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.
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.