RecLIFE SPRING 2016
TEXAS A&M MENâ€™S POLO TEAM 2016 USPA NATIONAL INTERCOLLEGIATE CHAMPIONS Photo by Matt Baran, United States Polo Association
HOWDY, My name is Kate Williams and I am the RecLIFE Magazine Coordinator for spring 2016. It is my pleasure to introduce this semesterâ€™s RecLIFE Magazine. I would like to thank all of the current and former staff that contributed to the publication. It has truly been a pleasure working with you.
As the entire University grows, the Student Recreation Center is following suit. The number of students at Texas A&M is increasing and so are the demands for the best resources and equipment. The building is at its peak of construction as we await the exciting new additions to the facility. Currently, twenty Sport Clubs have endowments. Each of these are aimed at making these programs the best they can be. However, several clubs are lacking an endowment. If you are interested in supporting a current club or starting an endowment, contact James Welford at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are interested in supporting the Department of Recreational Sports Student Staff Scholarship Endowment, now is the perfect time to give. Donating has never been easier, thanks to the Texas A&M Foundation and their online giving program. Please visit givenow.tamu.edu and provide current student staff the opportunity to apply for scholarship assistance. As a student and member of the Rec Family, I would like to personally thank you for your support of Rec Sports.
Thanks and Gigâ€™em,
Kate Williams RECLIFE MAGAZINE COORDINATOR: WRITER, PHOTOGRAPHER, AND GRAPHIC ARTIST
Director of Development, James Welford & RecLIFE Magazine Coordinator, Kate Williams
CONTENTS WHERE ARE THEY NOW?
REC SPORTS BANQUET
SPORT CLUBS ACHIEVEMENTS
WALK OF CHAMPIONS
DSA AWARD WINNERS
Assistant Director of Communications: Kelly VonDrehle Marketing Director: Michelle Briggs Director of Development: James Welford
WHERE ARE THEY NOW? Looking Back at Former Employees and Their Current Successes The Department of Recreational Sports employs over one-thousand students each year. The opportunity to work for Rec Sports offers students excellent experience in many fields, including marketing, facilities management, sponsorship development, and more. These students leave the Department feeling a sense of accomplishment and knowing that they, among others, can truly take on any challenges they may come across in the real world.
BELINDA NEWMAN of North Texas in a resource department specifically for faculty and staff. Her position gives employees the freedom to share their questions, comments, or concerns confidentially. “Most of the work I do is one-on-one coaching,” Newman said.
Newman reflects on her time at the Rec as being a positive learning experience. “I attended Texas A&M from ‘75-’79 as an undergrad, then worked for Rec Sports after that,” Newman said. “It was my first full-time professional job after graduation. It taught me the skills I have today; conflict resolution, problem solving, and helping others do that.”
Belinda Newman is a former employee of the Department of Recreational Sports. She is currently working for the University
Former student and Intramural Sports official for Rec Sports, Joe Wise, remembers walking into the Rec Center for the first time and realizing his future plans had just shifted. “I went to college with a plan,” said Wise, Competitive Sports Coordinator at Auburn University. “That plan completely changed as soon as I stepped into the Rec Center for my first officiating meeting.”
Newman appreciates all the current and former staff that made an impact on her career. “It was7 an incredible team: Rick Hall, James Welford, and David Kerr,” Newman said. “James is the one that got me into umpiring for intramurals and also for the ASA.”
The journey to becoming a competitive sports coordinator at a major university all began with Texas A&M Rec Sports. “The position at the Rec was directly applicable to what I’m doing now,” Wise said. “I started as an intramural assistant, then moved into the supervisor role, and then became a graduate assistant at Stephen F. Austin University. After com4
Working for Rec Sports taught Newman various life lessons that she has taken with her throughout her career. “I learned from the team that I worked with the importance of teamwork and getting along with others,” Newman said. “It taught me how to communicate openly to make the organization better. I felt like that was a great example of showing me how effective teamwork is. “When a team is focused on one goal, the differences become strengths, not weaknesses. That [lesson] has always stuck with me throughout.”
