Page 1



Howdy, The construction fence is up, and the renovation and expansion of the Student Recreation Center has begun! This is the first expansion of the Rec Center since the facility opened in August of 1995. You will be able to read more on pages 6 and 7 of this RecLIFE edition. The end of each spring semester is very exciting! Exciting because both students and staff are recognized for outstanding service and Rec Sports Scholarships are awarded. Exciting because many of our outstanding students graduate and then start the next phase of their lives. Exciting due to the fact that our new graduates will remember the close connection they have with friends and Rec Sports and will stay in touch with all. The legacy that each student leaves behind will assist the next group of student staff leaders to carry on the core mission of the department. The new graduates understand the benefits that they receive from former student donors. Due to our former student donors we were able to present $1,000 scholarships to seven of our current student staff members. This year, our Rec Sports Reunion will be on October 11, 2014. All former student staff, sport club members and friends of the Department of Recreational Sports are invited. Plans are being made for a Friday evening gathering which will include attending midnight yell. More information will be available in mid-July on our website, The 2014 Judo Club alumni reunion with also be held on October 11, 2104. So save the date and join us. Each year I try to stay connected and locate former student staff and sport club members. Many former students have assisted by sending me names of those they stay in touch with from their days at A&M. If this is the case with you, please get the names to me and I will attempt to reconnect with them. In closing, I would like to thank all of our former student staff, former sport club members and friends who have supported the Department of Recreational Sports over the years. Your donations to our endowments have provided scholarships and leadership development opportunities for our club members and student staff. Thanks and Gig ‘Em,

James M. Welford Director of Development Department of Recreational Sports

contents Right Stuff, Real Stuff


Aggie Family




Rec Expansion












Communications Intern

Camille Benavides


Alyssa Bailey

Graphic Artist

Kendra Spaw

Communications Coordinator/Editor - Kelly VonDrehle Marketing Director - Michelle Briggs Director of Development - James Welford


Rough stuff, real stuff An Insight into Texas A&M’s Women’s Rugby Team

to look forward to, especially after really hard exams or studying allnighters; you get to go out to the field, release stress, and see your friends. We’re a really tight group; we hang out all the time and get along really well. The same friends I have right now are the same friends I will have forever. It’s nice to be a part of something like that.”

The sport of rugby originated in England and dates back to the 1800’s. Throughout the early 19th century, formal rules and regulations were formulated, allowing the sport to become independent and unrelated to football by following its own guidelines. British colonists traveling to Canada and the United States opened up the world of rugby to the West and expanded the popularity of the sport in North America. By 1995, rugby was considered a professional sport by the International Rugby Board. Here at Texas A&M, our history of rugby does not date as far back as the 1800’s, but it is increasingly expanding and growing throughout our campus each year.

In the future, Watson plans to maintain communication with the rugby team and its members after graduation. “The alumni help us financially and in so many other ways as well. Every year we put on an alumnus versus student game. They come back to visit and unfortunately, the current team almost always loses, probably because the experiences and knowledge that the alumni have trumps physical fitness. Experience is something that works really well with a game like rugby. I definitely plan on coming back to do that.”

Similar to the long history of rugby itself, the women’s team has had its fair share of struggles and triumphs. Rachel Watson is a junior and president of the organization. Since taking this position in August of 2013, Rachel has noticed the struggle of recruiting new members for the team. “We always tell everybody that they should come. We welcome a lot of people that don’t have experience, because most people in America generally don’t have experience. It’s a learning process.” This year the organization consists of twenty six members that were recruited through a variety of recruiting events that included setting up a table at the MSC open house handing out flyers on campus, word of mouth, and keeping their website up to date.

Rachel looks forward to seeing the sports clubs continue to grow and hopes the rugby team will be taken as seriously as other sports. “When you think of rugby, you think of people hitting each other without wearing pads, but what I would like to tell people about rugby is that there is a whole lot more to it than that. It’s really fun. It’s taught me organization and time management skills. It helps you be dedicated to something while maintaining a balance with school and others aspects as well, which are skills that I will use and apply after my time on the rugby team.”

