Relieving Stress During Exams

Stress can be a good thing. Yes, you read it here first; stress can be a good thing, but only if you learn to use it as strength.

Eustress is defined by a University of Mississippi study as “positive stress that improves performance, motivates and focuses energy.”

Reaching a point in which the stress you’re dealing with becomes a motivating factor in studying and maintaining a high self-esteem can become beneficial for your grades, appearance and overall health.

Distress is the opposite of eustress, defined by the same University of Mississippi study as “negative stress that can cause anxiety or cause for concern.”

The concept of distress and eustress is prevalent on a college campus. Depending on your perspective, the pressure of this time period can either bring the best or the worst out of a student.

DSC_2986

This time of year is critical for the typical NC State student. With exams, projects and presentations due, the stress is at an all-time high from Main Campus to Centennial Campus.

Dealing with the stress is pivotal to attaining academic goals. Preserving the body physically can prepare the body for the mental rigors of the exam period.

At University Recreation, we offer four activities in particular that allow participants to turn distress into eustress. Here are my favorite activities:

YOGA

As an activity predicated on building flexibility and balance, yoga is perfect for dealing with stress. According to a recent study from the MGN College of Education in India, “Seven weeks of regularly doing poses, practicing yoga breathing and participating in mediation practice reduced students’ stress levels, which translated into better academic performance.”

DSC_0033

The facts stated show the effectiveness of yoga in relieving distress and building eustress. Utilizing breathing techniques to clear the body of negative energy while training the muscles to adapt to various positions almost replicate the process of retaining information.

When you study, you try to learn the unknown and master the material. The similarity to yoga is scene through the repetition and the adaptation of the mind and body to its environment, making yoga a fantastic activity for exam week.

BOXING

Boxing has long been heralded for its ability to build cardiovascular fitness while releasing stress that can way a person down. The combination of the two opens up the mind to receive information through releasing the bad vibes that can plague the thought process.

“Studies have shown that working out can help relieve depression, stress, anxiety, and anger. When you get your adrenaline going, your mind starts going, too” said renowned psychologist/physical therapist Elizabeth Lombardo.

Through a sport that drains you of negative emotions and clears the mind, the strenuous process of studying can become easier, especially when it comes to retaining information with a clear mind.­

H.I.I.T.

High Intensity Interval Training. The words that spell out “H.I.I.T.” all are vital descriptions of this activity. Built upon the principle of maintaining a high rate of activity in a short span of time, H.I.I.T. is a fantastic way to build fitness while clearing the mind.

DSC_2829

The vast combination of workouts and intervals provide a mercurial realm of activity that forces the participant to build a sharp, attentive mind state. This activity evolves through an individual workout in a similar manner to the material you learn in class.

Within a curriculum, the information grows in difficulty and quality of time. H.I.I.T. replicates that system through a rise in tougher activities as you get acclimated to the initial exercises. This model of progression can get a student into that mindstate of climbing their ladder to success.

SWIMMING

In a recent study conducted by Speedo and Ipsos MORI, swimming was discovered to be a perfect activity to wind down the stress of the day. A quote from the study stated, “Over two thirds of those surveyed feel that swimming can have a positive mental impact, with 70% agreeing that it helps them to feel mentally refreshed.”

Recognized as a perennial sport in regards to building fitness, swimming is perfect for allowing the participants to trade their negative energy for positive, clear-minded thoughts. Through the rigorous strokes necessary to progress within the water, swimming provides a great workout with minimal force to the joints.

Getting in water overall is a great feeling. It creates a weightless feeling for the participant that almost immediately alleviates the pressure on the mind that can carry on to other parts of the body. Swimming is perfect for clearing the mind and relaxing the body during exam week.

As the semester wraps up, all of our hard work from the past four months will come together. Group projects, presentations and those dreaded exams stand no chance if you can maintain eustress and avoid distress.

With strenuous nature of the last two weeks of December, we hope to provide you with an alleviating alternative to you day. To learn more about what we offer, visit recreation.ncsu.edu/.