Now Belinda Newman makes a point to visit the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center when she can. “I am a season ticket holder for football,” Newman said, “and when I pass by the Rec Sports tailgate, it’s a treat for me to bring my friends and say ‘hi’ to James. You can just see that the Rec has continued to grow since I worked there.”
pleting grad school, I started applying for jobs, and I found one here at Auburn University working in competitive sports.” At Auburn, Wise has applied the knowledge he learned at A&M to his current position. “I’m over all the intramural sports and club sports coming through our rec center here on campus,” Wise said.
“I love my job and I love what I’m doing. I love getting to work and interact with the students. I love officiating and being around sports.” Wise explains that his job at the Rec taught him several life lessons. “I think being an official taught me a lot about people skills and how to adapt to multiple situations. I wouldn’t be loving what I’m doing now if I hadn’t started off in Intramural Sports at Texas A&M University.”
Wise mentions that the staff at the Rec played a major role in his success now. “Jerrod Jackson currently serves as my mentor, and I talk to him once a week,” Wise said. “He is just really awesome. He taught me a lot about being professional, how to interact with people the proper way, and how to do the job well. If I have a question about anything, I ask him. He is always the first person I reach out to.”
Wise is still using his officiating skills long after his time at the Rec. “Officiating is something I can do for most of my life. I currently officiate high school football and high school basketball,” Wise said. “Jerrod encouraged me to officiate, and the rest is kind of history.”
Wise truly values his time at the Rec and often reflects on his personal experience. “I gave everything I had to Rec Sports and the Intramural Sports program. It was my life when I was at Texas A&M,” Wise said. “If I wasn’t in class, I was at the Rec working or doing something with Intramural Sports.” Wise was ‘09-’10 Intramural Sports Employee of the Year at Texas A&M. In early July, he will begin a new position as the Assistant Director of Intramural Sports at the University of Texas at Austin.
MARK RITTER Mark Ritter, former Assistant Director of Recreational Sports at Texas A&M, is now the Director of Campus Recreation at the University of South Carolina Upstate. Ritter talks about how it all began and how he got where he is today.
“I first started as a coordinator of Intramural Sports,” Ritter said. “Next I did officials training, and then I moved over to facilities. I was assistant director of facilities where I worked with special events and was in charge of the weight room. After that I became Assistant Director. I started working for the Rec in the fall of 1990 and finished in 2001.”
Ritter was here when the Rec Center was built in 1995. Being around to see the building develop gave him knowledge on the process of opening up a new facility. “Opening the new facilities at A&M in ’95 gave me the experience to help open new facilities at Florida Tech,” Ritter said. “They didn’t have campus recreation at Florida Tech, so I was able build a comprehensive recreation program there.”
Ritter was at the Florida Institute of Technology for seven-and-a-half years and then helped the University of South Carolina Upstate with their facilities. “They built a new wellness center and I was able to help open it up and build a comprehensive campus recreation program there.” Ritter accredits his ability to help each of these schools to his time here at the Rec. “My experiences at A&M really enabled me to start a program like that,” Ritter said.
Ritter believes that customer service and the quality of work and time put into a project are values he has carried with him in each of his positions. “The quality goes in before the name goes on,” Ritter said. “The quality with which we ran the programs at A&M was very important. We did things to the best we could and utilized all the resources we could.” Ritter reflects on some of the staff that made an impact on his career. “James Nash was my roommate, and Tom Reber was the one who hired me,” Ritter said. “Dennis 5
Corrington encouraged all of us to be independent and take initiative. Tom Reber, Rick Hall, Dennis Corrington, and James Nash were all instrumental.”
Mark Ritter notes that the student staff stands out as being one of the best he has ever worked with. “One of things I will always remember is the quality of the student staff at the Rec,” Ritter said. “Some of the best student staff I have ever had worked on that campus. The dedication they showed was tremendous.”