A typical week for a Women’s Rugby Team member consists of practice twice a week for two hours and training sessions at a nearby gym with a trainer. To some, this may seem like an exponential time commitment; however, Watson insists that being a part of the team has positively influenced her college experience at Texas A&M. “If you talk to anyone on the Rugby team or anyone who’s graduated, they say it’s the main reason why they could tolerate college. It really gives you something

Currently, the Women’s Rugby Team is ranked 13th in the nation and made it to the USA Rugby Women’s Collegiate Nationals Elite Eight last season. We anxiously await their upcoming tournaments and are confident that the Women’s Rugby team will represent our beloved university in a bright light.

2013 - 2014 Women’s Rugby team 4

Aggie Family

Say Hello to the Newest Members of Our Staff Outdoor Adventures Coordinator Undergrad: Southern Illinois, ‘99 Masters: Southern Illinois, ‘10 “I love working with people, and my new role here at Texas A&M Rec Sports, gives me the opportunity to help guide students as they make real life choices: I can help them to clarify their personal and professional values, to develop their personal leadership styles, and to be courageous in the pursuit of achieving their fullest potential. It’s a great team effort!”

Sarah Snider Strength & Conditioning Coordinator Texas A&M University, ‘12 “I have a lot of goals for my position that I am looking forward to trying to reach. I am very much looking forward to implementing some exciting new personal training and small-group training programs. In the long run, I want to make as many people aware of and a part of not only Strength & Conditioning programs, but all programs that Rec Sports has to offer. This place has so much to offer that many fail to realize and it is up to people like myself to make them see it!”

Josh Adams


Former Staff Member Selected as Interim VP of Student Division Affairs We would like to recognize and formally congratulate our former Rec Sports staff member, Tom Reber, on his recently announced interim position as Vice President of the Division of Student Affairs at Texas A&M University! During his time in this position, Tom is looking forward to continuing to move the Division of Student Affairs in a positive direction and make sure the division is in tip-top shape when the next individual steps in. Tom plans to focus on maintaining and continuing to build relationships with faculty and students. “I think the key factor is building relationships. It is important to support the different divisions and individuals across campus and form a true partnership. In order to be a successful division, you can’t expect to win all the time or can’t accept to lose all the time. You have to be a team player.” Tom’s motivation stems from interacting with students across campus and guiding them

to become well-rounded, experienced individuals by the time of graduation. Some of the major projects this position currently includes is supervising the Core of Cadets and the Development office, as well as, supervising Vice Presidents across the divisions. Tom believes the division is in great standing and plans to maintain this standard by making sure the Division of Student Affairs retains a true partnership within the departments and is viewed as a good team player while continuing to work closely with administration, students, and faculty all over campus. We are so excited to see what the future has in store, and know Tom will do great things for our university during his time as the Interim Vice President of Student Affairs. Once again, congratulations Tom and we at Rec Sports wish him nothing but the best in his new role.


tom Reber

Rec expansion Time for Transformation Stay in the Know About the Expansion Project

Change: it can be good, it can be bad, it can transform expectations, it can be refreshing, it can be an adventure, it can be a new opportunity and it can be many other things all at the same time. One thing is for sure, though: change will always be inevitable. Even when we expect it and know change is heading our way, it still seems to surprise us when it actually occurs. So, here is a fair warning to all Aggies at Texas A&M University and beyond, the time for change is upon us. Our cherished Student Recreation Center will be undergoing its’ first renovation since its original construction in 1995. Currently, the facility is 300,000 square feet, which is quite large in terms of typical recreational facilities. However, the rapid growth of the student body has made this fitness and exercising facility look like a crowded mall on a Saturday afternoon. Since the opening of the Rec Center almost twenty years ago, the student body has increased by twenty five percent and continues to grow substantially. The Rec went down from serving 85% of the student body to 75% of the student body every semester. It became increasingly clear that our ability to serve the entire student body was significantly diminishing. In order to solve this problem and head in the right direction in terms of student body accommodation, the expansion will increase the facility by 113,000 square feet and 56,000 square feet of the facility will be undergoing renovation. A majority of the new space is devoted to increasing activity space to accommodate at least 85% of the student body. The growth of our student body has made this expansion a necessity and a change that will open up new opportunities and improvements for future generations to come. The Rec Center expansion is scheduled to commence in May of 2014 as the spring semester reaches a close. Officials’ state that the budget