Think and DOminate,

Cherif

October Club Sport of the Month: Ice Hockey

University Recreation is proud to recognize Men’s Club Ice Hockey as Club Sport of the Month. The club first formed in the 1970’s as the NC State Ice Hockey Organization and has since been very successful. Last year, the team earned the bronze medal in the ACCHL championship, medalling for the third year in a row! According to the Technician, the team has a substantial fanbase that helped them raise over $6,000 for a new locker room in the Raleigh IcePlex, where they practice and host games. The new locker room is an incredible gift for the Ice Hockey Club because they don’t have anywhere to put their equipment, so many just leave their pads and sticks in their cars. The teammates have spent many nights and weekends build much of the locker room themselves.

11187335_812576455498270_6118668030247689706_o

I was able to interview NC State’s Men’s Club Ice Hockey Team president, Garrett Sunda, to learn more about the team.

University Recreation: When does your season start, and how long does your season last? 

Garrett Sunda: We start practicing at the end of august, our games begin mid September and we play until the ACC tournament in mid February.  

UR: Does your team have any recent achievements that you are especially proud of?
GS: Last year we claimed our third consecutive ACC Regular Season title, which gave us a total of 7, more than any other team in the ACC.

UR: What is a tradition your team has?
GS:  After each practice, a player on the team “gives thanks” which is a short talk about what that person is thankful for such as an upcoming game or thankful for a previous win. It’s a fun tradition that can be both serious and humorous and brings everyone together at the end of each practice.

UR: What is your favorite thing about playing and being a part of a Club Sports team at N.C. State?
GS: Being a student run team gives us flexibility such as who we want to play against and when we want to practice.  It also allows us to focus on our academics while still enjoying the sport we all love.

UR: How often do you practice? What is your typical practice like?
GS: We practice on the ice three times a week, 6:30 a.m. Monday9:15 p.m. Tuesday10:45 p.m. Thursday.  We also have team workouts at 12:00 p.m. on Sunday and 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday.  The typical on-ice practice involves skill improvement drills, team based drills and some form of conditioning.  It’s a lot of practice each week but that’s what allows us to continue our success.

UR: What is it like to travel around and compete against different schools?
GS: It’s great to be able to see different universities and play different opponents.  Some of the road trips can definitely be tough though. Last night we didn’t get home from Clemson until 5:00 a.m. after a 9:15 p.m. game.

UR: What is your best memory about the Ice Hockey Club team?
GS: In the last home game of my Sophomore year we were up against George Washington.  We were ranked first and GW was second, and the winner would clinch the Regular Season ACC Title.  After going down a few goals early, we started to lose hope.  We kept at it though and ended up being able to tie up the game late in the third period.  We went on to win the game in a shootout and the crowd went crazy.  Definitely a game I will never forget.

hockey 2

UR: What if someone is interested in the Ice Hockey Club? How can they find out more information? Are there tryouts?
GS:  If someone is interested in joining our team we suggest they fill out a recruit form on our website or email us at icehockey-club@ncsu.edu. Each year there are tryouts in the fall.

UR: What sets Ice Hockey apart from other sports?
GS: As an organization we’ve been growing a lot over the last few years and we now have the support of a rapidly expanding fan base.  It’s awesome to have students and other members of the community support us at our games.  At our UNC rivalry game last year we had over 600 fans! In general, Ice Hockey is different than other sports because it combines a wide range of athletic abilities.  Each player has to be fast and agile but also strong enough to maintain possession of the puck in each battle.  Ice hockey also isn’t a sport that can be quickly picked up. Being able to skate takes years to learn and perfect.  Most of our players have been playing since they were very young.

Stephen Russell Hockey Poster

Club Ice Hockey invites you to join them this weekend, October 9 through the 11, for their  Annual Stephen Russell Memorial Tournament. The tournament in is a memoriam in honor of a beloved teammate who passed in 2009. The tournament was previously called the Canes Cup, which was sponsored by the Hurricanes. In 2009, the team retired Stephen’s jersey and the Hurricanes renamed the tournament in his honor. Stephen’s family and the team work together with the generous donations from the fans to sponsor this tournament. The tournament was relatively small until last year. This year marks the second year the tournament is the official season opener with the entire league and other region schools participating. The goal of the tournament is to promote sportsmanship, teamwork, the student athletes, and academic excellence. The schedule is jam-packed, so come join the excitement!

Home games are at the Raleigh IcePlex and tickets are available at a reduced price for students.

Think and just do it,

Sarah

Insight on the 2015 Monster Dash

IMG_3448

As Raleigh’s hot summer days turn into chilly fall nights, we look forward to helping the Wolfpack family grow through fun, engaging events. One event that we are looking forward to is the Monster Dash on Centennial Campus.

