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.
Collegiate recreation made such a difference in my undergraduate experience. When I first got to my undergraduate institution, I did not know if I had made the right choice in regards to the school that I chose to attend. I began playing intramurals the spring of my freshman year, and I was encouraged by a good friend to come to club soccer the next year. Through intramurals and club sports, I built such a strong community that helped me to fall in love with my school. The friends that I made through these experiences are lifelong friendships, and they encouraged me through all the activities we did. Strong friendships and social support are both so important during college years. Through my experiences, I learned just how important campus recreation was to higher education. I learned that it’s so much more than just playing sports, but it gives students the opportunity to grow as individuals and grow in a community.
My senior year, I was unsure of what career path I wanted to follow post-graduation. I thought about the things that had made a big difference in my life, and collegiate recreation was what stuck out. I wanted to pursue a career that helps make a difference in other people’s lives, and knowing the impact recreation had on me inspired me to pursue that career path. I met with the Director of Recreation at my school to talk about how to pursue a career in this field, and he invited me to the NIRSA Region II Conference as well as invited me to work for them. Working for intramurals was by far the greatest work experience I’ve had. Intramurals was such a fun environment, and it allowed me to get to know the campus community, which was one of my favorite parts of the job. Community is so important to me, and the experiences I had as a participant and employee both really emphasized the idea of community on college campuses, and I think that is the biggest impact that intramurals can have.
During my senior year of undergrad, I did a research project with my Director of Recreation. We looked at how intramurals contributed to first-year-students’ experiences. Specifically, we looked at students that were athletes during high school. Many of the interviews that I did referred to how intramurals, club sports, or other recreation activities gave them a chance to compete, which was something they enjoyed, but also gave them an opportunity to make friends that had similar interests with them. This showed me that campus recreation programs really do make all the difference in students’ lives, and it showed me the bigger purpose of what we are trying to do daily.
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.
Since May, I have been serving as the State Student Leader for Colorado and Wyoming. Being in this role has exposed me to a new view of NIRSA. I have learned how to look at campus recreation from a broader lens, and I think that will help me in the role as the Region V Student Leader. I have also helped with social media for the Region V Instagram page and marketing for our region. For the NIRSA Region V Student Leader position, I believe the most important task is student recruitment. When I was in my undergraduate program, I did not realize that a career in this field was even possible, and I feel like a lot of people think along those same lines. Communicating with student leaders, engagement coordinators, and other student members is so important.
I think my experience with social media could really help me in this position. I also think that my role as State Student Leader has exposed me to a good background in how this position works. As I said before, I think communication with members is so important. My personal strengths are a good balance of task-oriented and people-oriented. I think I can communicate well to others while still getting things done. I believe that both skills are crucial for this role and can really help me excel in these areas. I really love working with people, especially college-aged students. College is such an exciting time to really find yourself and create your future path, and I think getting to be a part of that is one of the coolest things. I think this role as Region V Student Leader expands upon my current positions by giving me a bigger audience to work with and help introduce to this field, which is something that I find incredibly exciting.
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?
As I stated in my previous answers, I think community is so important to collegiate recreation. That tends to be the perspective that I take when thinking about campus recreation. Campus recreation is a great opportunity for students to have fun and enjoy their college experience, and I think that should be the forefront of all the decisions that are made through campus recreation. I also love working with students. In my position as a graduate assistant, I have formed such great relationships with our student staff, and they feel confident in coming to talk to me with any suggestions or problems that they may have. With that being said, I think I have a strong knowledge of student perspectives in regard to decisions that are made within campus recreation. I think, as a student leader, it is so important to voice the opinions of the greater population of students, and I think that is another perspective I would bring to the Student Leadership Team. I think I would be able to carry this skill to the Student Leader position by building good relationships with the State Student Leaders and voicing their opinions. Again, I think my strengths are a good balance of people-oriented and task-oriented.
I think that in order to do any job well, you have to be committed to tasks and organization in regard to those tasks. I think many people can get caught up in tasks and the monotony of them, but I think the passion that I have for this field drives me each day. Whenever I do anything related to intramurals or club sports within my job, I constantly think back to the impact that these programs had on me, and I constantly am reminded that what I am doing has such a big purpose. With that being said, the people that we are impacting are so important, so it’s important to balance tasks and people skills well. I think I would take this perspective with me to the Student Leadership Team as well.
Like I said before, I also have experience with running the social media page for Region V. I think this is a great skill because marketing is something that can always be improved upon. In every campus recreation position I have been involved with, marketing was one of our number one goals. I think my work with social media can help me bring a good marketing perspective to the Student Leadership Team. Lastly, I am incredibly organized, which I think is very important to this position. It’s important to stay on top of tasks to help benefit the region as a whole, and I think that is a strong suit for me.