allotted for the expansion is roughly $54 million, and will not have an effect on current student recreation fees included in tuition. The renovations will be paid by using revenue bonds acquired through Rec Sports Fees. Therefore, allowing student fees to remain the same as the project is underway. The expansion will nearly double the size of the multi-faceted weight room, which will relieve overcrowding to comfortably fit the growing number of students and other members. The weight room will be fully available during the renovation process as the weight room equipment and machines will be transferred to the basketball courts. In addition to increasing the size of the weight room, two full basketball courts will be added and the natatorium will also undergo expansion and renovation. Other expansion plans include adding new activity rooms designed to hold about 120 individuals, increase space for group exercise and allow a larger area for meetings. An outdoor plaza will be located above the weight and fitness room expansion and will feature additional student study and relaxation space. A twenty-five meter, 8-lane, indoor pool will be added onto the back porch area and will allow for multiple swimming events to be held simultaneously. A second entrance is also drawn into the design and will be located at the south side of the current building, in attempt to make the entrance into the facility more accessible. The expansion and renovation is scheduled to be complete in January 2016. Upon completion, the “Rec” will be among the nation’s top college recreational facilities. The reconstruction will not only provide our Aggie family with a top tier fitness facility, but a multi-purpose space where current and former Aggies can come together to create memories and achieve their fitness goals.

Weight & fitness room - cardio 6

“The only thing constant in life is change.” – Francois de La Rochefoucauld

“I am excited about the renovation and expansion of the Student Recreation Center. The students of Texas A&M deserve the best recreational facility available. The planned construction will make current and former students proud of their university.” -James Welford


“We’re adding close to 25 percent more to the building. Our hope is that it translates into a 25 percent increase in the number of participants.” -Dennis Corrington


“While construction will affect some programs, facilities and hours, we are committed to continuing to provide our patrons with ample opportunities to lead an active, healthy lifestyle through drop-in recreation as well as the programs and services we provide.” -Rick Hall




Reflections of a Former Student As Aggies, the concept of unity, integrity, and giving back to those who have lent us a helping hand, are values that have been instilled in us and have become accustomed to throughout our experiences at Texas A&M. Ginger Glaser Sackett is all too familiar with these common core values we all hold as members of the Aggie family. Ginger actively remains involved with our university by contributing to the organizations that helped her grow as an individual and a professional, “The Rec,” being one of them. Ginger is a member of the fighting Texas Aggie class of 1992 and received her bachelor and master’s degree in Biomedical Engineering from Texas A&M. During the spring of ’86, Ginger began officiating intramural sports as a freshmen. She started as a softball official, but by the time she left four years later, she had experienced working in different areas of the department ranging from officiating basketball intramurals, aiding in facility work and IT databases and working behind the scenes. “Working at the rec was a fun way to develop skills; skills I did not realize I was learning at the time. I was not aware of how big of an impact everything I was learning during my college years would have on my professional career.” She is currently the Vice President of regulatory affairs at American Medical Systems. “I find that the work I did back then is really relevant to what I do to this day.” She works closely with individuals in leadership development, managing conflicts, handling feedback and appointing responsibility to others which are all in some way, skills she acquired while working at the rec. Apart from people skills, in her opinion, the most valuable lesson learned was the ability to make decisions. “Being given responsibility and the ability to make important decisions – and not always good ones – gave me the opportunity to gain experience that is necessary to be successful in the work force.” Ginger recalls working with former supervisors, Mike Waldron and Tom Reber, and admires the level of trust and confidence they had in her, “As a supervisor now, I understand what it means to assign responsibility to individuals and trust they will do a good job. It shows a lot about their character and the faith they had in their student staff. I really enjoyed working with individuals who were dedicated and I cannot stress how relevant my job at rec sports helped me get to where I am today.” To this day, Ginger remains connected with Texas A&M through reunions, keeping up to date with the rec center through the website and newsletter, and donating to the organizations in an effort to allow other students the opportunity to gain the same experiences. “I learned as much or more with my position at Rec Sports than I did from a degree and I think it is important to remember that and give back to people and the organizations that gave to you.” As far as her advice for current student workers, Ginger says, “Enjoy it! Because it’s the most fun job you could have while gaining crucial skills you will need later on, make lots of friends and you will get back what you put in later down the road.”

