2018 NIRSA School
of Collegiate Recreation — Level I
presented by Life Fitness

June 3-7, 2018 • Virginia Beach, Virginia

Expo & Sponsors
Hotel & Travel

This event is now over. Please contact NIRSA Professional Development if you need any information regarding this event.

The interactive NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation, presented by Life Fitness, provides a broad range of material designed to enhance a new professional’s management and problem-solving skills.

Experienced recreational sports faculty members have developed the course curriculum, designed the program schedule, and will lead sessions that provide participants with opportunities to practice, discuss, and refine the professional skills necessary for success. Participants will work collaboratively with other attendees to identify and solve problems (case studies) related to current trends and issues in collegiate recreation and higher education.

As a result of attending this event, an attendee will be able to:

  • Develop an understanding of autonomy, mastery, and purpose as factors that influence motivation of one’s self and others
  • Apply strategies to more effectively lead and manage staff
  • Articulate how recreation is vital in achieving the academic mission of the institution
  • Develop a more intentional sense of self related to personal leadership style

Attendees may earn 1.5 NIRSA CEUs to apply toward the Registry of Collegiate Recreation Sports Professional (RCRSP) credential.

Topic Areas

Overall Learning Objectives

  • Participants will work collaboratively with other attendees to identify and solve problems (case studies) related to current challenges in collegiate recreation.

  • Participants will identify strategies and develop plans of action to more effectively lead and manage staff, communicate the relevance of collegiate recreation, and improve inclusiveness.


NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation, Level I registrations are lottery-based.
School is capped at 48 participants.

The School lottery has been completed. As of 12/15, all lottery applicants have been notified of their selection status.
Applicants should have received an email from Education@NIRSA.org. If you applied and did not receive a notification, please check your junk/clutter inboxes. If you did not receive it, email Education@NIRSA.org to inquire about your application status.

Submit lottery application

NIRSA HQ will notify all lottery applicants of their registration status by email by December 15.
In the event you do not receive an email, we encourage you to check your “spam” folder, or email Education@NIRSA.org .

Cancellation Policies

Please Note:  This event requires participants to have at least 5 years of professional experience.
Please ensure you meet this requirement prior to submitting your registration.


Check back for pricing.

This is a very popular event! Registration fills up quickly.


This is a very popular event! Registration fills up quickly.

Register for The School!

Registration for The School is $695

Registration for Level II of the 2017 NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation opens Monday, December 12 at 10:00am PST.

Register for The School!


Registration for The School is $695

Registration price: $720

This is a very popular event! Registration fills up quickly.

Are you interested in sponsoring at the 2017 NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation?

Email us

The Faculty: Learn from the Pros

The Faculty of NIRSA’s School of Collegiate Recreation boasts decades of collective experience in managing campus recreation programs.

Download NIRSA Faculty Guide
Each faculty member’s background and institutional affiliations offers a unique perspective on the profession’s challenges and trends.

Faculty members are selected by the current faculty chair, and approved by the NIRSA Board of Directors. In order to offer a dynamic mix of perspectives and experiences to the faculty, two faculty members are selected annually to serve three-year terms.

Serving on NIRSA faculty team is a great way to contribute to the association, network with members, and learn. To learn about the School and faculty roles and responsibilities, check out the Faculty Guide. Applications are accepted annually. Visit the Get Involved area to get application information.

Download NIRSA Faculty Guide

Ali Cross serves as the director of recreational sports and a member of the student affairs leadership team at Virginia Tech.  In this capacity, she provides leadership to 38 full-time and 600+ part-time employees, two indoor recreational facilities, 20+ acres of outdoor recreation space and several recreational programs.  She is committed to building positive relationships and teams, and strongly believes in the power of exercise for health, happiness, and cognitive function.  She co-instructs the Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise skills course “Mindfulness and Movement” which uses the Koru Mindfulness practices and Chi Running principles to teach students a lifetime skill to promote well-being.

