Samantha Wary began her journey in campus recreation in intramural sports as a freshman at the University of Maryland where she received her degree in international business. Starting out as a scorekeeper for basketball, she rose through the program to become a senior supervisor. Throughout her undergraduate years, she fell in love with intramural sports and the opportunities it provided. One of those opportunities was to volunteer at the NIRSA Regional Flag Football Tournament hosted on campus. After graduating, she returned to the profession as a Campus Recreation Graduate Assistant at Millersville University and is currently pursuing her master’s degree in sport management. She continues to expand her experience and impact in NIRSA by attending NIRSA conferences as well as serving on the NIRSA Championship Committee at the regional tournament.
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.
Campus recreation plays a major role in a student’s life as they navigate the work of higher education. For some students, intramural sports and the fitness center are ways to alleviate stress from school work or personal situations. For others, it is a way to meet new people and find connections. For me, it was a way to find out more about myself and develop both personally and professionally. Working in the intramural sports department allowed me to build confidence in myself as I handled difficult situations including injuries, ejections, and officiating those high-intensity games. Overall, many students benefit from working and participating in campus recreation by learning skills like leadership, teamwork, communication, and problem solving. These are skills all students can take with them and be successful with no matter what field they choose to pursue.
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.
As an undergraduate, I volunteered at the University of Maryland Regional Flag Football Tournament working the fields and stepping up to lead operations. With this experience, I have an understanding of running events that will benefit me as I serve NRISA at events and programs throughout the year. Currently, I have attended the regional conference including Student Lead On and the PIRSA state meeting that was held in place of the state workshop. These specific opportunities have allowed me to experience working and communicating with the PIRSA officers and other professionals. Overall, these experiences will allow me to better understand and communicate different opportunities to the students in ways that will benefit them and show them opportunities they may not realize were available to them.
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?
One of the perspectives I will bring to the Student Leadership Team is seeing the success and struggles of both a small program and a large program. This diversity allows me to see what works for both sides of the spectrum. With a bachelor’s degree in international business, I also bring the unique perspective of having studied topics of marketing, organizational leadership, and cultural diversity that will help me understand and connect with students in ways beyond the world of sports. My skills in critical thinking, problem solving, and planning will help the Student Leadership Team in creating successful events for the students. Finally, my passion for working with others as a team to see students succeed will create a positive environment which in turn will create success for all invested in campus recreation and NIRSA.