Alumni Spotlight: Jessica Chapin '10, Women's Basketball

Left: Jessica Chapin '10 in action with the Judges; Right, Chapin today as the AD at American International College
Left: Jessica Chapin '10 in action with the Judges; Right, Chapin today as the AD at American International College

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

Name: Jessica Chapin '10

Sports: Women's Basketball

Current job: Director of Athletics, American International College

Jessica Chapin '10 is one of the most decorated players in Brandeis Women's Basketball history. She was a two-time WBCA All-American, a four-time All-UAA selection, and the 2010 UAA Player of the Year. She earned a spot on the league's 25th- and 30th-anniversary teams. Chapin is the only player in school history to rank among the top 10 in career points (1,280, sixth), rebounds (521, eighth), assists (262, sixth) and steals (243, third).

After graduating from Brandeis with degrees in psychology and Health: Science, Society and Policy, she received her Master's in Sports Administration from Springfield College in 2013. She also spent four years as an assistant basketball coach at Western New England University. In 2014, she was hired as the compliance coordinator at Division II American International College in Springfield. She was promoted to Assistant Athletic Director for Compliance in 2015. In that role, she served as the liaison between the Institution and NCAA services as well as the Northeast-10 Conference. Her responsibilities also included education for administration, coaches, and boosters on NCAA rules and regulations, and overseeing all compliance issues, including eligibility, transfer processes, waiver requests, and more.

In 2017, Chapin was named to the NCAA Division II Management Council, and was promoted to Associate Athletic Director. She became interim A.D. at AIC in 2020 and in July of 2021, was named to the position permanently. In her first full year as A.D., the Yellowjackets finished 19th in the Learfield Division II Director's Cup standings, their highest-ever finish. 

Describe your overall experience as a student-athlete. What does it mean to you now/what did it mean to you while you were an undergraduate?

The friendships, wins, losses, all the hours practicing, working, and studying, I would do it all again in a heartbeat. It was truly one of the best experiences of my life. I knew we had it good as student-athletes, but looking back now I realize just how wonderful my experience was and how it helped shape the person I am today.  I am so fortunate for what Brandeis gave and continues to give me. 

Why did you want to stay involved in college athletics?

At first, I was convinced I wanted to be an attorney. However, I quickly learned my passion was collegiate athletics, and that it was something I wanted to do full-time. I stayed in college athletics in an effort to provide the student-athletes with an exceptional student-athlete experience, just like I was provided at Brandeis. 

What lessons did you take from your coaches (or other staff members) that make you an effective leader today?

Putting people in the right places in order to enable the team to succeed. Everyone plays a role and each role is vital to the success of the larger group. 

Another lesson is perseverance. Coach never made it easy on any of us, but the struggle made our victories and successes so much sweeter! 

Do you have any advice for current or future Brandeis Student-Athletes?

Your coaches know what they are doing, trust them. Be willing to give into the process, change and grow into the best version of yourself. The lessons you learn through the adversity you face in athletics will prepare you for the future.  

What made your NCAA tournament teams special? How often do you keep in touch with any of your former Brandeis teammates?

The camaraderie.  We were not only amazing on the court, but we were also great friends off the court - and we still are.  While we are scattered back around the country, we try our best to remain connected. I am forever grateful for all my teammates and their friendship. 

What personal or professional accomplishment(s) are you most proud of since you graduated?

Becoming the Director of Athletics at American International College.  I cherish and frequently reflect back on my experiences as a student-athlete at Brandeis and make it my priority every day to provide an exceptional student-athlete experience for my students just like I had!

-- lightly edited for clarity