REC SPORTS STUD An evening of Several of our Rec Sports student staff were recently recognized for their achievements at the annual Student Appreciation Banquet. The theme of the evening was Masquerade Magic. Student staff and professional staff alike were dressed to the nines. The dapper masks worn by many added even more excitement to the event. Rec Sports staff enjoyed an elegant catered meal and a live magic show to boot. Overall, the night was quite enchanting!
ENT APPRECIATION BANQUET D E PA R T M E N T A W A R D W I N N E R S
Student Employees of the Year, from left: Personal Training, Kelli Selman; Group Fitness, Kourtney Martin; Penberthy Operations, Sabrina Blanton; Business Services, Austin Stricklan; Sport Clubs, Lynde Freeze; Strength and Conditioning, John Kelty; Development, Kate Williams; Intramural Sports, Michael Escamilla; Marketing, Makenzie Ramey; Aquatics, Laura Edmonson; Banquet Services, Chet Coleman; Facilities, Whitney Walters; Outdoor Adventures, Courtney Kay Carroll. Not pictured: Specialty Classes, Regina Rowley
SCHOLARSHIP AWARD WINNERS
From left: James Welford, Megan Normansell, Kourtney Martin, Ivan A. Marquez, Bishop R. Turon, Brandon P. Bermea, Katelyn N. Kunz, Rhaudell Cordova, Alec M. Blodgett, and Dennis Corrington. Not pictured: Kasey J. Heath 7
REC EXPANSION/ RENOVATION
STAIRCASE TO PLAZA
Although the Rec Center will remain open throughout the expansion process, and interruption to member access should be minimal, some facilities and programs may be unavailable at times. The expansion/renovation project is scheduled to be completed in summer/fall 2016. Upon completion, the Texas A&M Student Recreation Center will be among the nationâ€™s top collegiate recreational facilities.
EXTERIOR VIEW OF EVENT/ACTIVITY ROOMS
For all the latest updates, visit:
NEW OUTDOOR PLAZA CONSTRUCTION 8
Since the opening of the Student Recreation Center more than twenty years ago, the Texas A&M student body has increased by twenty-five percent and continues to grow substantially. With an average of over 1.2 million entries per year, the Rec Center has essentially operated at capacity from the beginning. In order to address this problem and accommodate a larger portion of the student body, Rec Sports has embarked upon an extensive expansion/renovation of the Rec Center. The $55 million expansion/renovation project includes 139,000 square feet of new construction, which will increase the size of the Rec Center by twenty-five percent, and 56,000 square feet of renovation. The project is being funded without an increase in the Recreational Sports fee!
SUMMER 2016 UPDATES: Weight & Fitness Room
The new weight room space is going to increase from 14,500 square feet to just over 30,000 square feet. The free weight area will be 10,000+ square feet, the selectorized/machine strength equipment area will be approximately 5,500 square feet, and the cardio equipment area will house over eighty pieces of cardio equipment. Inside the weight and fitness room will be a small, indoor turf area for warm-up, movement training and stretching. A personal and small group training suite will be located in the room that will be used for personal training sessions and new small group training programs that will be offered once the expansion is complete. Additional men’s and women’s restrooms will be located in the front entrance of the space.
This new space will provide two new basketball courts that can be converted into four volleyball courts, six badminton courts, or an indoor soccer court. The gym’s wood floor installation is set to begin soon.
WEIGHT ROOM EXPANSION
This space will include two new activity/fitness rooms that are approximately 2,000 square feet each; a 3,500 square foot event room that will be available for department activities, programming, fitness classes and meeting room space; a 6,000 square foot event room that will be used for banquets and large presentations; and a smaller meeting room for approximately 80 people that will be used for student staff and department meetings. The 6,000 square foot room will have the option to be divided into two 3,000 square foot rooms. All rooms will include up-to-date audio and/or visual equipment. In addition, we will also have a 1,200 square foot heavy bag room that will be used for boxing technique, with 3 heavy bags and 3-4 speed bags that will be used for high intense training.
