The newly constituted Cross-Campus Integration Workgroup is developing a new, multi-layered resource for NIRSA members called Promising Practices. The goal of the forthcoming Promising Practices series is to provide an immersive and fun educational experience for NIRSA members, empowering them to facilitate positive change in the wellbeing of their campus.

A NIRSA Promising Practice is an educational, inspirational story about how an institution has made transformative change. The content will include a teaser video, a PDF that guides readers through the what and how of their work, followed by an interactive, virtual roundtable allowing participants to ask specific questions transferring knowledge and experience from the presenter into immediate use.

What do we need from NIRSA members? We need that reputable energy and enthusiasm for sharing what your department and institution has accomplished in the space of wellbeing. The focus of Promising Practice is on collaboration and integration of institutional efforts.

The application to see your school featured consists of some basic information about your institution, along with a general overview of your integrated wellbeing work.

Apply to have your Promising Practice showcased

In this first round, applications will be open February 8 to March 12. Apply via a short Google form.

Apply today

When an institution is selected, the NIRSA Health and Wellbeing Task Force’s Cross-Campus Integration Work Group will guide the institutional partner in creating a stellar, three-part final product! Accepted applicants will be coached through all aspects of content submission, as well as have an opportunity to provide feedback and support along the way.

As an end-result, the Promising Practice will contain:

  • a brief teaser video (under 3 minutes) to overview and highlight the practice
  • a templated PDF document for a deeper dive into the initiative, how it got started, where it’s going next, and the impact it’s having on campus
  • a follow up roundtable where members can bring their questions and ‘ask the experts’ behind the Promising Practice

It is a priority to showcase a variety of institutions both in size and scope of accomplishment.

What’s an example of a potential Promising Practice?

There are lots of great examples in the NIRSA membership – and we hope you will all consider applying! To get the wheels turning here’s a few examples:

CHANGES Program at University of Florida

CHANGES stands for Create Habits, Adopt New Growth, and Enhance Self. This collaborative program recognizes that everyone faces challenges to wellness in different areas and aims to help students who may struggle with positive behavior change, weight management, body image, and/or self-esteem surrounding physical activity or movement to a degree that causes him or her significant distress. CHANGES participants are referred to RecSports from the counseling center, health care center and other campus partners to facilitate continuation of care. The 10-week program combines physical activity in a small group setting with wellness coaching and nutrition education.

Rowan Thrive at Rowan University

Rowan Thrive is our community’s commitment to help each person cultivate wellbeing throughout life’s journey of highs and lows. Recreation is included as a key player in this commitment. Rowan Thrive is a toolkit for developing a mindset, actions and behaviors that will help you build a life of purpose, resilience and engagement. Rowan Thrive is designed to help you live according to your values, maximize your potential and find your best self.

BU | BeWell at Butler University

At Butler University, we are committed to the wellbeing of each member of our community. The BU|BeWell framework is the foundation for a transformative and holistic Butler experience. Through BU|BeWell, we foster a positive environment that helps students, faculty, and staff grow, learn, and be the best version of themselves. Following Collective Impact, the Office of Recreation & Wellness provides the backbone support on creating a culture of integrated wellbeing.

Meet the work group

Last summer, NIRSA’s Health & Wellbeing Task Force launched a wellbeing survey. After analyzing the results, the task force began to form several work teams to help meet the needs identified by members.

One area of need noted by members was around a better understanding of cross-campus integrative wellbeing initiatives and resources to help departments infuse these practices. To this end, the Cross-Campus Integration Work Group was created. This group is developing a new, multi-layered resource for NIRSA members called Promising Practices.

The goal of the forthcoming Promising Practices series is to provide an immersive and fun educational experience for NIRSA members, empowering them to facilitate positive change in the wellbeing of their campus. The Cross-Campus Integration Work Group, who works closely with the Health & Wellbeing Task Force to lead these efforts, includes:

  • Darcie Burde, Director for Fitness and Wellness at the University of Florida, Health & Wellbeing Task Force member
  • Josh Downing, Director of Recreation & Wellness at Butler University, Health & Wellbeing Task Force member
  • Cynthia Constanzo, Interim Director of the Student Union at the University of Connecticut
  • Lynn Nester, Director of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Oregon
  • Eric Nickel, Director of University Recreation at James Madison University
  • Greg Reinhardt, Senior Manager of Campus Recreation at the University of Utah
  • Jessica Ward, Director of Campus Recreation at Princeton University

Please feel free to reach out to any of the members with questions and ideas for this work!

  • For more information, contact NIRSA Director of Advocacy and Strategic Partnerships, Erin O’Sullivan.
Director for Fitness and Wellness at University of Florida | NIRSA Profile

Darice Burde is currently Director for Fitness and Wellness at the University of Florida. She serves on the Health & Wellbeing Task Force.

Josh Downing is currently the Director of Recreation & Wellness at Butler University and a member of NIRSA's Health & Wellbeing Task Force; he can be reached by email at jdowning@butler.edu.