Preconference Events

Check out the cache of early opportunities to explore

Get your conference started bright and early with these preconference workshops, events, activities, tours, and trips. These precons are super popular — so be sure to sign up for them early!

Spaces will fill quickly. Reserve your spot early!

Preconference Day: Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Be sure to register early to ensure a seat as many have a limited capacity.

Check back! Details will be posted here as they become available.

Preconference Workshops

If you like getting a head-start on conference, you’ll enjoy this variety of learning and networking options. Be sure to register early to ensure your seat as many have a limited capacity.

J. Michael Dunn Student Professional Development Workshop

Presented by NIRSA’s Student Professional Development Committee

The goal of this full-day workshop is to inspire NIRSA student members to continue learning about NIRSA and the collegiate recreation profession, as well as to enhance their self-awareness through motivational interactions with their peers and professionals.

  • NIRSA CEUs: 0.6

  • Cost: $70 (Lunch provided)

  • Time: 8:00am-3:00pm

  • Location: Gaylord National

  • Cap: 120

The Unified Sports School: An In-Depth Curriculum for Bringing Unified Sports® to Your Campus

Presented by Amanda Alpert, Scott George, and Dan Ekonen

Partnerships with Special Olympics state offices to bring Unified Sports to campus recreation programs are really taking off across the nation at the local, regional, and national levels. Become a part of the first wave of Unified Sports schools by learning from experienced professionals all about what it takes to build a Unified Sports program.

Gain an in-depth understanding of Special Olympics and their mission, understand how the structure of the organization works at a state level, and discover who Special Olympic athletes are and how to work with this population of athletes. Learn and develop a program plan for a Unified Sports model that will best fit your campus. Explore rules variations and differences related to Unified Sports and discover training methods to incorporate with your staff of student officials.

  • NIRSA CEUs: 0.4

  • Cost:Free FULL (ESPN is the Global Presenting Sponsor of Unified Sports)

  • Time: 8:00am-11:30am (Lunch is included)

  • Location: Gaylord National

  • Cap: 40

Women Leading Women: Pathways through the Leadership Labyrinth

Presented by Cara McFadden, PhD and Mila Padgett

As women continue their professional trajectory in the field of collegiate recreation, personal levels of self-efficacy may impact applying for a new position, taking on a new role in the department, or applying to serve in a volunteer leadership role within NIRSA. Women bring unique qualities to the workplace but often lack confidence in their ability. Together we will explore leadership traits that women leaders naturally possess. A safe space is provided for attendees to have difficult conversations regarding individual human capital, gender differences, and prejudice as we learn to work through the leadership labyrinth.

This workshop gives women an opportunity to connect with other leading women in NIRSA to learn strategies for survival, self-renewal, and reinvention by providing a full-day workshop to explore one’s personal and professional priorities through storytelling, reflection, and developing intentional personal leadership plans.

  • NIRSA CEUs: 0.4

  • Cost: $55 SOLD OUT

  • Time: 8:00am-Noon

  • Location: Gaylord National

  • Cap: 48

Moving On Up: Executive Education for Aspiring Directors

Presented by Maureen McGonagle, CRSS

There are many competencies to master in order to be considered for a director position. Participating in this workshop will introduce you to necessary competencies, help you evaluate your skill set, create a plan for mastering those competencies, and develop a mentoring network to help you move ahead. Based on feedback provided by the supervisors of current directors, focused discussions will be held on relationship building, budgeting and resource allocation, problem solving, and executive leadership.

Participants must meet the following pre-requisites.

The audience for this executive education is “aspiring directors,” which is defined as those qualified and interested in securing directors positions within the next 3-5 years. Professionals meeting at least 3 of these 4 criteria are the targeted audience:

  • Supervise full-time professional staff,
  • Participate in department level decision making and strategic planning (e.g., as a member of the senior leadership team)
  • Anticipate your next position will be a director position (within 3-5 years),
  • Currently report to your department leader
  • NIRSA CEUs: 0.7

  • Cost:$60 SOLD OUT

  • Time: 8:00am-4:00pm (Break for lunch on your own)

  • Location: Gaylord National

  • Cap: 30

Officials Development: From Grassroots to Professional

Presented by Kurt Klier, Nick Brigati, Nicole Green, and members of the NASO Officials’ Development Alliance

Join some of the top names in officiating for insight into the world of sports officiating as seen through the minds of leaders in the industry. Representatives from NASO, ASA, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, US LAX, Ultimate Fighting, NCAA, and NFSHS will all be on hand to take part in a panel discussion. Key topics to be discussed include: recruitment, retention, development/training, the use of video technology, and more. Participants will also have the chance to ask questions.

