By Mary Callender

In 2012, the NIRSA Board of Directors constituted Commissions for four of the six Strategic Values of the Association.

The ensuing work of the Sustainable Communities, Health & Wellbeing, Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, and Leadership Commissions have already helped guide many initiatives of the Association.

Higher education and more specifically collegiate recreation have been impacted by a variety of global influences, which have significantly altered the set of skills necessary to operate in today’s environment. This new reality, combined with the adoption of the Strategic Plan, has increased the Association’s desire to expand NIRSA’s presence globally. To this end, the NIRSA Board of Directors is excited to activate a fifth Commission to address issues of globalization for the Association and its members.

The Global Perspectives Commission will now begin to further evaluate collegiate recreation within the global landscape in order to make recommendations to the NIRSA Board on ways in which the Association can best activate this value in its operational framework.

Global perspectives were a key part of the recent Mid-year Board Meeting in Montreal. NIRSA leaders, including Global Perspective Commission Co-Chair Chris Dawe, are seen here in front of the Place des Arts.

There are four distinct focuses that the Commission will be investigating. One of the most readily recognized is the growing numbers of international students that are being served by campus recreation facilities, but, Global Perspective Commission Co-Chair Chris Dawe says, “globalization also moves in at least three other ways: our students learning around the world, our opportunity to learn from other post-secondary recreation models around the world, and our ability to contribute to the growth of recreation opportunities at other post-secondary institutions around the world.”

Although the topic is a complex and dynamic undertaking, its necessity—and fit—for NIRSA’s mission is clear. Chris agrees that this “is a critical issue that all of our members are dealing with on our campuses today…We all need to continue learning to meet the expectations of our students today and into the future.”

NIRSA leaders, though, are prepared for and energized by this undertaking. After a thorough review of applicants, including the presidentially appointed co-chairs, NIRSA President Kathleen Hatch, RCRSP has populated the Global Perspectives Commission commissions as follows:

Co Chairs

Chris Dawe, RCRSP, Director, Mount Royal University
Kevin Marbury, RCRSP, CRSS, PhD, Director, University of Oregon


Allie Bogard, Intramural Sports Supervisor, Western Kentucky University
Kristy Caldwell, Associate Director, Texas State University
Mary Callender, NIRSA Headquarters
Lloyd Hisaka, RCRSP, CRSS, Director, University of Hawaii
Annette Livas, Assistant Director, UT-Pan American
Kathy Obuszewski, Graduate Assistant, Drexel University
Caitlin Sommers, Fitness Programs Coordinator, University of the Pacific
Gansheng Xu, Director, University of New Brunswick