Ginger’s Bio Name: Ginger Glaser Sackett Class: Fighting Texas Aggie Class of ’92 Former Rec Sport Position: Official Current Position: VP of Regulatory Affairs at AMS Favorite memory: “I liked working with people who were dedicated and being given enough responsibility to make my own mistakes and learn from them.”

“Working at the Rec was a fun way to develop skills. Skills I did not realize I was learning at the time. I was not aware of how big of an impact everything I was learning during my college years would have on my professional career.” -Ginger Sackett


appreciation Scholarship Recipients and Award Winners

Bethany Tolar Graduate Scholarship

Maria Quiros

Richard Lunsford

David & Mary Chovanec Facility Scholarship

Patsy Kott Outdoor Adventues Scholarship

Congrats to all of our scholarship winners! Danielle Shick

Mary LeMasters

Josie Gottfried

Lindsey Ernest

DeAun Woosley Randy Matson

Texas A&M Rec Sports is very excited to congratulate our outstanding staff members, DeAun Woosley and Lynne Isbell, for winning two of the Division of Student Affairs most prestigious awards, the Randy Matson ‘67 The Association of Former Students Award and the Award of Distinction. When DeAun received the Randy Matson Award, she was so excited, saying “I have been working with Rec Sports since it opened in 1995, and receiving this award has been something I’ve always dreamed about!” To be eligible to win this award one has to have significantly contributed to an environment that enhances the Student Affairs mission at Texas A&M University. Lynne was ecstatic and overwhelmingly surprised when her name was announced for the Award of Distinction. Lynne said, “I’m truly humbled by this experience. I am usually a really great talker and can say almost anything but, I’m at a loss for words at how thankful and grateful I am that I was even nominated.” This award recognized Lynne for the outstanding service that she has provided over her 10 years of working with Rec Sports and the Division of Student Affairs. 9

Lynne Isbell Award of Distinction


Former Student Contributions Positively Impact Current Students

One of the best things about working for the Department of Recreational Sports at Texas A&M University is getting to hear former student staff speak so positively about the experiences they had working for the department. It is very rewarding to hear students talk about the positive impact that their Rec Sports experiences has had on them—from encouraging them to stay in school, developing relationships, enhancing their skills and finding a home away from home to be a part of. Howdy, my name is Drew McMillen and my own experience with Rec Sports as a student staff member included a lot of these themes. I came to Texas A&M from a small town in a different state and suddenly found myself on a huge campus a long way from home. Rec Sports initially provided me with a place of employment and a pay check, officiating flag football and then basketball and softball my freshman year. But along the way, it provided so much more: relationships that have lasted during and since college, guidance and mentorship from many outstanding staff members and a lot of great memories. I learned a lot of lessons about managing conflict, working with customers, scheduling my time and learning to work through mistakes—certainly many intramural teams accused me of making a lot of them. A lot has changed at Rec Sports since my days as a student staff member. DeWare Fieldhouse and the Read Building are now gone, but Rec Sports is now beginning a renovation and expansion to the Rec Center and Penberthy now provides an outdoor facility as high quality as we have become accustomed to with the Student Rec Center. One thing that has not changed is our department’s reliance on an outstanding student staff. Other universities have great recreational facilities, but our students have consistently demonstrated over the years their willingness to be welcoming and conscientious, sharing with our customers and guests the values that make Aggieland a special place. Another thing that has not changed over the years is the number of challenges that our student staff face—there are still arguments about officials’ calls, kids at all-night events that won’t follow the rules, swimmers who don’t want to share a lane and weight room participants who want to throw their weights to the floor. The financial burden of attending college is a challenge that has not gotten any easier over the years. A lot of our staff use the money they make at Rec Sports as their primary source for covering rent, buying groceries and paying for a night out every so often. While Rec Sports is definitely one of the best places on campus or in College Station that students can work, it is probably not the most lucrative. Through your work with the department, you gave to Rec Sports your