Scheduled to kick off on October 29th, this event combines obstacle course racing with Halloween traditions. The combination of running, crawling and critically thinking fits NC State’s mindset of “Think and Do” like no other.

The 5 kilometer, 3.1 mile race begins with a puzzle that is meant to stimulate the mind before a plethora of new challenges. Teams have to work as a unit to finish their puzzle or lose precious time to their fellow competitors. Once the puzzle is complete, participants begin their quest for first place as the Dash officially starts.

A staggered run from Centennial’s Greenway to Lake Raleigh leads to the paddling phase, which is one of the most fascinating elements to the Monster Dash. Kaley, a participant from last year’s Monster Dash says, “Paddling was the coolest part of the Dash because some of us had to learn on the fly. It gave us so many laughs and moments to remember.”

This year’s Dash is at night, adding a whole new level of difficulty for the paddling phase. Though the water will have lighting, paddling at nighttime will make the journey interesting as many participants will experience paddling in the dark for the first time.

An interview with one of the Monster Dash’s coordinators shed light on this year’s new component. “Hosting this event at night will make it extremely interesting. Paddling on Lake Raleigh at night while wearing wild Halloween costumes will definitely make it a night to remember” said the Monster Dash coordinator.

IMG_3309

Once the paddling phase is complete, runners will pick up their team pumpkin from the Greenway and proceed to Centennial’s Oval to complete a plethora of challenges. These challenges test teamwork and communication skills as teams will complete tasks varying in difficulty such as jumping through tires and completing small games.

After the games on the Oval are done, participants will complete their longest straight run of the day. This run will serve as crunch time that will likely dictate the winners of the race. Competitors will have to remain consistent and strong on their stride towards the finish line.

IMG_3394

At the end of the run, participants will finish with a bang as the last part of the race is a 50-yard low crawl through mud. This part of the race will stress the concept of unity within teams as all four members will have to complete the low crawl to cement a finishing time.

Throughout the race, teams will enjoy their time together working hard and thinking critically on the pursuit of the coveted first place title. Laughs aplenty will be generated through great costumes and challenging tasks, creating great memories to start the fall season.

The winning team will take home a prize pack including an Adidas sports bag, perfect for holding gym apparel. All participants who register before October 22nd will also receive a commemorative Monster Dash tee shirt in their size.

IMG_0698

Post-run, competitors will be treated to snacks and encouraged to take pictures of their team’s costumes. At this stage, costumes will be the focal point as participants and staff alike will marvel at the creativity of the Wolfpack family. After a review from race staff, the best costumes will receive a prize from University Recreation.

To register for this race, visit IM Leagues to add your team of four or even enter as a free agent. Teams of four will be constructed upon submission of teams with any less than four participants.

Benefits of Competitive Sports

 

hockey 2

University Recreation is dedicated to providing students with a plethora of options to maintain healthy, active lifestyles while pursuing academic goals. This dedication makes our competitive sports sector an integral part.

Many students at NC State have a passion for athletics. Sadly, not all of us had the basketball skill of Abdul-Malik Abu or the football skill of Jacoby Brissett to continue playing at the highest level. This leads us to require a fix or a supplemental realm to live out our athletic dreams.

Within our recreational facilities at NC State, many competitive sports teams host games and matches built to test competitive will and build camaraderie. From cricket to the popular flag football, University Recreation covers a wide demographic of different athletic interests.

The various sports University Recreation offers allow participants to enjoy a multitude of different sports, even some during the same seasons. Getting into a sport and building relationships with your peers of different characteristics is easier when you’re interacting through competition. Taking advantage of this allows the participant to benefit in a variety of ways.

ACADEMIC 

Playing competitive sports in college has been proven to increase the rate of positive academic achievement. Spikes in grade point average, test scores and overall consistency in school have been linked to participation in intramural and club competition.

A 2014 study at the University of Maryland provided context into the known fact of competitive sports’ impact on education. The research in this study led by Maryland professor Sangmin Kim utilized a representative sample of 9,230 students in high school and college.

10 years of research concluded in findings that showcased a positive relation between high math scores and competitive sports participation. Sports such as baseball, soccer and football in particular showed high scores in reading along with consistently above average scores in math.

