DeVanee Lasley started her journey in campus recreation in the fall of 2015 at Western Kentucky University where she started out as a control desk attendant with facility operations. She became a facility supervisor in the department of recreational sports in the spring of 2016. DeVanee attended the Emerging Recreational Sport Leaders Conference as well as the NIRSA Annual Conference in the spring of 2016 where her knowledge of campus recreation broadened heavily. In the summer of 2016, she moved to Denver, Colorado where she served as an intern at the University of Denver in facility operations. After graduation she moved to Lincoln, Nebraska where she is the current Graduate Assistant for Development & Special Events at the University of Nebraska Lincoln and is pursuing a masters in educational administration with an emphasis in higher education.
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.
You can’t grow as a leader if you don’t look within “YOU” first. That is what campus recreation has taught me. Being aware of my time and how I balance school, work, and my personal life is important in this role. Collegiate recreation has had a significant impact on my personal development and higher education. In gaining mentors throughout my collegiate recreation journey, it has helped mold me into the leader I am now. I was introduced to campus recreation during a study abroad trip to Costa Rica in the summer of 2015. My passion for sports and recreation has always played a significant role in my life and I was still trying to figure out what I wanted to do. One of my professors who was also on the trip introduced me to campus recreation. He used our adventures as learning opportunities for me and what I wanted to do in my future.
I recently attended the Region V Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota back in September. While there I met Maryse Abrahams during a mock interview, who is now my NIRSA mentor. In the short time that we had to talk with one another she left a big impact on me. Collegiate recreation plays a significant role on me and my personal development because of the professionals I have met that push me to be my absolute best. This is a unique field that has countless opportunities for students and having those mentors there that push you makes it that much more rewarding. I have come out stronger because of the many faces I have encountered in this field and I am tremendously thankful for it.
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.
My experiences in NIRSA have helped develop me and the ways in which I model my leadership. Through volunteering with registration at two Emerging Recreational Sport Leaders Conferences as well as serving as a session monitor at those conferences, the 2016 NIRSA Annual Conference, and the 2017 Region V Conference provided an opportunity to enhance the Association while growing personally and professionally. Serving as the Region V Student Leader would allow me to be a helper for those around me and show other students how the NIRSA can impact their lives as it has mine. Being a part of the NIRSA mentor program as well as attending those conferences and networking with not only professionals but students has helped me to meet the position criteria. By establishing those relationships and learning from students and professionals, it has given me the opportunity to learn what it takes to succeed in this field and I am confident that this position will continue to build and teach me the importance of being successful.
The conferences that I have attended are only one of the things that qualify me to meet the criteria for this position. Working as a graduate assistant at UNL, I can sit in on multiple professional development opportunities throughout the semester such as sponsorship conference calls, monthly professional development meetings with Past NIRSA Vicki Highstreet, Rec-Sports seminars, and bi-weekly staff meetings. Each time, I reflect on these experiences and see ways in which I can apply those to my leadership. I am confident that this will help me to serve NIRSA in this role. I am certain that my dedication and hard work ensure I will excel as the Region V Student Leader.
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?
My skillset is not one that is particularly unique but is one that is necessary for success in any endeavor. The skills of communication and organization are the foundation of any successful person or team and are two skills that I possess. As a facility supervisor at WKU, through my internship at the University of Denver, and now as a graduate assistant at UNL, I have been able to hone those skills as liaison for the student staff to our leadership team. I want to leave a significant impact on those around me and I believe that my constant drive to always be optimistic and apply my strengths to everything that I do would be a tremendous asset to the Student Leadership Team.
An open mind and willingness to learn from this leadership team is a perspective that I believe all leaders should take. In addition, my ability to think outside the box could be useful in pushing those leaders around me to do better. My passion to continue to develop myself and others around me as leaders is something that I can bring to this position. In taking my experiences in higher education and forming my perspectives on leadership I would apply those to the ways in which I exemplify my leadership within the Student Leadership Team as I believe that collegiate recreation plays a vital role in higher education.