January is a time for goal setting, but it’s also a time for reflection.
As such, we want to take a moment and reflect on cover stories from 2018. Each has its own flavor and focus. In Part One of two, we have pulled some of the biggest themes from each and highlighted them here. Read below to learn something new, even if it’s from something old:
Cover Story: The Greatest Thing in Bowling Green
Who: Bowling Green State University
Where: Bowling Green, Ohio
Networking has been a key word for Stephen Kampf, the director of campus recreation at Bowling Green State University (BGSU).
Whether it was during the recreation center’s renovation, or as Kampf took his first steps in the industry, people have been a huge influence at every turn. For example: The BGSU team toured over 50 rec centers in 2012 for the renovation. Student input helped design the front desk at the new center. Kampf’s mentor, Steve Gambino, always answered questions the young professional had.
And anyone can have similar networking stories. All you have to do to start is simply ask. “Pick up the phone and call somebody … People in the profession are willing to give you advice, are willing to give you answers to your questions,” said Kampf. “Networking to me is one of the greatest things I do.” Read it.
Cover Story: Utah’s Crimson Crew
Who: University of Utah
Where: Salt Lake City, Utah
Behind everything you see at the University of Utah’s Student Life Center lies the Crimson Crew.
Students are essential to campus recreation. But, not just anyone is hired. Going through a recruitment session, multiple interviews, workshops and more, they are engrossed in the industry and how to be professional.
However, it isn’t all work. Holiday dodgeball and laser tag in the Student Life Center are just two of the many events held specifically for the Crimson Crew.
Ultimately, the team at Utah is there for the students.“We are here for the students, to empower them, to get them ready for the real world,” said Cheri Jenkins, the associate director of operations. “We really are here to make the student experience a better experience, make it higher quality, more well-rounded and have the students be really proud of being part of the University of Utah.” Read it.
Cover Story: At the Roots
Who: DePaul University
Where: Chicago, Illinois
The Bucket Exercise is one of the most original parts of DePaul’s recreation staff.
Maureen McGonagle, the director, shared when a position opens up, she sends out an email to every member of the team. “I email the staff and ask, ‘Imagine your job is a bucket, and in the bucket are all these little pieces of paper that have all your job responsibilities listed. If you had full authority to take out and put in anything you want, what are those things?’” she explained.
It allows for her team to continually grow and change. They can face different challenges, learn new things and set original goals. In fact, McGonagle shared she has been surprised by Bucket Exercise requests before, not having known someone was interested in a certain program area until asked.
“If people spent a little more time prioritizing people around them … it ends up paying dividends,” she said. “I think a very large part of my job is about creating the conditions for my staff to be successful and happy. I know it sounds a little trite to say I’m prioritizing my staff’s happiness, but the truth is if they feel challenged, respected and supported, they’re going to do better work, and if they do better work, we’re doing a better job of achieving our mission.” Read it.