The Final Exam is your chance to get advice and insights from experts in the industry. For the November/December 2020 issue, Campus Rec spoke with Tiffany Lomax, the director of Recreation at Colby College.
The summer of my junior year, I chose to study abroad in South Korea, and because I was going to be away for longer than a month, I had to quit my off-campus job. When I returned, I needed a job and I had friends who worked in the recreation department. They seemed to love going to work, so I joined them and started as an intramural ref at Delaware State University. While in that position, I realized I could pursue a career in this industry. As a business major with a concentration in marketing, I wasn’t exactly sure how I would fit in this world of sport. Eventually, I was able to merge my love of sports and my degree as I worked my way through various components of the department.
As the inaugural director, prior to my arrival campus recreation was not a defined department though recreation components have existed on this campus for years. We are currently using those components to build out a robust program to serve the Colby College community in our brand new 350,000-square-foot Harold Alfond Athletics and Recreation Center.
My biggest challenge was realized while applying for jobs in the field of recreation. The challenge was to be seen for my knowledge and abilities before my race or gender. An additional factor was that my experience was based at a Historically Black College or University (HBCU). HBCUs are sometimes viewed as less than when it comes to education and quality.
I would like to believe my biggest accomplishment is the impact I have been able to have on the communities I have had the pleasure to work with. But of course, that’s hard to quantify. So, a more tangible accomplishment would be my current opportunity to serve as a director at the age of 30 years old. It is a position I accepted two days prior to successfully defending my dissertation in pursuit of a Doctorate of Education in Educational Leadership.
The biggest lesson I have learned is to leverage the power of your network. I wouldn’t be where I am today without my network.
One fun fact is I love to travel and experience the world. On these adventures I often take selfies with animals; my favorite thus far has been a selfie with a kangaroo.
EXTRA: Tiffany Lomax shares more of her story in the special feature, “African American Women Leaders in Campus Rec.”