Skip Flanagan

Skip Flanagan knows baseball.

He played as a youngster, got more serious in middle school and played two years of varsity baseball in a mainstream high school where he was the only deaf student. There he won numerous awards, including the 2011 Boston Glove All Scholastic and the 2011 Eastern Athletic All-Star awards. He met with recruiters from several colleges and chose RIT for its strong academic program, diverse student body and deaf-friendly culture. Being recruited by RIT to play the game he loves didn't hurt.

Flanagan, a second-year Psychology major from Framingham, Mass., has serious plans to combine that major with baseball and other sports in the future.

"My family is full of hard-working, goal-driven people, and their work ethic inspired me to work hard to make my dreams come true," he says. "I would like to go into sports psychology and work with athletes. I'm not a cubicle guy, and I want to apply my education to something I love. I'd like to open an athletic training complex to help athletes strengthen their bodies and minds for the rigors of their lifestyle."

Flanagan enjoys his studies and appreciates the opportunity RIT offers for students to develop their ideas.

"The people at RIT want you to succeed, and they care about your development," he says. "The sense of community here is unbelievable and a rare thing to find."

Flanagan says friends would describe him as hard-working, but he does enjoy having downtime when he can read, draw cartoons or do something physical. He has struck a good balance at RIT. During his first year he made the Dean's List, and he struck out 10 batters against Union College in one of the best games of his career. This year he'll be studying hard, pitching and playing first base. His goals for the upcoming season?

"Just to play better than last year," he says.

This story appeared in the Fall/Winter 2012 issue of FOCUS Magazine.

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