The 2021 NIRSA Virtual Conference will take place online, February 23-25, 2021. The Association is excited to bring campus recreation professionals together to learn, connect, and celebrate in a new, virtual format.

For NIRSA 2021, the program committee is aiming to highlight sessions related to four key topic areas:

  • Higher education leadership: selection priority will be given to topics that have arisen during COVID-19 crisis. Among other things, sessions related to higher education leadership will address COVID-19 issues, financial management, strategic planning, change leadership, and innovative partnerships.
  • Equity, diversity, and inclusion: advocacy is about empowering others, eliminating barriers, and creating access and equal opportunity for others to be fully included. To truly create an inclusive community, how do campus recreation leaders advocate for policies, practices, staff training, resources and programming that are inclusive and equitable? The program committee is specifically seeking topics related to the advocate’s role, advancing racial equity, and supporting civil discourse.
  • Digital engagement strategies Topics in this area address how to create welcoming digital communities that extend and complement a recreation facility’s physical environment, foster engagement, and support wellbeing. Topics may explore aspects of programming, staff training, assessment, and more.
  • Health & Wellbeing: sessions in this area focus on innovating, supporting, and fostering a holistic, integrated, and strategic approach to wellbeing.

The Annual Conference Program Committee and NIRSA HQ staff are actively mining session proposals from previously planned in-person events to recruit session presenters. And, we also want to hear from you about program ideas that will help advance the field of collegiate recreation. We’re inviting session pitches for multiple formats at NIRSA 2021, including:

  • Fireside Chat: one-on-one conversations that are modeled after the podcast interview form. In this format, a guest is interviewed by another person to uncover key elements of the featured guest’s story, knowledge, or expertise, while also inviting audience participation (through questions or comments) to help guide the conversation. This is an ideal format for a deep dive into one (or two) person’s expertise, insights, and experience with a particular topic. These sessions are a maximum of 45 minutes.
  • Fishbowl Discussions: these forums offer discussion opportunities for three to six people to engage in focused conversation, while other participants observe; fishbowl sessions are a maximum of 45 minutes.
  • Learning Labs: sessions usually feature 1-3 presenters and focus on a specific topic or area of research. These sessions range from 30 minutes to 45 minutes.
  • Lightning Talks: These sessions are no longer than 10 minutes, so presenters need to make to make their point clearly and rid the presentation of noncritical information. It is a great format for exploring many aspects of a single topic can be presented in a short amount of time.
  • Panel Discussion: these sessions include moderator-curated questions directed to panelists.

The program will feature a mix of pre-recorded, live, and simulive (a hybrid of pre-recorded and live response elements) sessions.

Submit a proposal

NIRSA members are invited to submit presentation proposals for the 2021 NIRSA Virtual Conference through November 16.

Submit a proposal