NIRSA’s evolution and advancement is powered by member expertise and commitment to volunteer service. We strive to build a community whose members have diverse cultures, backgrounds, and life experiences. Diversity in leadership positions is an active process that requires continuous commitment.

For several years, both the NIRSA Foundation and NIRSA Services Corporation Boards of Directors—with the support of the parent NIRSA Board of Directors—have sought to diversify the perspectives and experiences represented in their volunteer leadership positions, especially at the board level.

Both boards have recently put additional effort into developing future leaders through their respective committees with an emphasis on increasing applicant numbers. In light of these tremendous efforts, I’m pleased to announce the following new leadership appointments!

NIRSA Board of Directors

At their March meeting, the NIRSA Board of Directors approved Yvette Kell, Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Missouri – St Louis, to serve as the Annual Director during the 2018–2019 year.

Yvette has been a member of NIRSA since 1995 and has served on several committees including the Career Services Center Committee, the Student Professional Development Committee, the Fitness & Wellness Institute Committee, the Recreation Facilities Institute Committee, the Risk Management Committee, the Region IV Student Lead On Committee, the Conference Program Committee, and the Policy & Legislation Committee. Most recently, she served on the faculty for the School of Collegiate Recreation.

The NIRSA Board of Directors is excited about working with Yvette as they continue to increase their lens on issues related to policy and legislation. Yvette will be an important voice as the Board continues to make decisions that fulfill the new NIRSA strategic plan. They welcome Yvette to the NIRSA Board of Directors and look forward to her strategic thinking, leadership, enthusiasm, and passion for NIRSA as they work together to move the Association forward this year.

NIRSA Services Corporation Board of Directors

The NIRSA Services Corporation Board of Directors approved Michael Edwards, Senior Director of Campus Recreation at the Georgia Institute of Technology, as their new Board member for a three-year term. Board member Jennifer Speer, Director of Recreation at The University of Texas at Austin, has been reappointed for a three-year term as well.

“I am excited to have Jenn Speer agree to continue her service on the NIRSA Services Corporation Board. Jenn brings a unique perspective to the Board. Her input during her brief stint on the Board has contributed greatly as we have entered into our relationship with Riddle & Bloom,” says NIRSA Services Corporation President David Bowles, Senior Director for Recreation & Health Promotion Services at the University of Florida.

David adds, “The addition of Mike Edwards brings strong strategic thinking from an entrepreneurial perspective to the group. Mike’s entrepreneurial, business, and facility management experiences and perspectives will contribute greatly to the Board’s ability to make strategic decisions for the Association.”

David continues his three-year term and is joined by returning NIRSA Services Corporation Board members Mark Williams, Director of RecSports at University of Notre Dame; Stephanie McAlpine, Assistant Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Texas – Arlington; Stu Halsall, Associate Vice Chancellor of Athletics and Recreation at the University of Denver; and Tim Mertz, Director of Recreational Sports at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors

The NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors is “pleased to announce outstanding new members who bring diverse skill sets in financial knowledge, strategic thinking, relationship building, advocacy, a passion for the mission, and innovation to ensure a board with a range of skills to move our goals forward,” says Deb Johnson, Director of Campus Recreation at University of California-Davis and President-Elect of the NIRSA Foundation Board.

Here are the fantastic newly appointed NIRSA Foundation Board members:

  • Brent Harrison, Interim Co-Director of Physical Education and Recreation, University of Oregon, 2018–2021
  • Liz Henry, Director of Campus Engagement, University of California, San Diego, 2018–2021
  • Shomari Kee, Associate Director, Programs, Florida Golf Coast University, 2018–2021

Returning Board members also include Deb Johnson; Lexi Chaput, Senior Assistant Director, Recreational Sports at the University of Michigan; Janice DeMonsi, Director of Recreation at Santa Clara University; Caroline Dotts, Associate Director-Healthy Lifestyle Programs at Georgia Institute of Technology; Mick McComber, Director of Recreation at University of Minnesota-Duluth; Chris Muller, Associate Director of Recreation at The University of Texas at Arlington; and Suzi Smith, Director of Recreation at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.

Please join me in welcoming these NIRSA leaders who are sure to do a fantastic job in their new roles.