These statistics prove the true benefit of competitive sports. The added activity in your schedule can keep you busy while participating in a sport you love. Overall, staying busy is extremely helpful to the pursuit of a success academic career as you are constantly processing experiences. Utilize competitive sports as a part of your day in which exercise produces growth.

SOCIAL

Competitive sports in college allow participants to maximize understanding of their peers and colleagues. The more dialogue a student has with their classmates, the better they understand the culture they reside in and how they can make an impact on it. Competitive sports foster healthy communication through sports, promoting the idea of campus growth.

In a study conducted by Brock University in Ontario, Canada, competitive sports’ benefit to college students is studied on a social level. The study aimed to provide information on what social characteristics changed in participants of friendly competition.

After a review of over 300 surveys, the study found competitive sports to improve leadership abilities grow self-confidence and especially improve tolerance of different culture. The last one in particular struck a nerve as participants noticed a major spike in their acceptance of other culture.

When you go to a prestigious public university, you encounter people from all across the world. Participants of this study showed growth in their understanding through constant communication with people from various cultures. Sports was utilized as a medium between American culture and the world, creating a space in which participants can grow personally through simply playing games.

DSC_2986

Competitive sports also proved to reduce social alienation amongst participants. During college, things get tough and time goes quickly leading to people alienating themselves to find peace. The Brock University study showed that sports allowed students to release the tensions of the day with their peers instead of coping alone.

As a senior at NC State, I can attest to having moments in which I wanted to be alone. Through it all, playing club soccer allowed me to find people who I could relate to, making my time here easier.

The relationships I’ve built through simply playing sports have made life fun at NC State. Whether its having relationships with coworkers or classmates that I already met through competitive sports, simply kicking a ball around built relationships that make my day-to-day routine flow in an enjoyable manner.

PHYSICAL

Over everything, competitive sports’ benefit to the physique is the most evident. Whether its strength, endurance, or coordination, competitive sports allows students to continue living like an athlete.

The mentality behind always being prepared for competition encourages physical attributes to flourish and develop through sport. While having fun and developing relationships, sports such as soccer and basketball promote cardiovascular health.

Cardiovascular health is vital in many day-to-day aspects including energy reservation and energy use. The better your cardiovascular health is, the easier the long walk from one class to another becomes.

Many studies have highlighted competitive sports’ ability to help maintain fitness in participants. The motivation to exercise is unconscious as the motivation to win and have fun prevail. This makes exercise effortless while maximize physical attributes.

Competitive sports provide students with a wonderful opportunity to thrive academically, network with peers and maintain fitness. University Recreation offers a variety of intramural and club sports for the Wolfpack to take advantage of these potential benefits.

To get more information on intramural and club sports, check out the links attached in this sentence. We can’t wait to see you at our courts and fields this year. Plus, we give away really cool shirts to champions!

IMG_1081

Think and DOminate,

Cherif Gueye

 

 

Student Employee Highlight: Challenge Course

Located six miles from Central Campus in Schenck Forest is NC State’s Course. The course offers a variety of programs designed for team building and leadership development. The Challenge Course consists of a Low Course and a High Course that stretches up to 40 feet tall.

First and foremost, the Challenge Course Staff is there to keep all of the participants safe. But the staff also works together to help participants grow individually and collectively as a team so everybody may enjoy their experience.

We caught up with Challenge Course student employee Katie to learn more about the Challenge Course and its staff….

DSC_0640

 

University Recreation: Why did you decide to work at University Recreation? And why the Challenge Course in particular?

Katie: As an incoming freshman I did the Outdoor Adventures Wolfpack Bound camping trip and also spent one spring break on another Outdoor Adventures trip, both times where Jason (my current boss) was our trip leader. He’s such a genuine person and someone I quickly grew to respect. I told him I wanted to work the high ropes course and after a while it’s where I ended up.

University Recreation: What is it about the outdoors that excites you?

Katie: One of my favorite aspects of the outdoors is being on the water (swimming, kayaking, canoeing, etc.), but overall the atmosphere is just so different and requires such a different skill set. Chasing dual engineering degrees, I am constantly in a very technical environment where precision and timing is everything, so it’s definitely a nice break to go on a hike and take it all in.

University Recreation: What is your favorite activity of the Challenge Course?

Katie: I have three favorite activities at the Challenge Course: Icebreaker games, The King Swing element on the high course (definitely one of the more challenging elements of the course), and Debriefing, where we come together at the end of the day/activity and talk about how we felt as a group and individuals.

