At this year’s Annual Conference, NIRSA is very excited to be able to offer a unique series of sessions that will put a global lens on important and timely topics in the field of campus recreation.

The three sessions, all held on Sunday, February 17 in Room 310 of the Convention Center, will each feature a moderated discussion amongst three or four international panelists. In keeping with NIRSA 2019’s “Health & Wellbeing Revolution,” two of the panels will focus on wellbeing while the other will focus on the broader topic of how campus recreation tells its story and demonstrates its value amongst the changing landscape of higher education.

Welcome our ENAS guests to the family!

NIRSA is excited to welcome a special delegation from the European Network of Academic Sports Services (ENAS), who will get to experience our Association’s “family reunion” for the first time and will also partake in this panel series.

ENAS is a European-based membership association focused on the promotion of higher education, sport, and physical activity. ENAS was founded in 1997 in Chambéry, France and currently has over 120 members from 21 countries in Europe.

NIRSA members will quickly find much in common with their ENAS peers; ENAS attests that “Sport is an integral part of university life. It promotes the social, mental, and physical wellbeing of our students. It contributes to the university education mission by teaching lifelong learning skills such as team work, leadership, and community values. It helps attract, recruit, and retain students, and helps to stay connected with Alumni. Sport also celebrates talent, excellence, and achievements. Our network fosters the development of ‘sport for all’ in our universities.”

NIRSA Executive Director Pam Watts was invited to present at the 2018 ENAS Annual Forum in Nijmegen, Netherlands. The warm welcome from engaging ENAS members and the event’s strong content, with significant parallels to current conversations and initiatives within North American campus recreation, made it clear that NIRSA and ENAS members could learn a lot from each other.

While in Boston be sure to look out for these ENAS members and welcome them to the NIRSA family:

  • Mel Parker, Head of Sport & Recreation at Middlesex University (United Kingdom) and ENAS President
  • Andrea Altmann, Head of Sport at University of Jena (Germany) and ENAS Vice-President
  • Margo de Lange, ENAS Development Manager (Belgium)
  • Brian Mullins, Director of Health Promotion at University College Dublin (Ireland) and ENAS member

Global perspective panel series

“Global Perspective: How to Effectively Tell the Story of Recreation’s Impact on Campus”

Moderator: Caitriona Taylor, Boston College

Panelists: Mick Deluca, CRSS, RCRSP, UCLA; Leo Macpherson, St. Francis Xavier University; Andrea Altmann, University of Jena, Germany; Margo de Lange, ENAS Officer

Description: The struggle for resources is a shared challenge for campuses across the globe. Hear international delegates describe a wide variety of strategies they’ve employed to tell their story, demonstrate their value, and secure resources. While cultural contexts may differ, hearing new and different approaches can spark innovative ideas to take back to your own campus.

“Global Perspective: Examining Health & Wellbeing Frameworks as a Catalyst for Systemic Change”

Moderator: George Brown, PhD, RCRSP, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities

Panelists: Mel Parker, Middlesex University London; Michael Huey, ACHA; Chris Dawe, RCRSP, Strategic Healthy Impacts

Description: It’s time to transcend reactive, siloed, programmatic approaches to health and establish foundational, proactive, wellbeing initiatives for the campus community. A variety of frameworks and models have emerged that can be used as a catalyst for systemic change. Hear from representatives of several of these frameworks and models about how they’re striving to mobilize, guide, and inspire campuses in the pursuit of building healthy people and healthy communities worldwide.

“Global Perspective: International Approaches to Integrated Health & Wellbeing”

Moderator: Leah Hall Dorothy, CRSS, PhD, Oregon State University

Panelists: Brian Mullins, University College Dublin; Michael Tan, University of British Columbia; Heather Sadowski, University of Richmond

Description: The wellbeing of the campus community is critical to student success and achieving the mission of higher education. This perspective is shared by leading institutions around the globe. A panel of international delegates will share their strategies, successes and lessons learned in implementing proactive, upstream, and integrated approaches to wellbeing for their campus communities.


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships Erin O’Sullivan.
Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at | NIRSA Profile

Erin O'Sullivan is currently the Director of Advocacy & Strategic Partnerships at NIRSA.