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Lee Capristo, LSM’11 “Best Class Ever!”
When the newest LSM class kicks off each fall, the participants begin their journey at orientation. This is a time when connections are made, relationships are forged and class members are introduced to the framework of LSM – what it is and what they can expect to gain over the ensuing nine months. While every individual’s take-away is unique, there is one common thread – LSM impacts the lives of everyone it touches.
Lee Capristo, LSM Class of 2011, is a perfect example. Capristo truly embodies the effect of LSM’s mission to educate and inspire. Her favorite LSM moment took place during the public safety session. “We went to the firefighting school in La Plata and watched as the trainees practiced on an actual burning building,” she said. “When the fire was out and the trainees removed their helmets, I realized that they were high school students, learning to be firefighters for their local volunteer squads. That made an impression on me of the responsibility of all citizens to commit to the safety and welfare of their communities.”
Not only was Capristo impacted by the educational sessions during LSM’s executive program, she was also inspired by an honorary founding member of the organization. Eliot Pfanstiehl, CEO of Strathmore (www.strathmore.com). “I got to know him the same way that all other LSM program participants have: as a program facilitator,” she said. “The more I learned about him, the more he inspired me. He has a wry sense of humor, lifts up those who need a confidence boost, gently reins in those who need a nudge in that direction, appreciates the arts and is committed to their preservation,” she explained. “He’s a true Renaissance Man.”
Capristo continues to pay forward the insights she gained through LSM. “Like so many of my classmates, when my LSM program experience ended, I looked for a way to stay involved,” she explained. Capristo volunteered as an advocate for education day, then joined the LSM board of directors. She has served as board president (2015-2016) and recently orchestrated an internship opportunity through St. Mary’s College of Maryland (www.smcm.edu).
Outside of LSM, Capristo works as the director of publications at St. Mary’s College where she writes and edits copy for the College’s marketing and communications efforts, helping with admissions and institutional advancement objectives. She’s also the editor of the College’s magazine, the Mulberry Tree. St. Mary’s College of Maryland is the state’s only public honors college. It offers bachelor of arts, bachelor of science and master of arts in teaching degrees.
“LSM gave me a mid-career confidence boost, a way to give back in my community, and an opportunity to help the next generation of community leaders,” she said.