Marc Falkenstein2017-12-14T19:14:29+00:00

Project Description

NIRSA Elections
NIRSA Elections

Candidate for Region VI Regional Representative

Marc Falkenstein
University of the Pacific

Biography/Summary Resume

Marc is currently the Director of Pacific Recreation at the University of the Pacific overseeing a comprehensive collegiate recreation program for the campus. He has spent his entire 11-year professional career working in collegiate recreation. Prior to his current role at the University of the Pacific, he worked at California State University, Sacramento (Sac State) for five years serving in roles that include Assistant Director, Facilities and Informal Recreation and Assistant Director, Facilities and Intramural Sports. Prior to his tenure at Sac State, Marc worked as Coordinator of Intramural Sports for four years at the University of Florida. Marc received his bachelor’s (B.S.) degree in recreation and leisure studies from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas and his master’s (M.S.) degree in recreation administration from California State University, Sacramento.

Marc has been an active and engaged member of NIRSA for the past 15 years. Over that time, he has served the Association as a member of numerous NIRSA committees including but not limited to the NIRSA Assembly, Policy and Legislation, Nominations and Elections, and Student Professional Development. He is an active conference/workshop presenter having presented at the state, regional, and national level. Additionally, he has coordinated regional conference, student lead-ons, and state workshops. At the University of the Pacific, Marc has been appointed to the Cultural Conversations and Assessment Initiative Work Team of the Universities Strategic Plan, Pacific 2020 Refresh.

Throughout his career Marc has been guided in his decision making and leadership through is strong moral character, values, and ethics. Marc continues to mentor both professional and student members of NIRSA and works to build lasting relationships with everyone in his life.

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?

Collegiate recreation is at the cornerstone of the co-curricular experience for higher education. Collegiate recreation professionals are educators and this role must be embraced. Collegiate recreation has a unique opportunity to provide life changing impacts on our constituents. These constituents can be impacted through our intentional programing, experiential education, informal recreation, exercise, staff development programs, or experiences through NIRSA conferences, workshops, and extramural tournaments. These opportunities highlight traditional roles of collegiate recreation and now there are a new set of opportunities for collegiate recreation to embrace and be campus leaders. Equity, diversity, and inclusion must be embraced by all collegiate recreation educators. As our culture changes we need to be leaders of these topics. Many programs have embraced the changes that are needed and have begun to implement change. From gender neutral locker rooms, inclusive participation policies for intramural sports and sport club programs, implementing training for staff to better communicate and address the users of our programs and facilities, and engaging in conversations about civil discourse. These are opportunities for collegiate recreation to continue to provide transformative experiences to our employees, participants, and the entire campus community.

From creating partnerships with departments to provide better training and to ensure we are meeting the needs of the entire campus community. Collegiate recreation is no longer simply about providing recreational opportunities for our campus community; it’s about providing transformative experiences. NIRSA as an association can help facilitate the growth of these opportunities for all its members. There is a need to identify experts and resources in these areas and ensure valuable information and resources are being shared with the entire Association. The Member Network can work together in a collaborative nature to build a library of resources for its membership. Our Association has an opportunity to support one another by sharing stories of success and challenges to help each other grow and meet the needs of an ever-changing society.

Our Association also has an opportunity to increase its transparency and increase communication to the membership. All too often it seems that critical information that is needed by our membership is missed or only communicated a few times a year at state, regional, and annual conferences and workshops. The Member Network can have a fundamental impact on changing the way we communicate and share information as an association. We must identify new ways to communicate and reach the membership. The Member Network can gather this information, learn about what knowledge, decisions, and conversations are being requested from members, and identify the best ways to communicate that information. Avenues for communication are ever changing and the Member Network should focus on finding new ways to reach the membership. We can no long relay on monthly emails to reach out to the membership, we must look at new avenues including webinars, podcasts, increased social media presence, and more direct communication. To operate at our best, we must provide our membership with more information and an improved manner to provide feedback.

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.

Over the 15 years that I have been a NIRSA member, I have had many impactful experiences that will allow me to succeed in this position. Eleven of my years as a NIRSA member have been spent in Region VI which has allowed me to build an expansive network throughout the region. As a student member, I had opportunities to help host the Region VI Conference, served as a regional student leader, and coordinated a Student Leadon as part of the Region VI Conference. Having served in the role of Regional Student Representative for Region VI I am aware of the requirements of the role and can provide strong leadership, mentorship, and guidance to the regional student leader.

As a professional member, I have served on various committees and work teams including NIRSA Annual Conference Program Committee, Assembly, Policy and Legislations Committee, NCS Committee, Student Professional Development Committee, and Nominations and Elections Committee. Throughout my involvement in these committees and work with NIRSA what I’ve learned as the most important attributes of qualities is to be engaged and communicate. When serving NIRSA, it’s imperative that you’re being engaged, commit to the work and tasks that you are assigned, and communicate effectively. These experiences have allowed me to best understand the needs of my colleagues within NIRSA. Many of these roles that I have served in required me to reach out to the membership and gather feedback on topics and subjects that require advocacy, engaging in difficult conversations, and sharing information that may be controversial or significantly impactful to those receiving it. Facilitating conversations and seeking feedback is a critical function of the position and is a skill I am very strong in.

A unique qualification I have is that I have had the opportunity to serve as a leader on different campuses that include significant differences in culture, size, and funding models. These experiences at a large public land grant institution, a medium public land grant institution, and a small private institution provide me with a unique experience to understand and speak on behalf of all NIRSA institutional members. My background allows me to provide insight and perspective on how change could impact difference campuses. Throughout my professional career I have been engaged in strategic and budget planning which will allow me to best plan for the region future.

Please share your ideas for cultivating leaders in your region.

The best way to cultivate leaders within the region is to provide members with leadership opportunities. The responsibilities of the regional representative are vast and support is needed from the region to accomplish all the responsibilities. Setting up regional committees and work teams will allow the region’s membership to engage in these leadership roles. These committees would allow for meaningful impacts on regional membership. These committees would have representation from the entire region; students, entry-level professionals, mid-level professionals, and executive professionals from all over the region. It’s important that the voices of the entire region have a platform to be heard. For some people, this would require them to step outside of their comfort zone. We can provide our members with an opportunity at the regional level to engage in these types of leadership roles while also promoting them to later serve at the national level. Potential committees would include social media committee, regional web site committee to ensure timely updates of the Region VI webpage, regional communication committee, and a committee to identify potential future regional and national NIRSA leaders. It is my intention that through these opportunities within Region VI we’d be able to provide NIRSA at a national level with strong leaders and a framework for regional success across the country.

Additionally, I would work with each of the state directors to ensure they have the support and resources they needed to successfully accomplish their duties. It’s also important that we are identifying potential leaders and encouraging them to step up and take leadership opportunities presented to them. I would take the time to identify and encourage people to serve in leadership roles. Those roles should not be limited to just positions within the region as state directors, state student leaders, mentoring program participants, etc. We need to encourage our member to lead by presenting at state, regional, and annual conferences and workshops. Within Region VI we have so many amazing members with a wealth of knowledge to share; I would identify those members and personally reach out to them and encourage them to give back to the membership.

NIRSA Elections: Marc Falkenstein