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Upstate Leisure: Respiratory therapy student is scuba dive master

Respiratory therapy student Jason Meany hopes to teach scuba lessons on the Upstate campus.

Respiratory therapy student Jason Meany hopes to teach scuba lessons on the Upstate campus.

Jason Meany taught science at Christian Brothers Academy, the school Dr. Joseph Domachowske‘s children attended. Now Meany takes classes at Upstate, where Domachowske is professor of pediatrics and microbiology and immunology.

This twist of life occurred when Meany found his way into respiratory therapy by way of scuba diving.

Meany says he always felt a draw toward the ocean, even as a child growing up in Liverpool, attending CBA. A track and field standout, he graduated in 1998 and went to Clemson University to run track. He got a degree in physical science and education and then ran professionally for Adidas for a year. Later he got a master‘s degree from LeMoyne College and took at job teaching science at his high school alma mater.

Soon after, he married and enjoyed a Carribbean honeymoon with his wife, but kicked himself for not becoming certified to scuba dive before their time in Anguilla. That became a priority for him when they returned home to Camillus.

Meany took classes at Freedom Scuba USA in Baldwinsville for three years and later taught classes themeany2re. He did open water dives in Skaneateles Lake, and on trips to the Outer Banks of the Carolinas and Aruba. His wife has no interest in diving. “She loves to read. She sits on the beach and reads, and I scuba dive,” Meany says.

He chaperoned an ecology trip to Florida at CBA; a year later he began organizing his own trips for CBA students, some of whom – like the Domachowskes -- brought their families. Meany‘s trips include some scuba diving, along with education.

The trips have grown in popularity, and so has Meany‘s interest and expertise in diving. Last year he escorted student groups to Bonaire in the Carribbean. This year, groups will go to Bermuda, Key Largo and Australia‘s Great Barrier Reef.

Meany will continue offering trips and scuba training through his company, Deep Stop Scuba, but he quit teaching to pursue a health career in respiratory therapy. The science of respiration during scuba is very similar to the science of respiratory therapy.

He is a few years older than the typical student, with an unusual background, but Upstate faculty members were so impressed with Meany‘s enthusiasm and expertise that he became one of the class tutors.

Later this year, using the pool in the Campus Activities Building, Meany plans to offer scuba lessons for Upstate faculty, staff and students.

A memorable seahorse from one of Meany's expeditions.

A memorable seahorse from one of Meany's expeditions.