Success Boulevard gains new team leader


Breanna Rae Weber

“I had no idea the ideal place for me would be Lakeland College,” said Blacknall.

Austin Anderson, Staff Reporter

Walk along Success Boulevard in the heart of Bossard and you will find every door of each success coach. Each coach is ready to help students succeed in college and prepare for the future.

At the end of the Boulevard is Lakeland’s newest success coach, Eric Blacknall, who is the senior director of student success and engagement.

He was born and raised in the Bronx of New York City, near Yankee Stadium, before going away to college at the State University of New York at Binghamton to get his bachelor’s and master’s degree. He continued his education and received his Ph. D from the University of Illinois.

After college, Blacknall worked at a variety of public and community schools, including Georgia State University where he was the associate to the vice president of student affairs. He also worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and Parkland College in Illinois.

While at Parkland, he served as a tenured professor teaching in the adult and continuing education department. Blacknall also worked at Crenshaw High School in California.

When he started looking for another job, Blacknall applied to an online search firm, which led Blacknall being a perfect match for the success coach position at Lakeland.

“I had no idea the ideal place for me would be Lakeland College,” said Blacknall. “My whole career had been in the public institutions.”

Before he starts making plans, Blacknall wants to get comfortable with the people he works with and the students he is helping. His biggest plan right now is to help students stay in school, get good grades and graduate.

“The ultimate goal of the student success coaches is to help students to know that the goal is to graduate from college,” said Blacknall.

He is settling into the community with his wife, Olivia, and their four kids, Brooke, Chloe, Alissa and Eric. According to him, his family is excited about being in Wisconsin together. His kids have already taken up extra-curricular activities in Sheboygan like Girl Scouts and music.

Some of his hobbies include reading and playing racquetball, which he learned to play while he was an undergraduate in college.

According to Blacknall, racquetball was something that he was happy to pick up in college. He never would have picked up the hobby had he not learned it in college and he believes this to be true at Lakeland. Students come to college to discover things that they never would have if they had never been to college.

“Lakeland is a place where I feel that students and faculty are in the right synergy,” said Blacknall. “That’s the best feeling in the world for me.”