Julie Johnson started in campus recreation as an intramural official at the University of Maryland where she majored in psychology. She eventually became a program assistant and fell in love with collegiate recreation. During her time at Maryland she served on the Student Employee Advisory Board, attended NIRSA regional and national conferences, officiated at NIRSA flag football and basketball regional and national tournaments, and was a member of the student strategic partner group for the NIRSA Strategic Plan. After graduation, Julie moved to Region V to pursue a master’s degree in student affairs administration at the University of Nebraska where she is currently the Graduate Assistant for Intramural Sports.
Please provide a statement of your personal views on the role and contributions of collegiate recreation in higher education. In your response describe how collegiate recreation has influenced your development.
I believe that collegiate recreation contributes to a better college experience for students. By promoting wellness habits during college, collegiate recreation programs are making the world healthier, one patron at a time. Activities that collegiate recreation programs offer provide fun ways for students to exercise, relieve stress, interact with other students, and just have fun. Everyone is welcome in collegiate recreation, from the most experienced athletes and fitness buffs to people who are brand new to sports and exercising. Through my experiences in collegiate recreation, both as a student employee and as a participant, I have been able to continue playing sports that I loved growing up, improve my leadership skills, and develop friendships that will last a lifetime. My experiences in recreation have helped me find what I love to do and have connected me with other people who enjoy the same things. I am overall much happier thanks to collegiate recreation, especially knowing the value it brings to the higher education experience for everyone.
Within the context of the NIRSA Strategic Plan, what area/item would you say is a major issue students face today? Please identify a student driven issue that we are currently face today and you would like to address during your term. How will you create solutions in your role on the Student Leadership Team to address it?
As Region V Student Leader, I will work towards building our student network by connecting the students of Region V together. One of the four priorities of the NIRSA Strategic Plan is to “be a driving force in an integrated approach to health and wellbeing.” As students we are on the front lines advocating for our individual programs every day. Imagine what we could do if we worked together to fulfill that tenet of the strategic plan and to be that driving force for health and wellbeing. The first step towards accomplishing this lofty goal is for all of us to get to know each other and learn from each other. Before we can work together as students, it would be helpful if we all knew each other! The student networking events at the Annual Conference are a great opportunity for students to meet and interact with other students from all over the country. In my term as student leader, I will work to promote and expand the Student Lounge at the Annual Conference so that we have a chance to get to know each other. That, combined with Student Lead On conferences, can help us come together as NIRSA student members to start working towards being that driving force for health and wellbeing.
In describing your contributions to NIRSA (i.e. presentations, volunteering, previous leadership roles, etc,), identify how your involvement and experiences meet the position criteria and qualify you to advocate for and serve the students of the Association.
I have had the opportunity to interact with many different students in the NIRSA community through my involvement in the NIRSA Championship Series. Through participating in and hosting tournaments, I have been part of different teams interacting to make the tournaments the best they can be for the teams, officials, and visiting staff. My experience interacting with student and professional members and non-members has given me the opportunity to develop my interpersonal skills and foster relationships with all sorts of students in collegiate recreation. I have already represented NIRSA students as part of the student strategic partner group during the planning process for the 2018-2021 NIRSA Strategic Plan. I believe my participation in this group helped me to understand NIRSA’s goals at a deeper level than I would otherwise know. This contributes to my qualification for Region V Student Leader because I have experience representing and advocating for NIRSA students already.
As a Student Leader within NIRSA, you have the opportunity to leave a lasting impact on the field of collegiate recreation. With a focus on Student Member Recruitment & Retention, and Student Development what skills, talents, and perspectives would you bring to the Student Leadership Team?
I believe that my interpersonal skills will allow me to make personal connections with student members and non-members. Personal connections within NIRSA are much more likely to bring in new student members and keep students coming back and discovering their love for collegiate recreation. I love meeting new people and finding out what makes them tick. By cultivating those personal relationships, I believe that we can all bring new student members into NIRSA and keep those students engaged once they join our association. I will also work hard to provide opportunities for student development in Region V and beyond. I am an advocate for my fellow students in collegiate recreation and will always speak up for what I believe will provide students the best college experience they can have.