University Recreation: Describe what training for your position is like.

Katie: New hires have more than 40 hours of training before they start on the course. Before anyone hits the course everyone is trained in equipment/lingo, essential knots, how to belay, safety, low course games, and CPR/First Aid. Trainees spend a significant amount of time on emergency rescue procedures and safety.

University Recreation: Describe a typical day at work.

Katie: A typical day at work is a blast. We arrive about an hour before any groups get to the course, go over our schedule for the day, and make sure the course is ready to go. When a group arrives, we introduce the course and ourselves, and we talk about our Five Finger Contract and Challenge By Choice. Then we begin with icebreakers, next are the low course activities, and finally the high course activities. After the activities, the group will fill out a survey on their way out and we spend time putting away equipment, cleaning up, putting away gear, and we have a debrief as a staff before we secure the course.

 

DSC_0346

University Recreation: What is the most valuable skill or lesson you have learned working for University Recreation in your current position?

Katie: One of the biggest things for me is learning how to handle the unpredictability in stride! Yes we have a plan, but that plan could be out the window with the tip of a hat, and as a facilitator, I have had to learn how to handle change.

University Recreation: How have you grown professionally since working at University Recreation?

Katie: The Program Assistants are there if we want help professionally; whether it is talking through interview situations or looking over a resume. I am comfortable interacting with those in positions above mine.

University Recreation: What would be your recommendation for students considering working at the Challenge Course?

Katie: It’s an amazing job and you will definitely get what you put into the position. Don’t be afraid to get your hands dirty because hard work won’t go unnoticed here.

Challenge Course staff members assist people in overcoming their fears, building self-confidence, and expanding their comfort zone. They also help establish an environment of cooperation and trust through their enthusiasm, knowledge and skills in order for groups to meet specific goals and desired outcomes. At the Challenge Course, employees have the opportunity to help and inspire others as a part of their daily work.

If you haven’t had the chance, I recommend you pay a visit to the Challenge Course and its staff. Who knows? Maybe you’ll find a new interest…

Pack your Pride,

Evan

Student Employee Highlight: Fitness

At University Recreation, our fitness employees are instrumental to helping the Wolfpack reach their fitness goals. As sources of information on fitness, these employees guide fellow students to their goals through guidance, motivation, and ultimately, support as they reach their fitness goals.

Elizabeth has been a fitness student employee for more than 2 years. Her work has led helped her grow as a fitness instructor while helping members of the Wolfpack student body attain fitness goals.

DSC_3542

Here’s our interview with her:

University Recreation: When did you realize that fitness was a passion?

Elizabeth: I began taking hot yoga classes when I was 15 years old, it started as a fad that all the cool kids did but for me the ‘fad’ never stopped. Yoga became a way to relax and de-stress after a day of school and what not. Through that, I became motivated to impact lives with the wonderful tool that is exercise. As a student at NC State, I fulfilled this dream of impacting fellow students’ lives through fitness.

UREC: What is your favorite form of exercise?

E: In the past yoga has been my favorite form of exercise, it is the perfect way to forget about any and all obligations and find some inner peace. In the past few years I have began to enjoy running, lifting weights and TRX. I believe in having balance in a workout regimen rather than only focus on one aspect or method of training. This has allowed me to be able to give students a multitude of options when training.

UREC: What motivates you to help other people                                                  ?

E: I think that my interest in fitness has given me confidence, and I’m not just talking about physical appearance. Fitness has given me confidence to improve and succeed in school, work, and friendships. It has made me certain about who I am am, I want to share this opportunity to gain confidence with anyone who will listen. Fitness provides benefits not only physically, but in all facets of daily life. As I had that epiphany, I made sure to spread that knowledge about the benefits of exercise. That is what motivates me daily.

DSC_9593

UREC: What is the typical day at work like?

E: A typical work day at University Recreation is a blast, its something that I look forward to. I am always greeted with smiling faces from fellow employees as well as participants! My fellow University Recreation employees are always supportive and motivating! 

UREC: How has your position with University Recreation allowed you to grow professionally?