A new plaza will be created to provide a shaded lounge area for students and will include outdoor furniture, outdoor kitchen space and additional restrooms. The 16,000 square foot plaza will be located directly on the roof of the weight room expansion. Construction of this space is in progress.
Indoor Lap Pool
The new lap pool will feature an 8-lane, 25-yard shallow water pool, providing another option for our members and guests to meet their swimming workout needs. This pool will be an essential resource for all swimming activities, including swimming classes for the Kinesiology Department and Rec swim for our members and guests, especially when we host large swim meets.
The new indoor lap pool is expected to be available for use in June 2016. The new gymnasium, new activity/fitness spaces, and weight and fitness room should be available for use in August 2016. The outdoor plaza will be available for use in September 2016.
NEW GYMNASIUM CONSTRUCTION
All dates are subject to change. 9
2 016 AC H I E VE M E N T S ARCHERY
POWERLIFTING – USAPL
2016 USA Archery Collegiate National Champions
Patricia Randal: NJCA National Champion, 78+kg Division
Viviana Flores 84kg+ Blake Lehew 74kg Jesse Burttschell 120kg
2016 NCPA National Champions
Men: 2016 USPA National Intercollegiate Champions Women: 2016 USPA National Intercollegiate Runners-Up
Men’s Team – Overall Women’s Team – Overall Kyra Rodriguez 47kg Sarah Davis 84kg
MEN’S & WOMEN’S RUGBY
Both won the annual Chancellor’s Cup Rugby Tournament
TRAP & SKEET
Men: Won the Red River 7’s Tournament; qualified for Nationals in the Spring
2016 ACUI D2 National Champions
LOYALTY LEAVE YOUR MARK
WALK OF CHAMPIONS CONSTRUCTION UPDATE Construction is ongoing and the Walk of Champions bricks have been moved into storage. Bricks will remain in storage until they are placed back into the Walk of Champions after construction is complete in 2016. To learn more about getting your own brick in the Walk of Champions, visit our website at http://recsports.tamu.edu/giving or contact James Welford at email@example.com. 10
D I V I S I O N O F S T U D E N T A F FA I R S AWARD WINNERS
AWARD OF DISTINCTION, GRADUATE ASSISTANT: ZACH GANGER “Working at Rec Sports, both during my undergraduate degree and my graduate schooling, has been the definition of a transformative experience. Not only have I learned the skills necessary to supplement the knowledge from my academic coursework in my career, but I have made lifelong friends and relationships. Winning the DSA Award of Distinction and reading all of the nominations from friends, co-workers, supervisors, and clients reinforces how unique of a work environment Rec Sports is, and how deeply invested everyone is in not only their own programs, but the department and its students.”
AWARD OF DISTINCTION: JEROD WILSON “In 2001 I moved from Iowa to College Station to begin my employment with Texas A&M University and the Department of Recreational Sports. After 15 years I can say that there are a large number of reasons why I have enjoyed Rec Sports and why I take so much pride in my work here. However, the things that immediately come to mind are the level of trust, empowerment, and resources that have been afforded to me so that I can help provide the highest quality equipment, facilities, programs and services to the Texas A&M community. I have also thoroughly enjoyed seeing so many of our student employees develop into ambitious, high achieving, successful leaders here at Texas A&M, and in their professional careers after graduating! When I received this Division of Student Affairs “Award of Distinction” I was completely shocked and surprised. I can honestly say that I had absolutely no idea that I was even nominated, but I was very honored to be recognized in this way. Even more touching and impactful were the very kind and meaningful letters of support written by several colleagues and student employees that were included in my nomination packet. Their sentiments will stick with me for years to come.” 11
Department of Recreational Sports Texas A&M University 4250 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4250
NONPROFIT ORG. U.S. POSTAGE PAID COLLEGE STATION PERMIT NO. 215
PENBERTHY SOUTH DESIGN