Submit your ideas or volunteer to be a leader for one of the new conversations sessions at the 2020 NIRSA Annual Conference & Campus Rec and Wellness Expo taking place from April 18–21 in Phoenix, Arizona!

At NIRSA 2020, the Association’s popular roundtable sessions will be joined by new community connection sessions to expand the opportunities for members to connect and learn through conversation. “We know how much members value the chance to get together to discuss issues and share solutions,” says Chris Schmoldt, NIRSA 2020 Program Committee member and Associate Director at West Virginia University. “The Program Committee worked hard to reshape our current roundtables and add the new community connection format to provide ample opportunities for valuable conversation in the program schedule.”

Over 30 conversations sessions will be part of the NIRSA 2020 program—including a dozen roundtables, a dozen community connection sessions, and at least ten soon-to-be-announced panel discussions.

New framework for roundtable sessions

To provide consistent expectations for roundtable attendees, the NIRSA 2020 Program Committee has worked this past year to revamp the popular roundtable sessions. NIRSA 2020 will feature a single room for roundtables that is specifically configured for conversations. The Program Committee is establishing a common framework for each roundtable to assist facilitators.

Twelve roundtable topics have been preselected—ten based on previous years’ roundtable attendance and two reserved for this year’s hot topics in collegiate recreation. This fall, the Program Committee will recruit members to be part of the facilitation team for each roundtable session.

NIRSA 2020 roundtable topics

Facility Management
Health & Wellbeing
Intramural Sports
Outdoor Recreation
Risk Management
Small Programs
Sport Clubs
[Hot Topic TBA]

Volunteer to be a roundtable facilitator

Members can add roundtable facilitator to their resume when they volunteer to help lead one of the 12 roundtable sessions at NIRSA 2020. Each session will have member volunteers in one of three roles: organizer, moderator, or recorder.

Roundtable organizers will work prior to the conference to solicit discussion topics from within their community. Moderators will actively facilitate conversations during the roundtable. Recorders will take key notes from the session to share with the membership after the conference.

Learn more about each position and sign up to volunteer now by Wednesday, January 15 online in the conversations section of the NIRSA 2020 website.

Suggest a topic for a community connection session

To connect conference attendees for conversations on more niche topics, or for discussion within identity-based groups, the Program Committee will introduce community connection sessions at NIRSA 2020.

Compared to roundtable sessions, the community connection sessions will focus on narrower topics and are designed for groups of 50 attendees or less. Community connection sessions will also take place in a room specifically configured for conversations but will be only lightly structured to better allow attendees to address issues of interest.

Members can suggest topic areas or identity-based groups for community connection sessions now through Wednesday, January 15 online in the conversations section of the NIRSA 2020 website. The Program Committee will finalize the community connection topic areas in March.

Community connection potential topics

Faculty Members
Financial Management
Historically Black Colleges and Universities
Member Services
Youth Programs

The revamped NIRSA 2020 educational program

To help members find the sessions that best match how they want to learn, educational opportunities in this year’s program are divided among three broad categories: presentations, conversations, and association engagement.

Along with panel discussions, roundtables and community connection sessions comprise the conversations category of educational sessions at the Annual Conference.

Presentation sessions feature presenter-led general education sessions, showcase, and research sessions. The Annual Meeting of Members, Student Member Network Connection Meeting, and Regional Member Network Connection Meeting are among the association engagement sessions on the schedule.

Learn more about each session type in the program section of the NIRSA 2020 website.

Registration for NIRSA 2020 opens in December. Visit the NIRSA 2020 website to learn more about all aspects of this year’s Annual Conference!


  • For more information, please contact NIRSA Director of Professional Development Kristen Gleason.
Associate Director of Campus Recreation at Florida State University | 2020 Annual Conference Program Chair | NIRSA Profile

David Peters is currently the Associate Director of Campus Recreation at Florida State University. He currently serves as the Voice of the NIRSA Championship Series.