Welcome to the Director Download, powered by Campus Rec Magazine.
It’s time to go behind the curtain of the director role and have honest discussions with leaders in the campus recreation industry.
In this episode, host Grady Sheffield, the director of Campus Recreation at Towson University and the senior advisor to Campus Rec Magazine, gives you the listener real and authentic conversation between himself and special guest Steve Thompson, the director of Campus Recreation at the University of Montana.
Thompson is an outdoors guy at heart. With a plethora of experience guiding trips and outdoor jobs, he eventually found himself in Texas, pursuing a career in campus recreation at Sam Houston State University.
He gained experience, took trips around the world and realized the outdoor gig just didn’t fit with having a two-year-old at home. Transitioning from outdoors programming to an associate director role proved challenging. As such, he looked for other opportunities and ended up at the University of Montana.
Having been there since, he shares what Montana has to offer, how his previous experiences outside of campus rec have made him a better leader and what he loves most about his job. Plus, he gives advice to other directors in the field.
Enjoy the conversation between Sheffield and Thompson.
Show Notes from the Conversation with Steve Thompson
- Thompson’s background in campus rec is almost exclusively in one thing. Find out at 2:26.
- Where and how he sorted his life out is revealed at 5:06.
- Moving back to Pittsburgh, he got a job with the Boy Scouts. He shares his experience with them at 6:25.
- How looking for a house took Thompson to Texas — and places around the world — at 8:55.
- The challenge of transitioning from the outdoors to a desk at 14:20.
- Listen at 18:12 as he shares on being an associate director and how it’s in some ways more difficult than being a director.
- Diving into the University of Montana at 20:34.
- Thompson’s favorite thing they do each year at 23:45.
- How he has seen students evolve over his time in campus rec at 27:40.
- Funding at Montana and what that has looked like at 31:43.
- From his previous experiences outside of campus rec, Thompson shares what he’s applied as a director at 33:23.
- Listen at 36:32 to what Thompson loves most about his job.
- What is Freshman Float? He shares about it at 38:50.
- Why Thompson counts himself lucky at his job at 43:06.
- His advice from his time in the industry at 46:19.
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