Ali has also served on several committees, task forces and work teams including: Keystone Advisory Committee to build a co-curricular experience for Virginia Tech students, Co-convener for the director’s leadership circle to build community amongst the division of student affairs’ director cohort, member of the Task for for a Healthier Virginia Tech community.  Some of her favorite achievements were serving as the race director for the 3.2 Run in Remembrance and launching the How of Happiness support group.  She is a facilitator for Discovery Learning, Inc Change Style Indicator and for Gallup’s StrengthsQuest.

Originally from Mobile, Alabama, Ali earned her bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine at the University of Southern Mississippi.  She has since spent the latter half of her life in Blacksburg, Virginia as a Hokie; she earned her master’s degree in clinical exercise physiology with the Human Nutrition Foods and Exercise Department at Virginia Tech. With VT Recreational Sports, Ali served as a graduate assistant, fitness coordinator, assistant director for fitness and wellness, associate director for programs and now the director.

She attended her first NIRSA national conference in 1998 in Salt Lake City, Utah, and has been an engaged member of the association since then.  She attended the NIRSA Level 1 school in 2003, and Level 2 in 2008.  She is passionate about the development opportunity the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation provides to professionals in campus recreation which is why she is honored to be a member of the faculty team.

Yvette Kell, known as Vetty, is the Director Campus Recreation at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. She began her career in collegiate recreation as an undergraduate intramural official at the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. She then did her graduate work at Sam Houston State University as an intramural graduate assistant, receiving her Master of Arts in kinesiology. Her first professional position was as the Coordinator of Fitness and Aquatics at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater. From there she went on to the University of Nevada, Las Vegas to serve as the Assistant Director of Facility Operations. She was later promoted to Director.

Yvette took a year off from her work in collegiate recreation in 2010 to pursue a lifelong dream to live abroad. She spent a year outside Seoul, South Korea teaching English to high school freshman and sophomores. She returned to the United States in 2011 to act as the Director of Campus Recreation at Morehead State University, and most recently moved to St. Louis, Missouri to serve as the Director of Campus Recreation for Centers, LLC at the University of Missouri–St. Louis. Yvette has been a member of NIRSA since 1995, served on numerous committees, attended a number of conferences, been a part of extramural tournaments, and genuinely loves being a part of the NIRSaA community. She is very excited to be a part of the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation faculty!

Chad has worked in collegiate recreation for the past 15 years. Chad has served in the Campus Recreation Departments at the University of Maryland, University of North Carolina Asheville, University of Central Florida, and presently serves as a Director of Sun Devil Fitness & Student Activities and Conference Services at Arizona State University.

In his current role, he provides leadership, management, and direction for all recreational facilities, inclusive programming, student staff development, and outdoor adventure programs at all Arizona State University Campuses and provides direct leadership for Sun Devil Fitness and Conference Services at the West Campus.  Chad has also served as an adjunct faculty member at Arizona State University, the University of Central Florida, and the University of North Carolina-Asheville. He earned a B.S. degree in Business Administration and Leisure Sport Management from Elon University, as well as an M.S. in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from Clemson University.

Currently serves as Director of Campus Recreation at Elon University. Larry has fourteen years of professional experience in collegiate recreation, including seven years of classroom teaching experience at Towson University and the University of Vermont.

A NIRSA member since 1999, he has presented at several state, regional, and national conferences and has served on a variety of NIRSA committees. Larry is also a StrengthsQuest facilitator and has led more than 25 Strengths sessions over the last five years, including the 2016 J. Michael Dunn Student Professional Development Preconference Workshop.

Marc Iturriaga has over 20 years’ experience in student affairs and currently serves as the Program Manager for Cougars Athletics and Recreation for Mount Royal University. Marc believes a healthy, vibrant, and sustainable community must include active, engaged citizens, and has used recreation as a vehicle to help prepare and develop students to create positive change in society. To achieve the goal of getting students active while providing experiential learning opportunities, he has found success through innovative approaches such as creating genderless sports leagues, developing a competency based student development framework, utilizing sustainable budgeting practices, and offering programs in nontraditional ways. A major career accomplishment has been realizing a participant growth from 11,000 to over 30,000 participants per year in his role as Associate Director, Campus Recreation & Business Development at the University of Waterloo.

