By William Trent, Graduate Assistant for Marketing & Social Media at James Madison University

In last month’s edition of my notes, I alluded to summer being a catalyst for change. Summer has in fact brought its fair share of changes my way as I’ve taken a break from my graduate assistantship to return to my undergraduate home, Virginia Tech, where I’m interning for VT Rec Sports.

I’ve made the move two hours down Interstate 81 from Harrisonburg to Blacksburg, Virginia where I’ll be assisting with assessment, wellness programming, marketing, and sponsorships. It’s been a fulfilling experience returning “home” and continuing to build professional relationships with VT students and staff.

The move has also given me an opportunity to reflect on my NIRSA beginnings and the people that have made my experiences in campus recreation so delightful. One specific relationship comes to mind, and I’m excited to highlight this individual’s story as a developmental reference for NIRSA students and young professionals.

Tori Allmendinger and I worked together as seniors in the facility supervisor role at McComas Hall. We were able to share this experience while also serving in additional roles with Rec Sports—Tori in aquatics and myself in marketing.

Tori’s desire to grow and impact others in the campus recreation field led to her obtaining a graduate assistantship right out of undergrad as the GA for Facility Operations and Special Events at Oklahoma State University. She’s made the most of her experience and recently graduated with a Master’s in Educational Leadership Studies.

She’s capitalized on getting the most out of her NIRSA membership as well. Highlights of her achievements include serving on the Region IV Student Lead On Planning Committee and being selected as a William N. Wasson Student Leader & Academic Award recipient.

The great work didn’t stop there. Tori is fresh out of the campus recreation professional job search and has landed a position with Louisiana State University Recreation as the Facility Operations Coordinator.

I thought it would be timely to interview Tori about her experience as a graduate assistant and absorb some tips from her professional job search.




Ladies and gentlemen, meet who I like to call “my NIRSA day-one,” Tori Allmendinger: