Dave DeAngelo serves as Senior Associate Director-Facilities at The Ohio State University. Dave has two degrees from Ohio State having earned his undergraduate degree in business administration (accounting and finance) and his masters in sport management. Upon graduation, Dave served as a facility coordinator at Northern Kentucky University and held the same position at Oakland University before returning to Ohio State in 2000.
Dave has served in several roles at OSU with his current position being Senior Associate Director – Facilities where he oversees all indoor and outdoor facility spaces. Dave also works event management for OSU Athletics and serves as a faculty advisor for Ohio Staters, Inc. the oldest student service organization on campus. Dave is also involved with the management of Ohio High School Athletic Association events and is a 30-year volunteer and university liaison for Special Olympics Ohio.
Dave has been very active within NIRSA in his 28 years of membership. He has presented at numerous state, regional, and national conferences; has served on multiple NIRSA committees; has served as the program chair of the 2012 NIRSA Annual Conference; has served as ORSA President and been awarded that association’s Honor Award; and has served as Region III Representative on the Member Network. In 2013, Dave was honored to receive the Region III Award of Merit.
Dave lives in Columbus with his two children, Ryan and Emily, and their two cats, Charlie and Bubblegum.
How have you advocated collegiate recreation’s value in higher education?
I think the best way to advocate for collegiate recreation’s value in higher education is to practically demonstrate all the various ways in which our professionals and departments have an impact. My first professional position was at Northern Kentucky University. A colleague of mine started at the same time and the two of us were determined to make an impact and have the department viewed in a different manner. I was afforded the opportunity to teach a class called University 101, which was a valuable and transformative experience. Our department was able to be involved with a large first-year orientation event as well as helping to plan a parade for the installation of a new president. I was so proud of my time at NKU and will always remember our orientation director there telling me when I left how much we were able to transform recreation at NKU. While that was a number of years ago, and we have a much larger seat at the table than we did then, I still believe this a great way for collegiate recreation to advocate our impact.
It is important for leaders on our campuses to see the other attributes that collegiate recreation professionals can bring to the table. At Ohio State, two of my most rewarding experiences have been through a student service organization I advise and as a cohort mentor in the Second Year Transformational Experience Program (STEP). STEP is a program where sophomores meet with a mentor as a cohort group weekly. In the beginning, only tenured faculty could serve as mentors, but over the last couple of years, staff who have a unique role on campus could be asked to participate. Our STEP director sought me out because of the unique role I have as a rec sports administrator! She realized the different skills staff in student life could bring to the table. The STEP experience has been transformative for me as well as I have been fortunate enough to establish meaningful relationships with our students and serve as an advocate and sounding board for their concerns.
Being recognized for skills one can bring to the table doesn’t happen like magic. It takes hard work, building relationships across your campus and a willingness to step outside your comfort zone. During these COVID times, it has been apparent that our leadership trusts us to be at the table for operating and budgeting decisions, a product of years of hard work.
In alignment with the NIRSA strategic plan, what are three priorities that you would identify and believe NIRSA should accomplish during your time on the board and why are these most important?
In looking at the NIRSA Strategic Plan, there are several priorities I would identify as critical issues for the association going forward, especially as this particular plan is reaching its conclusion and thought will need to be given on what aspects to carry over post 2021.
1) Equity, Diversity and Inclusion: As the NIRSA Board, I believe it is inherent within that group’s responsibilities to provide members with the resources to try and ensure that the professional staff in collegiate recreation resembles the student population of those individual campuses. We have a long way to go to meet this goal and intentional thinking and action will be critical to making strides in the right direction.
2) How can NIRSA be an advocate in our ongoing struggle to adequately “tell our story?” In these times, it is vitally important that the value of collegiate recreation is at or near the top of important resources for our student bodies. NIRSA’s strategic plan illustrates a need to empower our members to tell our story. Are we doing enough as an association and providing enough data and resources rather than relying strictly on anecdotal information?
3) The component of the strategic plan that calls for NIRSA to evolve learning structures and formats certainly is one we needed to learn on the fly! Just like everyone, the shift to a virtual world was hard to get used to for us, especially since so much of the wonderful aspects of our association are based on in-person contact. It will be critical in 2021 to determine the best way to move forward with virtual-based options and making them available and affordable to those who may not have a professional development budget this year.
The NIRSA Strategic Plan is a robust document and all aspects of it are important, but these to me are the things to focus on at this critical moment in time.
What attributes, experiences and knowledge could you contribute to the NIRSA Board of Directors that speak to the competency based requirements?
I can bring to the NIRSA Board several different experiences that have been valuable in my professional journey. I have been a collegiate recreation professional for 25 years and a NIRSA member for 28. Throughout the course of those years, I have developed a great affinity for NIRSA and have tried to be involved at various levels of the association. I have been fortunate enough to serve as our ORSA President from 2005–2007. I still look back on that experience as one that shaped me greatly as I learned the true value of servant leadership and association management.
I have been on the non-successful end of a NIRSA election. I stood for what was then the Region III Vice President in 2007. The experience of standing was very beneficial for me and I would say that not being the successful candidate was a blessing in disguise. It really forced me to examine what I needed to do better and when I was the successful candidate for the Region III Representative, those past experiences served me well.
Serving on the Member Network has been the highlight of my NIRSA experience. I loved being able to connect with colleagues from across our region and establish meaningful relationships with the other aspects of our NIRSA governance. That experience more than any other really prepared me for this next potential step. It was extremely educational and really gave me a much better understanding of how our association works. The other seminal NIRSA experience I had was serving as the Conference Program Chair for the 2012 Tampa Conference. This was a hugely impactful experience that I wouldn’t trade for the world.
I am fortunate that my career path in collegiate recreation has been one with increased responsibilities along the way. I have been privileged to manage large budgets, construction projects, and multiple full-time staff. I have prided myself on relationship building and serve on our department’s leadership team where I am deeply involved in decision making that affects our operations.
I also feel as though I have the temperament to succeed in the board setting. I am a good listener and will take input from all appropriate sources before making a decision. I am passionate about my work and providing extraordinary experiences for our students. I have no issue with hard work and like to lead by example. And finally, I will be a good teammate; one who is there for fellow board members in all situations.
Throughout your career you have had to respond to adversity and challenging times. Please provide an example of growth and how you can draw upon that instance to successfully navigate your NIRSA Board experience.
One of the best pieces of advice I ever received was from Mike Dunn when he relayed a story to me about a fellow NIRSA member not winning an election. He said that how one responds in a time of disappointment truly shows the character of that individual. The best example I can give for this question revolves around the time I was in the applicant pool for the director at Ohio State.
A colleague of mine and myself had been serving as co-interim Director of Recreational Sports and were lucky enough to be granted interviews. When I wasn’t selected for the position, I was truly heartbroken but I had to decide how to move forward.
I am so passionate about collegiate recreation and bleed Scarlet and Gray, so not being selected for the director role was a professional disappointment to me. I realized I needed to do some internal soul searching. Admittedly, I didn’t respond well initially, but after some guidance from colleagues and encouragement from my supervisor, I was able to seek out an executive coaching program offered through OSU. Through this program, I was able to work one on one with a coach to really get at what was missing with me as a candidate for that position and the things I needed to improve upon to be a better candidate in the future. That was a humbling and sometimes vulnerable experience, but I would not trade it for the world. Self-discovery is a wonderful thing.
The biggest takeaway is that we all have room to learn. I would be foolish if I didn’t recognize just this opportunity to submit my materials as another opportunity to grow and develop. I know that the coaching experience better equipped me for any challenge that might lay ahead.