E: My as a group fitness instructor at University Recreation has been my first opportunity to teach fitness! Therefore, I have learned how important it is to be punctual, organized, and prepared! This will be beneficial not only if I choose to go into fitness as a career, but in any direction I take my path. Getting the opportunity to communicate with the various unique students at NC State has taught me how vital it is to communicate consistently.
UREC: What is the most valuable skill or lesson you have learned working for University Recreation in your current position?
E: I have learned to expect the unexpected, and how to react quickly and efficiently to any situation! These skills along with the professional skills I have developed are beyond what I expected. Coming in, I just wanted to help my fellow students in any way I could through fitness. University Recreation has allowed my potential to grow as I have developed skills that will help me advance in various avenues!
DSC_0163

The benefits of having a fitness instructor are endless. From cultivation of motivation to more consistent result, instructors can be an instrumental part of reaching your fitness goals. An article conducted by Johnston Health of the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill reinforces the benefits of an instructor.

The two points of the article that stuck out to me, the ability that an instructor has to create better results and how their guidance can help the participant overcome plateaus.

As a part of the job, instructors work to create regimens that take the participant to the next level. This helps fitness levels grow exponentially fast as the participant is guided through exercises that challenge the body.

Overcoming plateaus has always been difficult for anyone striving to reach their fitness goals. Group fitness instructors have a distinct ability to change workout routines and motivate their clientele to surpass the roadblocks to fitness success. This motivation is cultivated through getting a group on the same page on their path to fitness.

Further research conducted for the American Council on Exercise through a collaboration of Indiana University and Texas A&M University professors, highlighted the influence of an instructor to an exercise regimen. This study monitored more than 40 people who exercised consistently, half of the sample size had instructors.

The research showed that lifestyle behaviors were shown to improve through structured exercise sessions that instructors cultivated for their clientele. 60 percent of the study participants demonstrated evidence of health-behavior change, majority of the 60 percent fitness instructors guiding their progression.

Employees like Elizabeth promote positivity and consistency while working out. Studies conducted have shown how instrumental an instructor can be to the progression of fitness. For the Wolfpack nation, University Recreation offers many ways to work with instructors.

Group fitness regimens including yoga, pilates, Zumba, and more paired with the ability to even have a personal trainer gives the Pack a multitude of resources. Check out what we offer here.

Think and DOminate,

Cherif

Senior, Justin Mumford: NC State to Ohio State

10268441_10101985107255959_4085013959987777905_n

My dear friend and fellow Program Assistant, Justin Mumford, received an incredible offer earlier this month. Since November, Justin has applied to several graduate assistantship positions within recreation, but when Ohio State offered, he knew he had found the perfect match.

Below you can read my interview with Justin, in order to learn a bit more about his personal journey at University Recreation, along with his graduate assistantship search.


How long have you worked for University Recreation?
Justin
: I began working for University Recreation the first semester of my Freshman year, so it has been nearly four years now.

What is your current role at University Recreation, and what previous positions have you held?
Justin: My current role with University Recreation is that of the Reservations Program Assistant and a Facility Supervisor.  Through my Program Assistant position I am able to work extremely closely with the Facility Operations and Special Event teams to process all facility reservations from start to finish as well as act as a leader within the Department.

What leadership opportunities have you pursued while working at University Recreation?
Justin: As my time with University Recreation has progressed, I have always aspired to make and leave a positive impact.  I have been fortunate to work with a lot of great people and to walk into really great situations. The first step in my own personal growth and development as a leader was to become an Event, and eventually a Facility Supervisor. These two opportunities spring boarded me into what I believe is the single most influential and important experience of my Undergraduate career: the position of Reservations Program Assistant.

As a student leader within the department, I began to understand the larger picture and gained an interest in the field of Collegiate Recreation.  Ultimately, this interest pushed me into leadership opportunities within the National Intramural-Recreation Sports Association (NIRSA) where I currently serve the state of North Carolina as State Student Leader.  Prior to becoming the State Student Leader, I served NC State as an Engagement Coordinator where the aim was to inform those on our campus of the field of Collegiate Recreation. In addition to my experience within NIRSA, I was also nominated by our Director to be the University Recreation Representative on the newly formed Advisory Board.


What is a typical workday look like for you?

Justin: My typical day as the Reservations Program Assistant consists of communicating with clients and determining the feasibility of the facility requests we may receive.  For us, clients can be those outside the university, departments on campus, and student organizations.  On any given day I can find myself making phone calls for more information regarding a request for space, answering emails to follow-up on questions regarding an event, and setting up meetings to discuss logistics for an event.  I really enjoy the fact that I am able to communicate with so many people and have a very active role in the planning and success of many events.

