NIRSA Region III Student Lead On – Chicago, IL

This past weekend, a group of student employees, grad assistants, and professionals from OU Campus Rec were in Chicago at DePaul University for the NIRSA (National Intramural Recreation Sports Association) Region III Student Lead On Conference! Our region, made up of schools from Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, and Ontario, had over 400 Campus Rec students and professionals attending the conference. We went to sessions on varying subjects from how to incorporate humor into management to building excitement into a fitness class. We met new people, exchanged great ideas, and had an awesome time!



(Left to right: Dan Bettmann [IM Coordinator], Rachel Jarvie [Membership Program Assistant], Shannon Steverson [Fitness Graduate Assistant], Shelby Stewart [Intramural Graduate Assistant], Sarah Button [Marketing Graduate Assistant], and Katie Evans [Fitness Graduate Assistant].


Katie and Sarah before the opening ceremony!

IMG_5570Nick Meyer [Facilities Program Assistant] trying to decide which sessions to attend. So many choices!


One of the many awesome people we met during a session covering time management. Mackenzie Bert [left] is a communication major with a minor in leadership studies at the University of Illinois – Urbana-Champaign. She  just started her journey in Campus Rec in the Special Events Department of her Rec Center a couple months ago and is already getting involved with NIRSA.

“I never want to pass up an opportunity, and with the leadership minor, I really wanted to get some tips that could help [the Rec] and bring back [tips] to not only my school, but [to also use] for myself,” she says.



Some of us learned about a new sport called “Kin Ball” and concluded that it was officially one of the best sports we ever played! The University of Akron just added it to their Intramural Sports program. There are three teams and the object of the game is to keep the giant, pink, 4ft wide ball from touching the ground. It originated in Québec and there are actual professional teams in this purely FUN sport.  Click here for more information on how to play. Click here for a video of the pros at the Kin Ball Cup!

IMG_5580 IMG_5581

Overall, the experience was very rewarding and it’s a great foot in the door if you plan on going into campus recreation as a professional career. All majors can benefit from NIRSA . There are transferable skills to be taken away from all of the conferences and resources that NIRSA provides. We were able to get our resumes reviewed, learned about options after graduation, and were able to make personal connections along the way. The path after graduation doesn’t seem so foggy anymore! We can’t wait for Lead On next year in Ann Arbor at the University of Michigan!



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