As the recreation and wellbeing association in higher education, NIRSA is fueled by the dedication and many contributions of volunteer leaders. By intentionally seeking leaders with diverse experience and perspectives, we expand the depth and breadth of knowledge in the boardroom. This careful cultivation of diversity enhances the collective decision-making potential of our leaders. Our boards of directors are entrusted with the highest level of responsibility and authority for pursuing the strategic direction of and extending the strategic impact for NIRSA; diverse and highly-qualified boards expand the potential for maximizing the impact of our Association and the campus recreation profession.

Armed with the 2018-2021 strategic plan, NIRSA’s three boards have evaluated the challenges and opportunities anticipated in the coming leadership year.  With the support of their respective nominating committees, they recruited and recommended an estimable slate of candidates to advance the priorities outlined in the strategic plan.

NIRSA Board of Directors

At their recent meetings, the NIRSA Board of Directors appointed Victoria Lopez-Herrera, Senior Associate Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Texas San Antonio, and Alex Accetta, Assistant Vice President of Campus Rec and Student Union Services at Portland State University to serve as Annual Directors for the 2019–2020 leadership year.

Victoria has been a member of NIRSA since 2014 and is a recipient of the 2018 NIRSA Annual Service Award for her work with the Leadership Commission. She served on NIRSA’s Strategic Planning Task Force (2017-2018), advanced discussions at the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Summit (2016), and served as NIRSA’s representative at the inaugural NASPA Latin America Student Affairs Conference.

Her passion for supporting underrepresented students coupled with a deep knowledge of student development, leadership theory, and the empowerment of women bring a unique perspective and knowledge-base to the NIRSA Board.

Alex has been a member of NIRSA since 2001 and is a recipient of the 2014 Regional Merit award. He served as At Large NIRSA Board member from 2012-2015, as a member of NIRSA’s Strategic Value Commissions, as a faculty member of the School of Collegiate Recreation and more recently on the Government Affairs Committee among other volunteer positions. Alex is visionary and has a passion for branding and messaging.  He brings the perspective of an AVP in higher education and a deep understanding of research in student development.

Victoria and Alex join President-Elect Cara McFadden, Associate Professor of Sport Management at Elon University and Derek Hottell, Director of Recreational Sports at Virginia Commonwealth University as incoming Board members, with their terms beginning May 1.  Returning Board members include Leah Hall Dorothy, Director Recreational Sports at Oregon State University, David Davenport, Director of University Recreation at Austin Peay State University, Kristy Caldwell, Associate Director at Texas State University, and Jocelyn Hill, Director of Recreational Sports & Fitness at American University.

“I am excited to work with this team that will focus on what matters and continue the work to clarify the understanding of our “why” in this journey as higher education professionals,” says Leah. “Our institutions need the positive impacts from campus recreation more than ever before to confront a range of institutional challenges. NIRSA members are among the higher education professionals who are ready to lead the way.”

“Our institutions need the positive impacts from campus recreation more than ever before.”

The NIRSA Board of Directors is poised to lean-in to the strategic priorities articulated in the recent strategic plan, including being a driving force in health and wellbeing; advocating for the impact of the profession; offering timely, relevant, and accessible learning opportunities; and evolving NIRSA with the changing landscape of higher education. “I am honored and looking forward to working with this group of talented and dynamic professionals. The incoming Board represents three different generations of NIRSA members and we are energized to actively advance our profession” says Leah.

NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors

The NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors begins the 2019-2020 leadership year with two new Board members, Randall Ford, CRSS, Associate Director – Development at The University of Texas at Austin and Linda Knight, CRSS, Executive Director of Health & Wellness at College of William and Mary, and one reappointed Board member, Lexi Chaput, Senior Assistant Director, Sports Programs, Camps, and Development at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, for three year terms from 2019-2021.

“I am excited for this new Board to continue the work started in 1992 with the establishment of the NIRSA Foundation as the pathway to invest in our future through a philanthropic arm of NIRSA,” says Janice DeMonsi, Director of Campus Recreation at Santa Clara University and President-elect of the NIRSA Foundation Board. “We have a diverse board like our Association membership and I cannot wait to get started with our work at our face-to-face meetings in May.”

“We have a diverse board like our Association membership and I cannot wait to get started.”

Returning Board members include Lexi Chaput and Janice DeMonsi as well as Deb Johnson, RCRSP, Director of Recreation at University of California-Davis; Suzi Smith, CRSS, Director of Bryan Williams, M.D., Student Center at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center; Caroline Dotts, Associate Director – Healthy Lifestyle Programs at Georgia Institute of Technology; Brent Harrison, Associate Director for Recreation Programs at University of Oregon; Liz Henry, Director of Sports and Rec Clubs, University of California-San Diego; and Shomari Kee, Director of Campus Recreation at Northern Kentucky University.

NIRSA Services Corporation

The NIRSA Board will approve appointments to the NIRSA Services Corporation Board at the April 23 Board meeting; an announcement will follow in the NIRSA news.

Please join me in welcoming these incoming and returning NIRSA leaders and extending your appreciation for their volunteer service to NIRSA.

Executive Director at |

Pam Watts is currently the Executive Director at NIRSA.