Andrew Doyle began his tenure as Coordinator of Recreation in 2016 and has been charged with the oversight of all of SNHU’s recreation programs, including the Fitness Center, group fitness, intramurals, sport clubs, special events, and aquatics. Since Andrew stepped into lead this young recreation program, he has helped build participation increases across all programs. More recently, Andrew served on SNHU’s Transformational Task Force that was dedicated to restructuring the institution and finding ways to create a more sustainable model that includes a 66% drop in tuition set to roll out in Fall 2021. On campus, Andrew also serves as a member of multiple committees and initiatives dedicated to student development including the Sophomores Rising, Leadership Symposium, and the Legacy Leadership Fellows. He was honored to receive the SNHU Student Affairs’ Outstanding Service Award in 2019.
As a member of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) since 2013, Doyle has served in many roles in the organization, including MindShift Marketing Initiative Committee, Creative Excellence Awards Judge, Small Programs Work Team, and multiple Region I Conference Host Committee positions. Additionally, Doyle serves as state director and hosted the NH/ME/VT Collegiate Recreation Workshop in the summers of 2018 and 2019. Andrew is a member of the Registry of Collegiate Recreational Sports Professionals, and graduate from the School of Recreation Sport Management (2019). Most recently, Andrew was honored to receive the NIRSA Annual Service Award for his work with the regional and association-wide Small Programs Committees (2020).
Andrew lives in Concord, NH with his partner of four years, Amanda and their two dogs, Templeton and Nellie.
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?
The COVID-19 pandemic hit this past spring. The decline in enrollment and the impact it has on the budgets of auxiliary and student services has been at the forefront of our association and partners for years. When the pandemic hit, we saw fallout that left many of our peers under or unemployed. Those who were lucky enough to continue working in their positions were asked to manage their operations with increasingly stringent guidelines and with less budget to do so. I hope we can support collegiate recreation professionals, regardless of their membership status with NIRSA, by providing them access to the resources they need to be successful. One of my main focuses in this area will be building the strategy and framework for professional development within our region. Costs will certainly be a primary focus as we need to meet the needs of our members whose professional development budgets continue to be the first item on the chopping block. I plan on doing this by continuing collaboration on conferences with regions across the association and finding ways to empower our state leaders to provide more robust programming to their constituents.
Additionally, I hope to leverage our corporate partners to help educate professionals on procedures and equipment that can help them successfully navigate through the pandemic. Building on the success of programs like the 2020 Recreation Movement will help our members be more efficient when programming for their campus.
Finally, I think it is important to acknowledge the work NIRSA has done around EDI education and supporting holistic wellbeing. The work we are seeing from groups like the newly formed NIRSA History & Legacy Work Group or the NIRSA Health & Wellbeing Task Force is vital to what we do on our respective campuses. While outside the traditional expectations of the Member Network, I promise to help bring this work to the forefront of our region.
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.
Throughout my time in collegiate recreation, I’ve been lucky enough to serve NIRSA in a number of positions. While I’ve been selected to two regional host committees and volunteered at multiple Championship Series tournaments, there are two involvements that I believe have prepared me most for this role. I currently serve as the state director of Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont while also representing small programs by serving on both association-wide and Region I Small Programs Committee. I believe these positions have given me a unique perspective on how our region operates and how we can better serve all members.
As a professional who has worked at multiple small programs, finding ways to support and share resources with similar institutions across our association has become a passion of mine. Region I has one of the highest densities of small programs in our association and I was honored to have been recognized with a 2020 NIRSA Service Award for my work supporting them. For the past two years, I’ve served as chair of the Region I Small Programs Committee where we’ve worked hard at bringing regular educational sessions and roundtables that all members can benefit from.
Over the past year, this work has overlapped with the efforts being made by myself and the other members of the association-wide Small Programs Committee. Since the pandemic hit, we’ve seen programs of all sizes dealing with lower staffing models and smaller budgets. Small programs have been operating with these restrictions for years and I believe we can help find ways to make the best of this situation. Our committee focuses on ways in which we can be creative with our funding and better collaborate with our campus partners and that is exactly what I intend to do if elected.
I have also been serving as the Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont State Director for the past two years and sat on the committee the year before that. I am particularly proud of my time with this group, not only as a proud Granite Stater or UNH graduate but because of the momentum we’ve seen over the past few years. Our state went from one of the least active in the region to having programming on a regular basis. It all started when the previous state director and I put together a committee to host our first state workshop in decades at SNHU. Now, we are holding a regular state workshop, multiple extramural tournaments, and have members in leadership positions throughout the region. This success couldn’t have happened without empowering our most passionate members, student and professional, to be the driving force behind these programs.
Please share your ideas for engaging volunteers and identifying leaders in your region.
The success of NIRSA is dependent on the leadership of passionate students and professionals who dedicate their time to the association. In Region I, our state directors and the Nomination and Appointments Committee has done an amazing job of finding the right people to lead, and I hope to continue that work moving forward. In the immediate future, I think our region needs to empower the voices of the young professionals and students who are the driving force on our campuses. As an association, we are setting out to find solutions to the problems we are facing and in order to know those problems we need to hear from those who are closest to the work. By providing this demographic a platform, we see the result in the support being provided by our association while also helping the future leaders of collegiate recreation develop the soft skills they need to be successful. At the same time, we need to have a broad spectrum of experience at the leadership level. Like representatives before me, I plan to continue tapping into the wealth of knowledge we have from experienced professionals in the region. Not only do I hope to see more Region I representation from this demographic in positions like the Board of Directors or the Foundation, but I hope to see them serve side-by-side with our younger leaders.