Project Description

Virtual Roundtables
NIRSA Ideas in Motion

Young Professionals Roundtable

Recorded on Thursday, June 11, 1:00pm PT / 4:00pm ET

Facilitated by Tom Giles

Register for this Virtual Roundtable Today

A Note from NIRSA

We’re sad to report that this roundtable fell victim to Zoombombing. The above recording was edited to remove nearly all references to the disruption. Thank you to facilitator Tom Giles for helping to keep the discussion moving. Also we’d like to thank our participants for their patience during the time that we removed the individual. We are taking steps to help ensure that Zoombombing remains a very rare occurrence on NIRSA’s free roundtables.

Chat Transcript

00:29:32Eric Becker

Hey Tom

00:29:38Shana Kessler

Greetings from Central Washington!

00:30:22Ethan Cobb

Hello from Arizona State!

00:30:33Nick Ames

Hello from South Carolina - Upstate

00:31:05Tara Gilkey

Hello from Western Washington!

00:31:24Chris Spencer

Hello Everyone! University of Iowa checking in!

00:32:45Bre'una Keeton

Bre'una Keeton, Red Rocks Community College, Fitness Coordinator, Panda Bear

00:33:00Nick Ames

Nick Ames. South Carolina - Upstate. Assistant Director - Intramural Sports, Club Sports, and Summer Camps. 18 months

00:33:02Lisa Molloy

Lisa Molloy, University of Central Florida, Facilities and Aquatics Coordinator, Panda Bear!

00:33:04Crystal Durham

hi friends! I'm Crystal Durham, the Competitive Sports and Summer Activities Coordinator at Northern Arizona University

00:33:06Justice Shankel

Justice Shankel, Virginia Commonwealth University, Facility Operations GA,

00:33:06John Davenport

John Davenport, Arizona State University, Program Coordinator for Fitness. 1 year as a professional, and my spirit animal is a flamingo

00:33:16Brian Veverka

Brian Veverka from Georgia Southern University, Director of Sport Programs for 3 years. Spirit Animal is the Fire Spirit from Frozen

00:33:18Brett Simon

Brett Simon, Elon University, Assistant Director-Sport Programs, Finishing first year pro, Badger

00:33:23Eric Becker

Eric Becker, Marshall University, Coordinator of Aquatics & Safety, 3rd year pro. Spirit Animal: the wolf

00:33:27George Bauman

Hey Tom, George- George Washington University, Sr Rec sports coordinator, 18 months, gorilla

00:33:28Mike Turner

Mike Turner, University of New Mexico, Club Sports and fitness coordinator, Panda

00:33:29Traci Smith

Traci Smith | University of South Florida | Fitness Coordinator | Horse

00:33:30sylvain Tchaptchet

Sylvain Tchaptchet, First Year Competitive Sports Coordinator at Penn State. CAT

00:33:31Shana Kessler

Shana Kessler, pronounced Shay-nuh, at central Washington as the Intramural Sports & Special Events Coordinator, been in the field for 5 years as a pro and 8 overall. I'm also a sloth.

00:33:33Paul Joseph

Paul Joseph, Just graduated from Nova Southeastern University, Former GA for Intramural Sports, Falcon

00:33:42Miller, Christian

Christian Miller, Texas A&M University, Facilities and Leadership Coordinator, 2nd year pro,

00:33:42Courtney Copp

Courtney Copp, University of Arizona, Member Services Coordinator, 5 years, 2 years (professional), Otter

00:33:42Devon Wilde

Hi! Texas A&M University - Corpus Christi; Aquatics/Facilities Coordinator; 3 years; pups

00:33:51Ethan Cobb

Ethan Cobb, Arizona State University, Sports Programs and Kids Camp Coordinator, 2 years pro staff, Spirit animal would be Tazmanian Devil

00:33:52Corrine Pruett

Hello Everyone! Corrine Pruett, West Virginia University, Coordinator for Operations, 2nd Year Professional, Owl

00:33:53Tara Gilkey

Tara Gilkey, Western Washington University, Professional Intern

00:34:03Shana Kessler

Sylvain is THE CAT.

00:34:15Amanda Torres-Brooks

Amanda Torres-Brooks, University of California, Merced, Asst Director, operations, 2.5 years, Bulbalsaur as my spirit animal.

00:34:45Christopher Avery

Christopher Avery, Georgia Southwestern State University, Intramural and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator, 1 year

00:34:53Jasmine Holmes

Jasmine Holmes, Central Michigan, Assistant Director of CoSpo, 3year pro

00:35:12sylvain Tchaptchet

Lmao, not a cat lover but i have their attributes. calm and individualistic until its time to play.

