Jay Lippert Graduation Year: 1975

What City/ State are you from?  Commack, NY

Current City/ State?  Fire Island, NY

Job Title:  After 35 years, I retired from the National Park Service. My final duty station was as the Chief Ranger at Fire Island National Seashore.

Business/ Organization you work for:  National Park Service

What was your Major? Conservation Law Enforcement/ Wildlife Science

What was your favorite thing about your time at Unity College? Did you have a favorite tradition?  Our floor jumped off the railroad bridge the week after an ice out.  Nuts I know…

Did you utilize career services for you internship or career search? If so, in what ways?  No, Career Services didn’t exist back then. I did it the old fashioned way, called people and filled out tons of applications. Got rejected by some too. 

Where did you complete your internship(s) and what types of experiences did you have?  I did not do an internship. I worked as a seasonal park ranger in 1976 at Gateway National Recreation Area, Cape Cod National Seashore and Everglades National Park. I got my first permanent job at Everglades in December 1979.

Is your current job in your field of study, or did you end up going a different direction than you thought? When I retired I was the Chief Ranger. I supervised the law enforcement, lifeguard operations, emergency medical services and emergency management for one of ten National Seashores within the National Parks Service. I was also responsible for a 1.75 million dollar budget. I was on several national response teams and work groups. 

Tell us a little about your current job and what it entails: Now that I’ve retired from NPS, I’m the lead firearms instructor at the NPS Seasonal Law Enforcement Training Program at Temple University. I also work as a dispatcher for the local police department in the summer and work as a volunteer in a historic boat shop building and repairing wooden boats. I’m also the department engineer for the Kismet Fire Department in my town. So much for retirement!

Are you happy in your current career? I’m actually doing things that I want!  Also, retirement is great, I highly recommend it!

Is there anything you would have done differently education wise? No, I got a job in the field I studied for and was able to move up thanks to a strong work ethic, being willing to learn, and truly enjoying my field.

Is there anything else you’d like to share? I’ve been a firearms instructor since 1994. My involvement with the seasonal law enforcement training program started at UMass Amherst when they were still in that business.  I think it’s important for someone with my experience, and the experience of those I teach with, to give back to an agency that we spent most of our adult lives in. Being a park ranger in the NPS can be a very rewarding job but like many organizations, has it’s obstacles. Its also an agency that afforded me tremendous opportunities in my 35 years. I’ve met people and done things I never thought possible. I also participated in three life changing international events. The closing and reopening of the Statue of Liberty in 1986, our response to the crash of TWA Flt 800 in July 1996 and our response to the terrorist attacks at the World Trade Center on 9/11. It’s important for students at Unity College to know that if they decide to work for the NPS that it’s not just another job. They will be working for an agency whose last name is SERVICE.