As the leading association for campus recreation, NIRSA continues to provide value for members and to innovate and impact the industry by intentionally seeking highly skilled and diverse leaders who are committed to advancing our vision of inspiring the development of healthy people and healthy communities. By blending the knowledge, insight, and unique perspectives of our leaders, we will accelerate the depth and breadth of our impact.
NIRSA is comprised of three entities: the Association, the NIRSA Foundation, and the NIRSA Services Corporation. The Association—the parent organization—is led by the NIRSA Board while the NIRSA Foundation serves as our philanthropic arm and the NIRSA Services Corporation is our innovation and business arm. This unique structure allows three discrete leadership groups to focus on distinct areas that ultimately bring value to NIRSA, its members, and the profession of campus recreation. All three entities operate under one strategic plan and one set of strategic values. In the coming year, all three Boards will be involved in creating the strategies to create value for members and impact to our campus communities in the new reality brought on by the global pandemic and other trends in higher education.
NIRSA Board of Directors
At a recent meeting, the NIRSA Board of Directors appointed Marcus Jackson, Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign, and Marc Falkenstein, Executive Director of Campus Life and UC Services at the University of the Pacific, to serve as Annual Directors for the 2021–2022 leadership year.
Marcus has been involved with the recreation world since 1994 and has been member of NIRSA since 2015. As a director in the Big 10, he brings a unique lens to his work for the Association. This was clear when he served as a member of the Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Commission. His perspective will no doubt enhance the work NIRSA is engaging in with our Climate Study Assessment.
Marc has been involved with recreation since 2002 and has gained valuable experience from serving in numerous NIRSA leadership roles. His service has included time with the Small Programs Advisory Council and Committee, the Nominations and Appointments Committee, and the NIRSA Assembly.
“I am excited for our new board members to join us as we continue to focus on substance, reach and relevancy for what we do to elevate the significance of collegiate recreation. As I approach my presidential year, I must acknowledge this past year serving as president designee, I have listened and learned quite a bit over the past year and want to specifically note the importance of crucial conversations with civility,” states Cara Lucia, incoming NIRSA Board President. “I appreciate the conversations with the Board this year and across the membership. These conversations followed by action, will continue to be imperative especially as it pertains to equity, diversity and inclusion, along with addressing changes in the higher education landscape regarding the impacts of COVID. We will continue to adapt to fluctuations in the environment by living out our values of Equity, Diversity, & Inclusion, Global Perspective, Health & Wellbeing, Leadership, Service, and Sustainable Communities. This upcoming year, I encourage the Board as well as the membership to continue to share ideas, create environments for crucial conversations, encourage curiosity and active engagement. I am excited to continue the amazing work from this year’s Board and eager to begin the implementation of the strategic plan and climate study assessment with our new members.”
Marcus and Marc join President-Elect Wendy Windsor, Director of Campus Rec at Tulane University, and Victoria Lopez-Herrera, Senior Associate Director at the University of Texas – San Antonio, as incoming Board members, with their terms beginning May 1. Returning Board members include Cara Lucia, Associate Professor of Sport at Elon University; Mila Padgett, Director of Campus Recreation & Wellness at University of South Carolina-Aiken; Nigel Harris, Director of Programs & Facilities at Kennesaw State University; and Derek Hottell, Director of Recreational Sports at Virginia Commonwealth University.
NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors
The NIRSA Foundation Board of Directors begins the 2021–2020 leadership year with four new Board members: James Koeppe, Director of Campus Recreation at University of Illinois-Springfield; Sophia Marshall, Senior Associate Director at University of North Carolina – Charlotte; Jean McClellan-Holt, Assistant Director of Rec & Wellness at Old Dominion University; and Stefani Plummer, Administrative Assistant at Cal Baptist University.
“As we begin a new leadership year, we are incredibly hopeful for what is to come. Last year was difficult, but also I am so grateful for what the NIRSA Foundation was able to accomplish with the support of our members and partners: funding committed to direct support for individuals who needed assistance with membership fees, scholarships for attendance to the virtual Annual Conference and Expo for all those who applied, and a commitment to the betterment of our association through an equity, diversity and inclusion climate study which will no doubt lead to opportunities for growth,” states incoming Foundation Board President Lexi Chaput. “The Foundation Board looks forward to harnessing the momentum that has been created this year and find the most effective ways to assist our association and its members as we work to restore balance and understand the new needs of our campus and our profession. I have no doubt that our new Foundation Board members are going to bring new energy, ideas and perspectives that will help us to succeed.”
Returning Board members include Lexi Chaput, Senior Assistant Director of Recreational Sport Programs, Camps & Development at University of Michigan-Ann Arbor; Randall Ford, Associate Director-Development at the University of Texas at Austin; Linda Knight, Director of Health & Wellness at College of William & Mary; Maxwell Miller, Assistant Athletic Director of Recreation & Wellness at Swarthmore College; Larry Mellinger, Director of Campus Recreation & Wellness at College at Elon University; Marti Tomlin Director of Recreation at the University of Richmond; and Brent Harrison, Associate Director for Recreation Programs at the University of Oregon returning for a one-year term as Past Board Member.
NIRSA Services Corporation Board of Directors
The NIRSA Services Corporation (NSC) Board of Directors begins the 2021–2022 leadership year with two new Board members: Jill Krantz, Executive Director of Campus Recreation at the University of Pittsburgh, and Andrew Lemons, Senior Director of Rec & Wellness at St. Edwards University.
A focus of NSC in the coming years, is to evolve the Innovation Framework to drive development of new programs, strategic iteration of existing programs, and to leverage changes in the market. The Innovation Framework was developed fall 2019 and the NSC Board began implementation in December 2019. In 2020, NSC added a newly defined position, Innovation Advisor, with Tim Mertz, Senior Director, Health Fitness piloting this role. One of the focuses for the upcoming term is to formalize the innovation framework while also expanding the innovation advisor role from one member to three. Tim Mertz has agreed to stay on for one more year to support the transition. Those who work in this advisory capacity will be non-voting members of the NSC Board.
“I am extremely excited to welcome both Andy and Jill as new board members. Their experience and perspectives will be welcomed by the board and extremely valuable as leaders of our association,” says NSC Nominations Chair and Vice President Stephanie McAlpine. The NSC is focused on growing the entrepreneurial mindset within our profession and will use the newly developed innovation framework as well as our expanding innovation advisors to leverage the talents of Jill, Andy and the returning board members.”
Returning NIRSA Services Corporation Board members include Jennifer Speer, Senior Director of Communications, Memberships & Development at The University of Texas at Austin; Stephanie McAlpine, Associate Director in Student Affairs at the University of Texas at Arlington; Michele Schwitzky, Senior Associate Director of Campus Rec at the University of Arizona; Felicia Tittle, Executive Director at Duke University; and Dave Williams, Executive Director of Recreation at Rutgers University.
Please join me in welcoming these incoming and returning NIRSA leaders and extending your appreciation for their volunteer service to the Association!