00:35:20Mike Brito

Mike Brito, former GA for Sport Clubs & Student Development at Rowan University, Gorilla

00:35:27Jasmine Holmes


00:35:30Chris Spencer

Chris Spencer. University of Iowa, Coordinator of Intramurals and Sport Camps, 1st year professional

00:35:56Dan Wrenholt

Woo woo go chris

00:36:19Nick Donahue

Nick Donahue UW Superior, Assistant Director 2nd year

00:36:19Luke Mozena

Luke Mozena - Wichita State University - GA Facilities & Student Development.

00:36:48Stephen Lynam

Stephen Lynam - East Stroudsburg University - 1st year professional

00:37:04Gregory Tack

Greg Tack, Quinnipiac University - Graduate Assistant for Club Sports (2nd Yr.)

00:37:07Eric Becker

One of my focuses on reopening was the safety of the student employees that we were asking to come back and work.

00:37:39Jacob Walker

Jacob Walker - Sam Houston State University - Coordinator, IMs and Clubs - Just finished first full year as a pro

00:39:30George Bauman

Is everyone using reservation systems like Ethan for their facilities and equipment to monitor people ?

00:39:53Kaulin Andric

IMLeagues for IMs, S&C, Climbing wall, Bouldering wall, and Pools

00:39:56Jacob Walker

Fusion for time blocks in activity areas (weight room, cardio, etc)

00:40:30Dan Wrenholt

No time blocks, as numbers won’t facilitate needing it

00:41:15Justice Shankel

At VCU we are taking on some students who want to work in Facilities who normally work in other areas so they can still get hours

00:41:27Crystal Durham - NAU

we are relocating equipment from the weight room into our MAC Gym to physically distance the machines; no free weights or plates allowed

00:41:32Courtney Copp

We are only doing lane reservations for pool through IM Leagues, no reservations for the rest of the facility

00:42:55Brian Veverka

The state of Georgia is trying to be a trailblazer with reopening at the state level and University level. At Georgia Southern, our Rec Center is proposed to open 7/6 with social distancing being the priority. Meetings, meetings, and meetings to get ready for it

00:43:26Jon Fey

Looking at historical data from the previous quarter.

00:43:42Jon Fey

Closing for an hour, possibly, to do some extra cleaning

00:44:00Eric Becker

Facility open from 6am - 7pm, one hour facility closure from 1:30 - 2:30 pm for a deep clean of all areas

00:44:03Shana Kessler

geddit Veverka

00:44:50Corrine Pruett

At WVU we will be cleaning each piece of equipment after it is used and using an electrostatic sprayer each night.

00:46:35John Davenport

For group fitness, we will have limited equipment for students to use (yoga mats, bikes, weights, etc.), but we're putting a ton of space between classes to thoroughly clean equipment and class spaces will not be open to the public except for classes.

00:49:05Courtney Copp

We are having shortened hours upon reopen and our weight room is broken up into zones for cleaning from open til closing

00:50:11Jacob Walker

Thank you! Very helpful

00:50:44Lisa Molloy

Love Phoenix summer temps!!

00:51:21Crystal Durham - NAU

Phoenix is groooooossssssss haha

00:51:27Shana Kessler


00:51:45Courtney Copp


00:52:05Nick Ames

Can confirm the humidity in S. Carolina

00:52:10Crystal Durham - NAU

luv u ethan

00:52:44Ethan Cobb


00:53:34Amanda Torres-Brooks

Same as Ethan, where we in California, outdoor space is just not a option for recreation for our geographic location due to the heat. But I agree with ethan, heat over humidity.

00:55:04Shana Kessler

Justice whose your furry friend

00:55:19Crystal Durham - NAU

we have a program at NAU called Employee Assistance and Wellness that offers free counseling sessions to full-time employees. I'd definitely recommend seeing if your institution has something similar

00:56:03Laurie Braden

James is absolutely correct

00:56:32Shana Kessler

Good point Crystal- most HR departments offer EAP (employee assistance programs) that can offer resources for finding counseling across multiple areas, including mental health, financial health, moving assistance, etc. Usually its free for at least one session per topic but varies from institution to institution.

01:00:58Brian Veverka

Never @shana

01:01:11George Bauman

I second that Tom, and was curious if anyone's rec centers were doing anything in response as well.

01:02:38Shana Kessler

Our rec center is developing a letter to our students and members about BLM to distribute

01:03:51Shana Kessler

Also, encourage your departments to read books together about how to be anti racist, how to navigate discussions on race, and more so that you can not only learn together, but show unity for your department and your campus and community.

01:05:39Shana Kessler

RT Sylvain - open it up to your student staff, invite them to share their feelings, their thoughts, and how they can navigate this

01:07:42Sylvain Tchaptchet

Music and poetry

01:07:59Stephen Lynam

Game nights with friends

01:08:47Shana Kessler

if anyone wants to reach out for help finding mental health resources or BLM educational resources for yourself or your department, or just to talk, I'm happy to share the resources I have and be a support person for you.

