Dr. Thomas LoBasso ’86: Memories of Keystone Are Still an Important Part of His Life
As president of Daytona State College, an institution with more than 27,000 students, Thomas LoBasso, Ed.D. often asks the question, “What can we do to make our large school seem like a smaller school for our students?”
To find an answer, Dr. LoBasso reflects on his days as a student, and then as a staff member, at Keystone College.
Dr. LoBasso began his academic career at Keystone in 1983 as a student and member of the Giants’ soccer team. He graduated two years later with an Associate of Arts degree and many happy and meaningful memories.
“I had such a wonderful time at Keystone. It was just a great place for me to go to college,” he remembers. “I lived in Tewksbury and played on the soccer team and was elected captain of the team my sophomore year. Dennis Mishko was such an excellent coach and was so knowledgeable about the game. That was a really fun time for me. I still remember those late night hoagie runs to Dixon’s Hoagie Hut.”
Dr. LoBasso’s memories mean more to him than just fun times with friends and teammates.
“At Keystone, I was constantly encouraged to be the best student I could be. The faculty was so supportive. They took such a great interest in every single student,” he said.
For example, he remembers his positive experience with his English professor Charlotte Ravaioli, who has been with Keystone for more than 35 years and now serves as Chief of Staff to Keystone President David L. Coppola, Ph.D.
“I remember writing a paper for my English class and Charlotte noted on the top of the page that she liked the way I had written it and that I had done a really good job. That compliment meant so much to me that it inspired me for years to come,” Dr. LoBasso remembers.
After getting his associate degree at Keystone, Dr. LoBasso went on to obtain a bachelor’s degree in communications studies from East Stroudsburg University. Ultimately, he would go on to obtain a master’s degree in public administration from Sage Graduate School, and a doctorate in educational leadership from the University of Central Florida.
Dr. LoBasso’s Keystone experience didn’t stop after he graduated in 1986. He served on the College’s admissions staff from 1990-1996, eventually advancing to the position of Director of Admissions.
“Having attended Keystone, it was really easy to convey the experience here to perspective students and parents. I just told them what I believed in my heart.”
Dr. LoBasso went on to serve as assistant vice president of enrollment at the SAGE Colleges in Troy, N.Y. before joining Daytona State in 2000 and becoming its seventh president in 2015. He also served 21 years in the Pennsylvania and Florida National guards, retiring in 2007 with the rank of Sergeant First Class.
“My career in higher education started at Keystone,” he said. “Because of that, I’ve really learned the importance of making education as personal an experience as possible for each and every student.”