Drew McMillen time, effort, and talent. As a former staff member, I hope that you would consider giving in another way—providing financial assistance toward scholarships for some of our most outstanding student staff. The ability to award scholarships to our staff is a powerful way of providing both recognition for a job well done, as well as financial assistance in paying the many bills students face. I have heard some of the previous scholarship winners speak of the impact that the award and their Rec Sports experience have had on their lives; they are definitely appreciative of the opportunities they have been afforded. Just as you once pitched in and provided assistance to your Rec Sports co-workers on the job, the staff members who have followed in your footsteps could benefit from your assistance as well. Giving back is not just something that you get to be proud of; it’s something that future students will thrive because of. For more information on how to get involved contact James Welford at jwelford@ or 979.862.1856.


Achievement Sport Clubs Succeed

Judo Spring Achievements Spring 2014 National Collegiate Judo Championships Novice Men • Esteban Valencia – 60 kg Novice – 4th place • Sean Perry – 81kg Novice – 2nd place • Travis Brice – 90kg Novice – 5th place • Mike Berry – +100kg Novice – 2nd place Elite Men • Carlos Perez – 90 kg Elite – 4th place • Nathan Westbrook – 100 kg Elite – 4th place • Ryan Wenzel – 100 kg Elite – 5th place

2013 - 2014 Judo Team

• Mike Berry – 100+kg Elite – 3rd place Novice Women • Gabriela Wold Gonzalez – 78 kg Novice - 3rd place Overall team points • Men’s Team – 4th overall in Elite Men • Men’s Team – 2nd overall in Novice Men Special Awards • Mike Berry – 2014 TAMU Judo Newcomer of the Year (voted by TAMU Judo coaches)

• Carlos Perez – 2014 TAMU Judo Outstanding competitor of the Year (voted by TAMU team members) • Bob Perez named 2014 National Collegiate Judo Association Coach of the Year • Bob Perez selected to be Assistant Judo Coach for 2015 USA World University Games (Korea) • Established a new judo endowment (April 2014) – “Bobby Perez Judo Club Scholarship”. This is the clubs 2nd endowment. 1st one created in 2005.

loyalty Leave Your Mark


Kristyn Kempf WALK OF CHAMPIONS CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: The construction fence is up and the Walk of Champions Bricks have been moved into storage. Bricks will stay in storage until they are all placed back into the Walk of Champions after construction is complete in 2016. Bricks ordered between now and the completion of the Rec construction will be displayed the weekend of graduation inside the lobby to the Student Rec Center. After graduation, all bricks will be stored until construction is finalized, at which time they will be placed into the ground. To learn more about getting your own brick in the Walk of Champions, contact James Welford at 11

Department of Recreational Sports Texas A&M University 4250 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4250


Southwest corner of student rec center

RecLIFE Magazine | Spring 2014  

The Rec Center expansion and renovation has officially begun! In this edition, we talk about all the areas that we will be adding on and ho...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you