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.
I believe collegiate recreation has a very positive impact on all students in higher education who take advantage of it. Studies have shown that an increase in physical activity leads to an improvement in cognitive function which not only has many health benefits, but also academic benefits as well. It helps prevent disorders that cause memory loss and the ability to attain knowledge later in life, and increases those same aspects in one’s youth. A student does not need to be: male or female; or obese or athletic, to gain the same benefits. Collegiate recreation is great because it offers something for everyone to help each student be the best student they can be. With this in mind, one of my biggest goals in collegiate recreation is to increase the participation in all of our programs and facilities. During my last two years as an undergraduate student I coordinated outdoor and indoor soccer. Each sport saw an increase in participation compared to the previous season. I have continued this path during my first year of being a graduate assistant while coordinating most of our fall sports.
Personally, the impact collegiate recreation has had on me is enormous. Most of my professional development has come from campus recreation because I have been involved in the field for all but one week of my entire collegiate career. The field has not only prepared me for a successful career in campus recreation after my graduate assistantship, but has also provided numerous friends and colleagues I plan on keeping in touch with and look forward to seeing again at many conferences to come. I started as an intramural official and I was fortunate enough to be evaluated and fine tone my craft from attending five extramural tournaments while an undergraduate student. These tournaments were my first opportunities for professional development in collegiate recreation, which then led to my attending conferences and workshops, and ultimately helped me a great deal in obtaining my current position as a competitive sports graduate assistant.
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 contributions to the Member Network and NIRSA centers on student involvement. The best way to help students get involved is by bringing them to NIRSA events. That is one of the ways I got involved as a volunteer more than an attendant during my time as an undergraduate student. We hosted conferences, workshops, and tournaments; and I was able to volunteer at all of the different events. I want nothing less for the students in Region VI. I am currently heading the start of Utah’s first basketball clinic at Utah State University. My goal is to get student employees from many different schools in Utah and Idaho to participate, network, and improve their abilities so that they can in turn improve their own schools programs.
I plan on starting many other programs at Utah State University that will promote a fun and successful career to our student staff. Some of these include career-building workshops where students will get the chance to have their resumes and cover letters reviewed by our professional staff. They will also be able to take part in mock interviews before they graduate and start looking for jobs. I also want to start other programs that will promote a family atmosphere between the departments of campus recreation like all staff tournaments, potlucks, and movie nights. A staff that works well with each other as a whole, and not just within their own department, stands the chance of being the most successful. Everything that is started here I hope to bring to the Utah State Workshop and Region VI Conference; because, just like our entire staff, a region in which all universities work well with each other stands the best chance at being the most successful.
As a whole, my contributions to our student body is to increase academic achievement by increasing participation and involvement in our programs and facilities. Our state workshop assisted with this, and so will my involvement around the region. I recently volunteered as a member of the Official’s Committee at the Washington State University Flag Football Regional Tournament. I directly assisted the student officials in refining their abilities so that they can bring what they’ve learned back to their campus and help their programs become more successful.
My involvement in NIRSA has been substantial and it will only increase as I get further along in my career and all those experiences have made me an excellent candidate for the position of Region VI Student Leader. The position requires a lot of travel and networking and these are some of my favorite aspects of the position. I moved here from south Florida this past summer because I wanted to see what this region was all about and so far everyone here has surpassed my high expectations. I am already setting myself up to be a leader within the state of Utah and throughout the region from my involvement at the conferences and tournaments and plan on continuing that path during my time as a student and after I graduate.
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?
Research is what sets me apart from the rest of the candidates. When I started at Utah State University I did not take the program as a blank canvas for me to make what I wanted. There were already a lot of great aspects of my institution that did not need to be changed. I just wanted to add to what we already had. This takes research of the program by using all my resources that were not just the professional staff I report to. All the students who work with campus recreation, not just the competitive sports staff, have given me a lot of insight as to the state of the program. I plan on doing the same thing in Region VI. I just want to add onto all the great things that are already in place by communicating with those who have been here for many years. I am a fast learner and while the quantity of my time here has been short, the quality of the time has been remarkable. My lasting connections that have already been made at many different universities will assist me in improving our region.
The second quality that sets me apart from the other candidates is my experience in Region II. I was heavily involved with that region and I was able to see everything that was great about it, and other aspects that needed to be improved. The reason that so many graduate assistants are hired from other schools is so the university is able to attain a new perspective which they could have never seen before. The same can be applied to the region as a whole. I have new knowledge and a new perspective which will allow me to take the best of what Region VI is already and combine it with the best of Region II.