Marc has his BA from the University of Waterloo and a Masters of Leadership from Royal Roads University, where his thesis was focused on increasing participation among first year residence students.

Marc’s involvement in NIRSA began as a member of the Strategic Values Commission for Sustainable Communities. He is an avid #RecChat contributor, volunteered for the Canadian Region Task Force, and has presented at numerous regional and national conferences. Marc is currently a member of the Assembly and this is his first year as part of the NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation’s faculty.

Bridget Nemeth currently serves as the interim Associate Dean of Students at Old Dominion University, providing strategic direction and management in the areas of Recreation & Wellness and Housing & Residence Life. She holds values in education and wellness that extend into her daily work and long term strategic planning and believes strong collaborative partnerships are critical and a goal when designing and implementing programs and services that meet the larger vision of the organization.

Bridget began her recreation career as a student employee for the outdoor recreation program at the University of Maryland, College Park, became a graduate assistant at Texas State University, then worked in campus activities and recreation programs at Rider University. She spent time in corporate meeting and event planning before coming to Old Dominion University in the Outdoor Adventure Program. Bridget transition to the Director of Recreation & Wellness at ODU and served in this role for five years, participating in strategic university and department initiatives in the areas of campus-wide wellness, distance learning, customer service, budgeting, and assessment.

She earned a Bachelor of Science in Secondary Education from the University of Maryland, College Park, and a Master of Science in Recreation and Leisure Services from Texas State University. She is currently working on her Ph.D. in Higher Education.

Schedule of Events

View the 2018 Schedule

Hotel Information

DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel • Virginia Beach


King, Two-room Suite (non-smoking) – Rates from $159/night

Deluxe King (non-smoking) – Rates from $149/night

Deluxe Double (non-smoking) – Rates from $159/night

Book Now


Social Media

Recent News


What graduates from the 2014 NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation Level II (2014) had to say about their School experience.

The School was a great experience- probably the best professional development training I have participated in as a full-time professional. There are so many beneficial takeaways that I want to apply in my facility, and the networking opportunities were truly priceless

Anonymous, 2014 School Level II Attendee

Level II was a great way to interact with a small group of colleagues from across the country in a very intentional way. It’s not often that you get to spend that much time with other NIRSA people that you didn’t previously know – some great bonds form from that type of interaction. If you are ready to come and think and be engaged, Level II can provide that! It is definitely a “school” atmosphere and lots of learning is involved!

Anonymous, 2014 School Level II Attendee

The School provided an opportunity to network with other professionals in a setting that cannot be matched by any other NIRSA event. Spending 5 days with the same 50 people allows for a deeper relationship to develop. The faculty were so helpful and inspirational and I hope to serve as a faculty one day.

Anonymous, 2014 School Level II Attendee

Level II re-energized me. The school, the faculty, my team…everyone…reminded me of why I chose this profession and why I love it so much.

Anonymous, 2014 School Level II Attendee

With over 15 years in campus recreation, I am relatively new to NIRSA (< 4 years). The opportunity to learn from knowledgeable faculty and colleagues was valuable experience. The content and context was very applicable and relevant to my current position and career direction: encompassing and broad from a department leadership perspective.

Anonymous, 2014 School Level II Attendee

About NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation Events

The School of Collegiate Recreation is where campus rec pros acquire tools and connections they need to advance their careers. It’s offered as Level I and Level II tiers.

The Level I experience is designed for recreation professionals with one-to-five years of full-time work experience. The full-time experience does not need to be in recreational sports.

Those who have more experience in the field may attend, but must understand that the sessions are geared to their less-experienced colleagues.

NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation Level II is designed for professionals with five or more years of full-time experience. Curricular offerings and the schedule are designed to offer an intensive program structured to provide participants with professionally challenging sessions to further develop their competencies. The interrelationship between course offerings is designed to provide a well-rounded approach to handling challenges in today’s collegiate recreation environment.

Participants must attend all sessions to receive a certificate of completion.  It is not required that you attend Level 1 to be eligible to attend Level II.

Need more information?

Questions about the 2018 NIRSA School of Collegiate Recreation can be directed to the NIRSA Professional Development Coordinator, John Raskauskas.