Up Close with the Professional Registry: Wendy Windsor, Louisiana State University

By Erin O’Sullivan | July 14, 2014

Learn more about the Professional Registry and the people who make it so great
Wendy Windsor, Associate Director of Programs and Outreach at Louisiana State University, has followed a career path dedicated to student service and developing young adults beyond the classroom walls. A key part of what drew her to a career in campus recreation, working with college students, also continually inspires her dedication to this field. “Honestly,” she says, “their eagerness to learn, their development as young adults, and their desire to succeed fuels my passion. Working in such an environment keeps you young—what else can you ask for!” “Students’ eagerness to learn, their development as young adults, and their desire to succeed fuels my passion.”
However, it’s her passion for her own continued professional development and upward career mobility that has led her to join the Professional Registry. Her first professional position as the Greek Life Coordinator at Brenau University sparked a passion for recreation that would lead her to implement Brenau’s first-ever intramural Greek program. As her career progressed—from Associate Director of Recreation Sports at Texas A&M University-Kingsville to Associate Director of Intramurals, Sport Clubs & Wellness at Middle Tennessee State University to her current position at LSU—Wendy’s effective use of resources, insightful planning and programming, and prioritizing continually earned her the successful professional growth she strove for.

Yet, she says, “I quickly learned when I started applying for mid-management positions that being a member of the Registry was becoming a preferred qualification and something employers deemed as a valuable asset…I think

[for anyone] to remain attractive as a vital candidate, designations such as Registry of Collegiate Recreational Sports Professionals (RCRSP) will be necessary.”

More than just letters on paper, the RCRSP designation is helping rising professionals like Wendy extend and sharpen the awesome skills they already possess while strengthening, broadening, and shaping those competencies they have had less experience with. In Wendy’s case, her successful career path has been driven by her “strength of networking and ability to form strong mentor relationships,” which she notes as “essential to my upward trajectory.”

As fellow NIRSA members know, such a skill is indeed invaluable and it’s one all mentors are striving to impart on their mentees. Wendy’s initiative and drive is a wonderful, concrete example of this notion in action. “My first NIRSA committee assignment,” she recalls, “happened as a result of me ‘stepping out’ and having an informal conversation with the [then] NIRSA president at an Annual Conference, and then  later following that up with an email to him expressing my interest in volunteering with the association.”

“I’ve been asked to ‘step up’ and serve in several NIRSA roles I may not have [otherwise] sought out…[and] I view this as a key contributor to my success.”

Wendy has found that this networking skill and intrinsic drive are even further enhanced by her membership in the Registry, which has shifted her NIRSA involvement so that she “now seeks out an array of experiences that provide a greater diversity of opportunities.” By serving in numerous arenas—from extramurals to strategic planning commissions—Wendy has developed a robust and extensive network with professionals throughout the dynamic field of collegiate rec.
“I’ve been asked to ‘step up’ and serve in several NIRSA roles I may not have [otherwise] sought out…[and] I view this as a key contributor to my success.”
This network has been key in facilitating new experiences and opening up new opportunities for leadership and involvement. “I’ve been asked to ‘step up’ and serve in several NIRSA roles I may not have [otherwise] sought out, such as the Nominations & Appointments Committee and the Commission for Sustainable Communities,” she says. Through these experiences, Wendy has gained “greater insight and knowledge of the core values and competencies of NIRSA [as well as]…a wealth of professional resources, assisting in my overall guidance and development.” In the end, she says, “I view this as a key contributor to my success.”

Consistent with the Registry’s drive for lifelong learning, Wendy is already looking ahead to new and different professional development opportunities. Chief in mind is the Women’s Leadership Institute, which she was drawn to after hearing about the positives experiences of a peer—another perk of her vast network of colleagues. “From where I am in my career,” she says, “being able to learn from and learn with other women leaders in the field is an added value for my overall professional success.”

For NIRSA members like Wendy Windsor, who choose to complement their intrinsic characteristics—the qualities like drive, insight, and composure, the qualities that can’t really be taught—with membership in the Professional Registry, they’re carrying a distinction that, Wendy notes, “speaks to [their] investment in their career, continual learning, and engagement.” And, as Wendy’s example shows, the result is both distinguished and admirable.