Close Up with the Professional Registry: Blair Schuyler, University of Texas Arlington

Blair Schuyler is a go-getter. As a NIRSA Professional Member and the Member Services Coordinator at UT Arlington Campus Recreation, Blair has a full plate; yet, he’s always on the lookout for strategic ways to further his investment in collegiate recreation. Luckily as an RCRSP, his involvement with NIRSA’s Professional Registry, presented by Cybex,  has helped to provide a framework for Blair’s ongoing professional development.

Blair received his Bachelor of Science degree in Education from the University of Nebraska–Lincoln, where he started working for the campus recreation department. He was hooked from then on and, upon graduation, Blair accepted a graduate assistantship in facilities at Clemson University. There, Blair went on to receive a Master of Science degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism. Blair was a stand-out and engaged student, receiving NIRSA’s William N. Wasson Award in 2005. Finally out of school and ready to jump into a full-time professional position, Blair’s transition into post-graduate life took an unexpected turn as he veered away from collegiate recreation and into the corporate sector for three years. Reflecting on this chapter in his life, Blair says, “While in corporate America, I knew collegiate recreation was my passion and I never swayed from that belief. I continued to attend NIRSA conferences, as well as network with professionals.” With unwavering enthusiasm for collegiate recreation, it makes sense that Blair is motivated by the opportunity to invest his time in the Professional Registry, which further embeds his roots in the field that he is most passionate about.

Blair says that his ultimate goal is to be a department director; thus, the Professional Registry is a perfect avenue to be able to learn as a collegiate recreation professional. Blair encourages all NIRSA professionals to consider the Professional Registry as part of their professional path, saying, “Being a member of the Registry speaks volumes to the dedication, desire, and enthusiasm for collegiate recreation professionals and sends a positive message to decision-makers when it comes time to attend professional development programs.”

He says that the Professional Registry’s tracking of CEUs and PICs “provides intrinsic motivation to stay on task and continue developing professionally.” By being a part of the Registry, Blair shows colleagues and his professional network his commitment towards excellence in collegiate recreation. Additionally, this commitment is not bound to just his specific program area, but toward gaining knowledge regarding the full spectrum of competencies within one collegiate recreation department. In this sense, the Professional Registry connects the dots between your ongoing learning and professional involvement. Gain as much as 2/3 of the CEU requirement eligible through non-NIRSA sources while simultaneously adding to your intentional professional development done through NIRSA’s large bank of events and resources, as well as your volunteer service for the Association.

How does the Professional Registry ensure that this full spectrum approach is accomplished? Blair attributes his confidence to the three-year renewal cycle, “So, there is ample opportunities to gain knowledge in core competencies that aren’t directly associated

[to my current position], such as Legal Liability, Risk Management, Programming, and Philosophy and Theory. By taking the initiative to be informed on the full-picture of his profession, Blair believes that he is able to “cement the notion of credibility as a future leader, regardless of professional title, within NIRSA and collegiate recreation.

“Educational knowledge, national trends, and ideas are always evolving alongside the core competencies that the Professional Registry provides.”

Blair touts the Professional Registry as part of what makes his professional development steady, stable, and sustainable. While the Professional Registry—in the grand scheme of collegiate recreation’s 100 years of history —is rather young, it is set up as a long term resource for professionals that will grow and flourish with today’s up-and-coming NIRSA members. Blair acknowledges that the Professional Registry is relatively young, which makes him excited to evolve with it. He says, “Educational knowledge, national trends, and ideas are always evolving alongside the core competencies that the Professional Registry provides.”

As the Professional Registry encompasses so many different realms of collegiate recreation, its value comes not only in what members learn, but also in how they learn. Blair praises how the Professional Registry has provided opportunities for professional growth through its network-friendly structure, saying, “When you attend conferences and RCRSP is on your name badge, people notice. It engages conversations with peers, as well as invites many other Registry members to network and grow together.”

The Professional Registry is proud to have Blair as part of its membership and to grow along with him in his flourishing career.