The Final Exam is your chance to get advice and insights from experts in the industry. For the November/December issue, Campus Rec spoke with Marci Iverson, the assistant dean of students, and the director of Recreation and Leadership at Viterbo University.
1. How did you get started in the industry?
Marci Iverson: I served as a fitness center attendant with the Rec Sports department at the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities while I was an undergraduate student.
2. How would you go about describing campus recreation at Viterbo?
MI: Campus recreation at Viterbo is a student-focused collaborative, flexible and adaptable department. We provide programs and services to support individual and collective well-being of the students and campus community. In addition, we strive to create a fun, engaging and safe space for all.
3. What has been one of the biggest challenges you have faced throughout your career?
MI: One of the biggest challenges has been the ability to quickly adapt to provide all of the services and programs to serve our student body. This is especially true for our underrepresented and marginalized student groups on campus.
4. What has been one of the biggest accomplishments of your career?
MI: The level of creativity and innovation that has been applied to maintain robust operations at our small, private university with only two full-time professionals. We have been able to boast a fairly broad programmatic portfolio and manage a facility with a small team, for instance. It is exciting to have seen growth within the size of the team this past year — with the understanding of value and impact of campus recreation — via the addition of two graduate assistants.
5. What is one lesson you have learned that other recreation professionals might benefit from?
MI: Build strong relationships across the institution, with other student service offices as well as with academic affairs. The relationships can foster fantastic partnerships and unique programming opportunities which can extend beyond collaboration toward integration. Each unit/department has a unique set of strengths and opportunities for which we can find synergies to engage and support students.
6. What is one fun fact about yourself others may not know?
MI: I am a U.S. ski and snowboard certified alpine ski racing official. In addition, I am currently working toward an international certification.