  • NIRSA CEUs: 0.3

  • Cost: $55
  • Time: 1:00pm-4:00pm

  • Location: Gaylord National

  • Cap: 80

Power of the Pedal: Coaching Power-Based Indoor Cycling

Presented by A’Naja Newsome, MS, ACSM EP-C and Aaron Craig, PhD, ACSM EP-C

Inspire peak performance by incorporating power-based training to your department’s offerings! With its continued growth in popularity, cycling is sure to be a priority for your campus as you prepare your group fitness class schedules. Learn techniques and strategies for designing and delivering power-based cycling classes to diversify your program offerings.

This one-day workshop will utilize the innovative technology of the Technogym Group Cycle™ to administer power and heart rate threshold tests; to incorporate music and video to improve rider engagement and motivation; and to coach powerful performance in a group atmosphere. Attendees will ride away with evidence-based programs and ideas for implementation. This workshop will involve two group rides featuring the Technogym Group Cycle™. Proper workout attire and Bluetooth® Smart heart rate monitor is required.

  • NIRSA CEUs: 0.5
    AFAA CECs: 5.0
    ACE CECs: 0.5
    ACSM CECs: 5.0
    NSCA CEUs: 0.7

  • Cost: $150 (Includes workbook and Bluetooth® Smart heart rate monitor)

  • Time: 8:00am-4:00pm (Break for lunch on your own)

  • Location: Gaylord National

  • Cap: 20
  • Registration Closes: February 10

Women’s Networking Luncheon

Hosted by Darcy Bingham, Tiffany Lomax and Stefani Plummer

Join us for a delicious lunch and facilitated conversation where you’ll have the opportunity to meet, hear from, and talk with, amazing women in our profession. A great way to kick off your conference experience, this preconference luncheon will provide first-time attendees as well as veteran NIRSA Annual Conference attendees time to network, share what works, brainstorm solutions, and encourage one another.

  • Cost: $40 | Buffet lunch included

  • Time: 12:30pm-2:30pm

  • Location: Granite City Food & Brewery
  • Cap: 54

Preconference Facility Tours

Join colleagues to explore the Washington D.C. area.

Maryland Facility Tour

Attendees will visit the Wesley Brown Field House and LeJeune Hall at the U.S. Naval Academy in Annapolis, MD and the Eppley Recreation Center at the University of Maryland at College Park. The final stop will offer attendees a tour of Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.

  • Cost: $55 (Lunch included)
  • Time: 7:30am-3:30pm
  • Location: Buses depart from Gaylord National
  • Cap: TBD

D.C. Facility Tour

Attendees will visit the John R. Thompson Intercollegiate Athletic Center and Yates Field House at Georgetown University, and the Lerner Health and Wellness Center at George Washington University. A scenic tour of the National Monuments and Memorials will be on show en route to the final stop which will offer attendees a tour of Nationals Park, home of the Washington Nationals.

  • Cost: $55 (Lunch included)
  • Time: 8:00am-3:30pm
  • Location: Buses depart from Gaylord National
  • Cap: TBD

NIRSA Community Service Project

NIRSA 2017 Community Service Project with Capital City Food Bank

Capital Area Food Bank

Serve the Washington, DC community by partnering with the Capital Area Food Bank. The Capital Area Food Bank is the largest organization in the Washington metro area working to solve hunger and its companion problems: chronic undernutrition, heart disease, and obesity. By partnering with 444 community organizations in DC, MD, and VA—as well as by delivering food directly into hard to reach areas—the Capital Area Food Bank is providing 540,000 people each year with access to good, healthy food. That’s equivalent to 12% of the region’s mothers, fathers, sons, daughters, sisters, brothers, and grandparents. This is an opportunity to engage in meaningful service and team building with student and professional colleagues.

Come prepared to work and lend a helping hand!

  • Cost: $25 (Lunch included)
  • Time: 7:00am-2:00pm
  • Location: Buses depart from Gaylord National
  • Cap: 50