Outside of my communication with clients, I also work extremely closely with all of our professional staff within University Recreation to ensure they have the space they need for their programs or meetings.  Health and Exercise Studies is also a large portion of my role as we ensure they have the space they need for classes.

What is your favorite part about your job?
Justin: My favorite part of the job is the opportunity to communicate and meet so many different people.  For each event that we host, we get to meet a whole new cast of people.  Sometimes these can be administrators, such as deans or provosts, they might be other student leaders, or they might even be external users from across the country.  I really enjoy being able to meet all of the different personalities and to help play a part of their successful event.

Why did you decide to apply for a Recreation Graduate Assistantship?
Justin: Since working with University Recreation, I have been extremely lucky to be surrounded by professionals who have not only helped me grow, but made me aware of the opportunity that the field of Collegiate Recreation represents.  Since gaining a better understanding of what this field represents, I knew it was right for me. I’m decided to apply for a Recreation Graduate Assistant position so that I can fine tune my skills and gain experience as well as a Master’s Degree to ultimately prepare me for a professional position within the field. For me, the daily interaction with students and the focus on student development is a huge reason why I gained such an interest.

When you look at the impact you are able to have as a professional in the field, it goes far beyond just the staff you lead. Recreation departments across the country are serving an increasingly important role in the overall success of students on campus, and I’m extremely excited to be a part of that.  Pursuing a career on a college campus is certainly a huge plus as well.

In what ways do you believe your time at NC State has prepared you for Graduate School and making the transition to Ohio State?
Justin: I believe my time at NC State and University Recreation will play a significant role in future success in my transition to Ohio State.  At NC State University I have been able to get a broad experience through the opportunities I have been given.  Most importantly, the leeway I have been given to make critical decisions, communicate effectively, and lead a staff will be instrumental in the transition. NC State University Recreation has also developed and polished my work ethic. The high expectations set forth to provide a positive experience to everyone who comes through our doors will also be an important element to my success both in Graduate School as well as a future GA.

Why Ohio State?
Justin: Why not Ohio State? Going to a school with such a prestigious reputation across the collegiate recreation field and country as Ohio State was truly a unique opportunity for me.  I was able to form a good relationship early on with my future supervisor as well as others who are already at Ohio State, which played a large part.  I also have family in the area, which will be great to be close to. Overall, I feel extremely comfortable in what my role will be and that I’m completely prepared to find success in that role. The experiences I will gain as the Member Services Graduate Assistant will compliment what experiences and skills I have already gained while still providing me new opportunities to grow. Most importantly, the academic program of Higher Education and the GA position really complement each other well.  There is a ton of support between the academic program and the rec department which will put me in an environment where I feel I will be able to continue my own personal growth. Ohio State Rec Sports carries a lot of weight on-campus, which will provide me with a lot of unique opportunities. Everything considered, it was without a doubt the best fit for me.

What are you looking forward to most about your GA position?
Justin: While I have been given a lot of leeway at NC State, I am most looking forward to having the opportunity to run my own program and lead my own staff. I will be able to manage staff at an entirely different level which I am extremely excited for.  In addition, having the opportunity to oversee an operating budget and control the processes which take place throughout Member Services will present a great opportunity for me to grow and gain new experiences.

What worries you most about your move to a different state?
Justin: I think with any move or change, it is going to be tough transitioning to a completely new set of friends, a completely new environment, and a completely new living situation.  I’m not sure that I am necessarily worried as much as excited. However, just unknown, at this point, can be intimidating at times. The concern of whether you will fit in or find the right place to live would probably be my greatest worry, but I really am more excited than anything else.

What is your ideal job after your two-year graduate assistantship?
Justin: After completely my Graduate Assistantship, I hope to remain within the field of collegiate recreation. Ideally I would like to become a Facility Operations Coordinator for a Recreation Department. This position would allow for me to stay within operations, which is what I have come to love, as well as give me direct oversight and leadership to a large team of student staff. This would definitely be the ideal job, however a Member Services or Event position will definitely also be on the table.


Congratulations Justin! I extremely proud of you, and I know everyone here at NC State University Recreation are thrilled for you as well. You will forever be a part of the Wolfpack, but there are many amazing opportunities ahead of you at Ohio State. Best of luck to you!

Forever Backin’ the Pack,
Morgan