01:09:05Stephen Lynam

What exactly is the question?

01:09:14Bre'una Keeton

Thanks, Shana!

01:11:08Eric Becker

Be critical of yourself beforehand. Be reflective of all of your actions and behaviors. Find what you did well, and be critical to find where you didn't hit the mark or need to improve. Be prepared to hear things you might not want to. The goal of the meeting should be to highlight the good and work on action items for improvements. Take it personal in a way that is beneficial for your own growth

01:14:07Shana Kessler

Be critical but don't sell yourself short. If you really put your best effort into something, even if the outcome wasn't as good as you hoped, you need to make sure the process and effort is recorded as much as the final product. This is especially important if anything is being documented for HR, as it can directly affect your record and future promotions.

01:14:51George Bauman

I'd say also ask questions if you don't understand something fully that they tell you. Ask questions about how you can improve in their eyes, and the students eyes. You don't want to lose that first year momentum

01:15:22Shana Kessler

Get as much in writing as you can so you can affectively track your areas for growth and improvement and demonstrate what you have accomplished and what you will accomplish

01:15:47Eric Becker

Yes Brian. Keep a personal log, and maybe a part-time employee behavior log as well for good and not so good instances

01:16:31Crystal Durham - NAU

I love that, Ethan!

01:18:48Corrine Pruett

With performance reviews I try to look for common themes rather than latching onto one or two specific pieces of feedback.

01:19:23Demetria Young


01:20:34Crystal Durham - NAU

RT Tom

01:23:31Brian Veverka

GA mentality says it's ok to make mistakes. Well, as a pro, you still make mistakes and learn and it's still ok - don't try to be perfect, you won't be, and it won't be the end of the world.

01:23:47Thomas Giles


01:24:34Sylvain Tchaptchet


01:24:56Corrine Pruett

Yes @Eric 👏🏼👏🏼👏🏼

01:25:09Corrine Pruett

Take the time to learn your campus climate.

01:25:18Crystal Durham - NAU

100% agreed; minimum the first semester is to learn

01:25:45Shana Kessler

Be willing to learn the systems that exist, see where you might be able to make adjustments and improvements before going right to overhauling to what is familiar/comfortable to you.

01:25:55Jon Fey

Well said, Eric.

01:26:11Gregory Tack

Hi all, I have a year left in my position and I want to know how to navigate the year and when I should start looking & applying for new positions?

01:26:15Shana Kessler

Take time to learn what is going to be effective for your students - they can be very different in terms of their needs, their learning styles, their leadership styles, and more

01:27:02Crystal Durham - NAU

@Gregory - I'd say you can start looking as early as January. Sometimes positions are willing to wait until you graduate for you to transition to their institution

01:27:15Shana Kessler

The hiring process at some universities can be as quick as a month or as long as 6 months, so keep that in mind in the application process. There were times where I applied for a job in February 2017 and didn't hear back about an interview until November 2017.

01:28:11Brian Veverka

Also with Covid, positions will be opening up randomly in the fall/spring as Universities begin to prioritize rehiring that's been put off for spring and summer

01:28:29John Davenport

Mike, I make a point to go to the shifts my students are working, even if it's outside of my traditional hours. I oversee group fitness, so I go to a class by every instructor at least once a semester to show them that I see them and the hard work their putting it. It was revolutionary in building a relationship with them in my first year.

01:28:42Eric Becker

Spend time outside of your office during the day interacting with the students on shift. They really appreciate a quick check in, and learning more about them. Try this with staff all around the building, not just your own area or staff

01:28:47Ethan Cobb

@Bre'una Go Cougs! I was a GA there.

01:29:06Crystal Durham - NAU

I love that Take a Student to Lunch idea, but my bank account does not

01:29:21Thomas Giles


01:29:27Bre'una Keeton

GO COUGS, Ethan! I miss WSU and Pullman so much!

01:29:55Brian Veverka

Lunch Ball Wednesdays at 12, see you there.

01:29:58Ethan Cobb

Me too! Those who have never lived there think I'm crazy for thinking that.

01:30:06Gregory Tack

Thank you!!

01:30:08Corrine Pruett

Thanks Tom!

01:30:12Gregory Tack

Thank you Tom!

01:30:15Paul Joseph

Thank you all!

01:30:16Luke Mozena

Thanks everyone!

01:30:18Nick Ames


01:30:19Gregory Tack

Yes please!

01:30:19Sylvain Tchaptchet


01:30:20Chris Spencer


01:30:21Brett Simon

YESSSSS! Thanks Tom

01:30:22Crystal Durham - NAU

Thank you, Tom! You rocked it!

01:30:22Paul Joseph

And please do this again!

01:30:25Shawn Dean

Thank you Tom!

01:30:25Amanda Torres-Brooks

Way to handle this tom.

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