Megan has worked with Brock Recreation since joining the university in 2012. Since her time at Brock, Megan has continually altered programming and trainings to adhere to the changing student interests, sought out extra professional development opportunities for self and coworkers, and helped different areas of the department when appropriate. Brock University went through some organizational changes while Megan has been there that provided her the opportunity to eagerly take on other responsibilities like club team organization, summer camp coordination, and more! Megan’s main responsibility since starting at Brock has been intramural programming and school group field trips in the spring. These responsibilities allow Megan to work closely with students and help guide them while they are studying, working, and figuring out what they would like to do in the future.
Megan has also been a part of different working groups on campus to coordinate student employment, increase student involvement in coordinated programming, and help implement a new human resources system. Megan has been a NIRSA member since 2017 and was privileged to be able to attend her first NIRSA Annual Conference in 2017 which was also when Canada first became a region within NIRSA. She has presented at past ECCR conferences and attended numerous NIRSA Canada and NIRSA Canada East conferences. Megan is continually looking for different professional development opportunities, has completed numerous leadership and mental health trainings, and completed Sport Risk courses including Sport Club, Camps, Risk Management, and Concussion Management.
Megan lives in St. Catharines, Ontario with her partner and their 13-year-old Shepherd Collie mix Teala. She loves being outdoors, up north at the family cottage, camping and playing any and all sports.
What do you see as opportunities in collegiate recreation and our Association? How would you collaborate with the Member Network team to address these issues?
One opportunity I see currently is increasing collaboration across the Association on research and evidence-based proof of the benefits of campus recreation. The Association did a great job with the Value of Campus Recreation graphics that were created, especially at such a needed time with institutions adjusting to COVID-19. Next steps would be to coordinate between health sciences professors/researchers (recreation & leisure studies, sports management, kinesiology etc.) and recreation staff to determine what research, new or continued, would be most beneficial for campus recreation staff to use to find gaps in programming or increase understanding of the value of campus recreation.
Another opportunity I see specifically within NIRSA Canada is ensuring that all members and non-members understand the benefits of NIRSA and how to communicate those benefits as well as how easy it is to get involved. Until speaking to past NIRSA member representatives I did not realize how accessible getting involved could be and also how eager current and past NIRSA member representatives are to talk about their experiences. Campus recreation has and will continue to be a profession where the sharing of ideas and insights is done, so why wouldn’t the sharing of personal experiences within the Association be included as well? My goal is to determine the feasibility of creating an experiences page or site that includes answers from an exit survey from past NIRSA member representatives. Of course, this is the beginning of an opportunity and will rely heavily on current and past Member Network representatives to see if they agree to sharing their experiences publicly.
In describing your contributions to NIRSA, identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to serve NIRSA in this role.
I have been fortunate in being able to attend and present at the formerly ECCRC (Eastern Canada Campus Recreation Conference) annual professional recreation conferences before Canada became its own region within NIRSA in 2017. In 2018, I was able to bring two students with me to the NIRSA Ontario Student Lead On Conference hosted by Centennial College. I could see how this conference energized and enthused the students in attendance and re-emphasized to me the importance of using student staff and building our young leaders. With help and support from student staff, coworkers, and the institution, Brock University was able to successfully host the 2019 Student Lead On Conference. By taking a lead role in hosting the conference, there was the need for constant communication with other organizers, collaboration with university associates, and promotion of the conference to potential attendees.
Please share your ideas for engaging volunteers and identifying leaders in your region.
Do you know how many committees there are in NIRSA? Did you know you can join different NIRSA communities based on job and personal interests? Are you receiving NIRSA digest emails with new discussion posts within the communities that you are a member of? Are you aware NIRSA holds different institutes to increase member professional development?
All of these questions and more I want to be sure that all NIRSA members know, understand, and are comfortable with when they become a member. I would like to create a “new member user guide” that answers all questions new members may have. This will involve reaching out to current members and finding out what they wished they knew when they first joined NIRSA.
Another first step to engage volunteers is to encourage students and staff at all institutions to participate in conferences and NIRSA events. Until I was asked if Brock may be interested in hosting the NIRSA Ontario Student Lead On, it did not even cross my mind. I then reached out to my supervisor and the rest is history! It was a great experience personally and professionally and I want more members to know how realistic it is to get involve and volunteer (without needing to host a conference, just even present at a conference).