The NIRSA Assembly is a unique group of individuals who work closely with high-level NIRSA leaders to determine what topics will impact the future of collegiate recreation. The Assembly members spend the year as facilitators of thought around the selected topics, and assist in facilitating discussions and disseminating the work of the Assembly. Each Assembly member is selected for their unique perspective, experiences, and passion for the profession.
At the start of the term of service, Assembly members have the opportunity to bring focused topics to the table for consideration. Each member is actively involved in working groups established around the chosen topics of the year. Methods that the Assembly uses to share work with the Association include: developing a panel or educational session at the NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo, establishing a regional conference or state meeting session, creating an online resource guide, writing NIRSA News articles, and facilitating discussion with members through the open Assembly Facebook group and NIRSA Connect Community.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a student in the collegiate recreation profession—or somewhere in between—consider applying to join the NIRSA Assembly! The goal is to have a diverse membership serving on the Assembly, a membership that includes all levels of experience and years served within the profession.
Terms begin on July 1, 2019 and there are positions open for both new and experienced NIRSA members:
Open seats: designated for non-members and any NIRSA member type
Professional members who have been members for less than five years
NIRSA members (life, professional, student)
Current Assembly members share their perspective
According to Derek Hottell, Director at Virginia Commonwealth University, serving on the Assembly was the first step in exploring a more active role in the governance of NIRSA. “I found that process to be extremely helpful in clarifying my sense of purpose for the profession and the Association,” he says. “The Assembly is a great opportunity for NIRSA members to be able to spend purposeful time thinking strategically about the future of our profession and our association. Where are we headed? Where should we be headed? What’s on the horizon?”
After two years on the Assembly, Derek will be serving as an At-Large Director on the NIRSA Board of Directors. Speaking about the Assembly, he adds, “How many of us take the time—or have the time—to engage in dialogue around these considerations and really think about how we can help to shape the future and not merely be shaped by it? The Assembly is designed to facilitate that space, and it’s an integral piece of probing the Association and each other to continue to find ways to meet our collective charge.”
If you’re new to NIRSA or are unfamiliar with what the Assembly does, you’re not alone. Liz Feldman, Student Development and Leadership GAA in The Ohio State University, says, “When I applied for the Assembly, I honestly wasn’t sure what work I would complete in the group. However, I was welcomed with NIRSA family arms, which was comforting as a newer member of NIRSA. The Assembly provided a surplus of networking opportunities and professional development. I got to know members from all over the country through our small group work, and the highlight of my Annual Conference was reconnecting in person with those folks. Additionally, I had my first solo presentation at a Region III Student Lead On due to the Assembly outreach initiative—the goal was to spread our mission among our members. I’d be happy to talk further or help anyone with their application if they’re at all interested.” She adds, “Apply for the Assembly, you won’t regret it!”
Each Assembly member brings their unique strengths and experiences to the group. Bowling Green State University Instructor Jessica Kiss shares this: “The Assembly has challenged me to be more of a forward thinker when it comes to the future of campus recreation and my campus community. In being proactive rather than reactive, I have been able to have conversations with campus administration about initiatives that will encourage our community to participate in health and wellness-related programs. Furthermore, having discussions that focus on what campus recreation and our campus communities will look like in ten years has provided me, along with others in the Association, with great ideas to consider. Having been a part of the Assembly for only one year has helped me consider the future in forward planning and has opened the door to this conversation on not only my campus, but others across the nation.”
Kelly Ibele, Graduate Assistant in Campus Recreation at the University of Wyoming, says, “the Assembly has been one of the best things I’ve been a part of within NIRSA. I have made so many great connections and learned so much about the field. It’s great to be able to talk with colleagues about issues that affect our profession and work on tackling those issues together. I would recommend the Assembly for any campus recreation professional, and I’m so grateful for my experience with it!”
If you have questions or want to hear more personal accounts from current Assembly members, reach out to one of the current Assembly members to hear more about their experience serving on the Assembly.
- For more information or to ask questions about the application process, please contact NIRSA Leadership Programs Coordinator Lani Sherman.