4 more points (totally doable in 10 minutes)- well, I ended up only getting 3 which left me at 999 points- BUT we won the game. I’ll never forget my 999 points; they’ve taught me a life lesson to keep going and that positive outcomes are achieved even if they’re along an unexpected path.

(Note: Katie went on to become Lasell women's basketball's all-time scoring leader with 1,265 points)

Have you attended Lasell Friends, Family and Alumni Weekend? If so, tell us about your experience returning to campus. I have, I actually have been coming back to campus every year (and on a weekly basis) since I left as I am an assistant coach on the women’s basketball team. I feel very grateful to be a coach at Lasell, to be around young women that are going down a path similar to one I went down. I hope to empower them and help bring them the happiness that I found every time I stepped on the Laser court.