Doug currently serves as the Director of Recreational Services at Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO. As an undergraduate student at Drake University, Doug worked in the areas of facility management and intramurals. Upon graduation, Doug continued at Drake University as a graduate assistant in facilities and operations and eventually began his professional career in recreation as the Assistant Director of Recreational Services at Drake University overseeing Facilities and Operations. Doug has also worked at NC State as the Facility Director and at Arizona State University as the Assistant Director of Student Development and eventually serving as the Associate Director overseeing Facilities and Operations.
Doug has been a member of NIRSA since 1989 and became a life member in 2005. Doug has served NIRSA in several capacities including State Director of Iowa, By-Laws Committee, Soccer Regional Coordinator, National Soccer Tournament volunteer and Co-Director of Competition. In addition, Doug has presented at several state, regional and national conferences and workshops on topics related to student development, sustainability and assessments. In addition to presenting, Doug has also assisted with the planning of state and regional workshop and tournaments.
Doug is a Certified Recreational Sports Specialist (CRSS), a Registered Collegiate Recreational Sport Professional (RCRSP), a graduate of the School of Recreational Management (Level II) and a recipient of the Region VI Award of Merit. Doug earned his BS in Psychology and MS in Higher Education Administration from Drake University.
In his free time, Doug E Fresh (as known to his NIRSA colleagues) enjoys coaching soccer, snow skiing, golfing and hiking. He hopes to add mountain biking to this list soon. Doug resides in Durango, CO with his wife Staci of 19 years and their two dogs (the Batman villians); ScareCrow and Riddler.
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?
Our ability to build communities is one of the most valued assets of NIRSA. The communities we build within the Association and on our campuses help with the recruitment and retention of students through promotion of health and wellbeing and the encouragement of active lifestyles. Within these communities we learn to communicate and share ideas. It is the responsibility of the Member Network representative to foster this communication and idea sharing and be the bridge between the various other NIRSA work groups and think tanks. It is vital that the work of these groups be brought back to the Region via emails, phone calls, state and regional workshops and casual dialogue. In addition, the ideas and thoughts expressed by the regional members must be expressed to other work groups.
NIRSA is a catalyst to encourage, educate and engage. We should be encouraging colleagues to take risks, put ourselves in uncomfortable positions challenging ourselves, share ideas and be part of something. Find your niche, or make your own niche. We should be life-long learners, always looking for the next big idea. Sharing knowledge and challenging thoughts. And, we should be engaging. Not just in activities but, in purpose and as members.
By encouraging, educating and engaging we can cause our communities to lead that active lifestyle promoting healthy behaviors and decrease the anxiety and depression that our college students are facing today. We can help our institutions retain student at a higher rate, while seeing the graduation rate increase. We have that capability to make these positive impacts on our campuses by sharing knowledge and learning from one another. I hope to serve as this catalyst!
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 career within NIRSA I have served on committees, presented at conferences and workshops, planned, coordinated and evaluated extramural tournaments. Within each of these opportunities there are many skills necessary to be successful. However, I believe that communication is the utmost important. With many moving parts and many members working together to make each event successful, without effective communication the information necessary to be shared would not get to the proper channels. As the Member Network representative, it would be my responsibility to be the bridge of communication between the NIRSA Board of Directors and the Region V members.
A specific experience in the major area of my contributions to NIRSA is during my time serving as the Co-Director of Competition for the National Soccer Tournament. In this role I was able to help organize a large tournament that impacted thousands of participants as well as tournament volunteers and staff. One of the biggest joys was working with young professionals and seeing them grow and develop. Too often we do not put the trust in young professionals to contribute to something larger. Young professionals have so much to give, when empowered to work as a team.
In addition to empowering young professionals to grow, serving as the Co-Director of Competition furthered my understanding of the importance of communication and working as a team. Behind the scenes there were NIRSA professionals throughout the nation that worked together to coordinate local leagues, regional tournaments and ultimately the national tournament. There were countless emails and conference calls. The ability to coordinate all aspect of the tournaments demonstrated that communication was imperative to the success across the nation. If given the opportunity to represent Region V as the Membership Network representative, these experiences will benefit greatly.
I speak highly of my experiences in NIRSA, specifically with the National Soccer Tournament. These experiences have molded me into the professional I am today. However, as stated, we need to step aside and let others gain the experiences that we have had. That is why I stepped down as the Co-Director of Competition for the tournament. However, I see my next opportunity to lead in NIRSA as the Region V Member Network Representative and using my skills to help continue to advance the Association and it’s members.
Please share your ideas for engaging volunteers and identifying leaders in your region.
Throughout the NIRSA community and the association there are many opportunities for personal and professional development. Unfortunately, many of these opportunities are not taken advantage of. In most cases this is the result of members not being aware of them. There must be a more intentional effort to engage volunteers. My goal would be to reach out to current leaders within the region to identify members that are not currently active. I will work to contact these members directly with opportunities to be part of the NIRSA movement. There is a need to reach more members than those that are current leaders. Doing so will eventually lead new volunteers to become leaders of generations to come.
In addition, it is easier to make a positive impact by involving more members in the process. With that being said, the Member Network representative cannot make decisions in a vacuum. Therefore, there must be committees that assist with the operations of the region. Such areas would include finance, awards nomination and recognition, state and regional workshop planning and more.