By Nazifa Islam
Megan Feasel’s passion for the collegiate recreation profession was kindled as an undergraduate at Wright State University. For four years, she was a Student Facility Assistant; that’s “where it all started,” she says, “cleaning treadmills, selling memberships, swiping ID cards.” She soon discovered that she “absolutely loved working in the recreation center,” and so embarked on a career path that has led to her current position as the Director of Campus Recreation at Armstrong State University.
Megan loves “being able to interact with students,” and finds “seeing them grow into leaders” one of the most rewarding parts of her career. And in the spirit of supporting student development, she is equally passionate about continuous education and always seeking out and “learning new ideas to enhance her recreation programs.” Megan is definitely aware of how a commitment to ongoing professional development has so positively affected her career, her rec center, her staff, and the students she serves.
At the 2011 NIRSA Annual Conference & Recreational Sports Expo, Megan “attended an open session that the Registry
The Registry exists to help collegiate recreation professionals improve the skills they already have while also broadening those they are less familiar with. When she became Director in November of 2013, Megan specifically “learned a lot from the Management Techniques core competencies because in my new position I led a lot more students and staff.” She believes that this part of the Registry was “integral because it gave me so much great information on being a leader.” She also believes that “my own investment in the Registry will continue to grow” since she’s so “enjoyed being a part of it and experiencing what it has to offer.”
Beyond strengthening her own skill set, Megan is quick to point out that ongoing professional development helps strengthen the Armstrong Recreation and Wellness Department as well; she’s committed to using purposeful learning to “further her career and the Student Recreation Center at Armstrong.” This is because strong professionals lead to strong facilities and because student populations are better served by knowledgeable staff. Megan has found value in the Professional Registry precisely because she is invested in her department’s success. “In my eyes it is all about team work and everybody working together,” she explains. “I love working with my staff on events that we offer.”
Her dedication to intentional and ongoing professional development has not only made communication with her staff more rewarding and effective, but it has also allowed her to connect with and learn from recreation professionals at other institutions. By taking advantage of networking and education opportunities like the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation Level II, which she attended in [year], Megan “met so many wonderful recreation leaders and was able to hear about great ideas they were implementing at their institutions. It was a great way to make connections and build friendships.” That focus on the interpersonal defines Megan’s outlook on her profession—something so many NIRSA members can relate to. It has ever since she was an undergraduate at Wright State watching the rec center “bring students from all over together to have fun.”
Megan is a NIRSA member whose drive for learning feeds directly into her drive for the profession. The fact that she receives “emails and cards from students thanking [her] for the programs [they] offer” speaks to how her dedication to professional development, and involvement with the Professional Registry, has paid off. She doesn’t hesitate to say that “the Registry has been very beneficial to me in my professional growth. It has been a great tool for me to utilize.”
Megan can still recall early on—when she was first getting involved in the collegiate recreation field—realizing, “Wow, this is a real job and I love every minute of it!” Her passion for collegiate recreation has only grown over time. “I love my students, my staff, and being a part of a department where we are true leaders and make a difference in people’s lives,” she says. “I love that every morning when I wake up I am excited to go to my job. That is very rewarding.”
For more information about the Registry of Collegiate Recreation Sports Professionals, please contact NIRSA.