Zack Sephton2017-12-14T19:14:30+00:00

Project Description

NIRSA Elections
NIRSA Elections

Candidate for Canadian Regional Student Leader

Zack Sephton
University of Windsor

Biography/Summary Resume

Zack Sephton got his start in campus recreation working as a marketing assistant in the University of Windsor’s Forge Fitness Centre. Zack Joined the Lancers club baseball team in his third year of study, and was promoted to a Facility/Service Desk Supervisor for the entire St. Denis Centre. Parlaying this role into a Summer 2017 co-op placement working in marketing for Lancer Rec, Zack was included on the student committee for the first ever NIRSA Canada Region ECCRC conference, during which time he learned all about NIRSA and fell in love with the field of recreation. Zack is in his fourth of five years in the Human Kinetics – Sport Management Co-op program at the University of Windsor and since been promoted to the Marketing Supervisor role within Lancer Rec.

Please provide a statement of your personal views on the role and contributions of collegiate recreation in higher education and the impact it has had on your personal development.

Over the past couple years that I have been working in campus recreation, I have developed a strong sense of how recreation contributes to the student experience in higher education. Primarily, I feel this is done through the provision of recreation as a resource to benefit the overall health and wellness of the student (and often community) body. While playing sports or working out are a great outlet afforded to students as a means of stress relief and physical challenge, recreation plays a much larger role across the campus community. Student health and wellness includes mental health, and recreation programs are able to contribute to student mental health through several ways: the abovementioned outlets to relieve stress, providing students with resources to learn more about mental health, and setting an example across campus of what steps can be taken to better the wellbeing of the student body.

In terms of my own personal development, being involved with campus recreation as a club sports athlete, intramural athlete, fitness class participant, and now as an employee has had a tremendous influence on helping me develop into the person I am today. These experiences have given me the opportunity to develop essential life skills such as leadership, communication, and adaptability while also giving me insight into a possible career path as I get closer to the end of my undergraduate program and begin to think about the future. Recreation has further aided in my academic success, providing an outlet for when I need to give myself a break from the pressures of school and continuously allowing me to find situations where I can apply the knowledge learned during class to real life settings through my employment.

In describing your contributions to the Member Network, NIRSA, and the students, identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to serve NIRSA in this role.

My involvement and experience with NIRSA had been very limited prior to the Spring/Summer of 2017 as I had not been aware of the existence of the organization. However, in the time since then I have done my best to be as involved as possible in contributing to the development of NIRSA in the Canada region. My first experience with NIRSA was when we hosted the 2017 ECCRC at the University of Windsor and I took on a leadership role within our student committee which was in charge of assisting in the planning, organizing, and facilitation of the conference. Following the conference, I got our student committee back together to go over the outline of the plan for the Canada region we had been given at one of the conference sessions I attended, and led discussion to develop a list of questions and ideas to be brought up at the NIRSA Annual Conference in Calgary. Following that I began to talk more frequently with the Ontario Student Rep, Jenna Krajinovic, about how I could be more involved and what we could do within our respective institutions and across Ontario to benefit NIRSA and improve campus recreation.

Shortly after these discussions began taking place was when I was promoted to the role of Marketing Supervisor within the recreation department at the University of Windsor, where I could then bring these ideas forward to benefit our student body, with the intention of sharing these ideas and successful initiatives across the region. Within this role, I researched and created a thirty-page report on issues pertaining to diversity and inclusion within campus recreation along with recommendations for ways to combat these barriers. With the approach of the Student Lead On Conference at Western University in October 2017, I once again collaborated with Jenna Krajinovic to turn this report into a presentation on diversity and inclusion within campus recreation, which her and I presented during that conference. Jenna and I intend to submit the same presentation for approval to present at the Region III Conference in January.

I spoke with Jenna Smith from Western University prior to their hosting of the October 2017 Student Lead On Conference to offer my advice and suggestions based on my own experience in planning a NIRSA conference at the University of Windsor. A more recent experience I feel would further serve me in this role is my participation and victory at the inaugural University of Waterloo Sport Management Case Competition on November 3. This competition involved several other institutions and teams, and myself and our team of four other UWindsor students were given a case pertaining to a summer basketball camp (Point Guard College) and asked to present our proposed solutions in front of professors from other institutions, and then in front of the founders of the company in the final round. Our team emerged victorious in this competition and I feel an experience like this would further serve me well as a NIRSA region representative.

As a Student Leader of NIRSA, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the field of collegiate recreation. What skills, talents, and perspectives would you bring to the Student Leadership Team?

I feel I would bring a variety of skills, talents, and perspectives to the Student Leadership Team. I am a very open-minded person and always try to consider the perspectives of others surrounding an issue before presenting a solution to it. Through my studies within sport management and business, I have also developed an aptitude for finding creative solutions to problems which will generally benefit all parties to some degree. I am skilled as a leader and am able to motivate others to complete required tasks while accepting that as the leader the responsibility ultimately falls on me should the task not be completed. As a result, I have learned to effectively prioritize tasks to determine which ones will have the greatest impact on the greatest number of people, meaning I should devote more time and attention to these tasks prior to focusing on a less time-sensitive task.

In addition to these skills, I would also be bringing the perspective of someone who has participated in nearly every field in campus recreation in some capacity with the exception of aquatics. My current titles within the University of Windsor’s Department of Athletics and Recreation include the following: Marketing Supervisor, Special Events Assistant Coordinator, Personal Trainer, Fitness Class Instructor, Leadership Development Course Facilitator, Facility/Service Desk Supervisor, Gameday/Event Set-Up Staff Member, Club Baseball Player, and Intramural Participant. With this in mind, I feel like I could actively engage in discussion and debate regarding a vast majority of the fields within recreation, and further have the ability to draw from my past experiences as simply a participant before becoming an employee in Lancer Recreation. I feel I am also quite adaptable and able to think on my feet, which would serve the Student Leadership Team well as I would often be able to provide suggestions or possible solutions to problems not long after being made aware of them and would be able to assist with the implementation of a decided-upon solution while accounting for any changes or related issues that may arise during the process.

NIRSA Elections: Zack Sephton