Whether you’re still waiting on classes to finish or have entered into summer session, the advent of summer brings new meaning to the words revitalizing and re-energizing, or as former NIRSA Student Leader Will Trent once put it: “Summer is a catalyst for change.” I believe that we can reinvent ourselves and our communities if we just slow down and take time to, which is a perfect summer commitment.

As individuals

“There’s no better way to energize your body, mind, and spirit than by taking care of yourself.” – Stephanie Tourles

With summer promising to be a time to learn new things and step outside of our comfort zones, I plan to take a page out of NIRSA President Ken Morton’s notes and think about how I’m going to thrive this summer and this year. Personally, I plan on taking time out of my day to practice mindfulness. Professionally, this summer I’ll embark on a personal and professional journey of development as an intern with UCLA Recreation. It’s my hope that I will take away new ideas and perspectives to help better my community at my institution, as well as our association.

Checking in with other NIRSA students

Dakota Gonzales, an undergraduate student at Southern Oregon University, will be thriving at the University of Oregon this summer as an intern with their PE &  Recreation Department. She plans on “re-energizing by taking time to be outside. I plan to be outside and to enjoy the weather in Eugene as much as I can. I hear it’s beautiful during the summer!”

Demitri Lehanas plans to revamp this summer at his institution. “We’ve combined a student position to make our staff more adaptable and cohesive with one another. We really want to develop that ‘family’ feel to our facilities team. It’s been our biggest project that we hope to continue working on this summer at Virginia Commonwealth this summer.”

Kansas State Student Leader Carter Kittrell of Emporia State University plans to re-energize by spending time with his family this summer back in his home state of Mississippi. Carter says when he returns to work he “plans to start working with other departments on campus to increase student involvement across the board whether in residential students or commuters.”

As a NIRSA family

I know that the ideas and initiatives that spurred out of the NIRSA Member Network Summer Meetings that took place from May 21 t0 May 24 will re-energize our association as we move through this next year. By staying in alignment with NIRSA’s Strategic Plan, I know we will continue to revitalize and reinvent our association to meet the needs of all students.

One way the Student Leadership Team wants to contribute to this is by connecting students all across the United States and Canada and highlighting the diverse yet shared experiences that unite us as the NIRSA family. We plan to do that through a social media campaign that culminates at the ultimate family reunion in Boston, Massachusetts at the 2019 Annual Conference.

In the spirit of renewal, The Student Leadership Team would like to introduce you to a new NIRSA family member: Logan the Lobster. Logan will serve as our 2019 Annual Conference mascot this year just as the Denver Blue Bear was the previous year’s mascot. Here’s a picture of Logan hanging out in the Boston Commons with the Massachusetts State House in the background as well as at the finish line of the Boston Marathon with the rest of the Student Leadership Team. Logan will travel to state workshops, regional conferences, and NIRSA Championship Series tournaments to help highlight and connect NIRSA students this year.

In closing, to keep students at the center of our initiatives this year, we would like to invite all NIRSA students to complete this survey that will help guide and shape initiatives this year. With your input I know we will revamp and reinvent what we have to offer to meet your needs.

You stay classy, NIRSA family!

Graduate Assistant – Facility Operations at University of Mississippi | NIRSA Profile

Caroline Ciell, NIRSA Student Leader, is currently Graduate Assistant – Facility Operations at the University of Mississippi.