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LFA News

math instructor John Basabagill with garden foliage in background

John Basbagill, Ph.D joined Lake Forest Academy this summer as a math instructor and assistant track coach. John is originally from Lincolnshire, attended Loyola Academy, studied mechanical engineering at Harvard College, and received his Ph.D. in civil and environmental engineering at Stanford. His research areas include energy efficient buildings, automation, and corporate sustainability, and he has taught college courses in life cycle assessment of complex systems. One of John’s most rewarding experiences was serving as a Leadership Labs fellow at Stanford’s Graduate School of Business, where he led students in exercises in self-awareness enhancement, social competency and conflict management. After leaving academia, John spent a number of years working as a data scientist for various tech startups in the Bay Area. John enjoys sports of all kinds, as he ran on cross country and track teams throughout college, and he especially enjoys downhill skiing with his two nieces and nephew. John is passionate about traveling, having visited 98 countries since college, and he believes life has come full circle in a sense as he returns to his Lake County roots for this school year.


Where did you grow up?
I am a Lake County native and alum of Loyola Academy. 

Where did you go to college and or grad school?
I attended Harvard undergrad and Stanford for my Ph.D., where I studied life cycle assessment of buildings in the department of civil and environmental engineering. One of the most rewarding aspects of academia was founding a software company based on my research in sustainable building design.

What has your career path looked like?
I left academia in 2018 and have since worked as an analyst at various Bay Area tech startups.

Do you live on campus or nearby?
I live on campus, and my family lives in nearby Lincolnshire and Long Grove. I look forward to exploring the nearby trails of Middlefork Savanna, where I worked my first summer job back in 1997!

What attracted you to LFA?
I am attracted to LFA's small, tight-knit community and beautiful campus setting. I enjoy helping youth succeed and reach their academic and personal goals, and the chance to do so in small academic settings was an opportunity I could not turn down. 

What are you most looking forward to this year?
I'm looking forward to coaching the track team. I ran competitively throughout high school and college.

Where is your favorite place in the world?
I enjoy the scenery and tranquility of northern Wisconsin. In particular, I like skiing, swimming, snowmobiling and nature hikes. 

Tell us about your family, favorite sports team, and favorite book.
I love traveling and have visited 98 countries, including some of my favorites Swaziland, Jordan and Turkey. Random fun fact: I was an extra in a Bollywood film while waiting to board a flight in Singapore airport.