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 September 2005 • NIRSA news and information
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Ceremony opens National Research Institute

National Research Institute

Research Institute Advisory Board members and guests prepare to cut the ribbon at the ceremony: Kathleen Hill, Barbara Wharton, Constance Boehm, J. Michael Dunn, Danell Haines, Zane Fry (Chair, University Recreational Sports Committee, The Ohio State University), Fred Beekman (Director Emeritus, Department of Recreational Sports, The Ohio State University), Mary Daniels, Tamara Garstka, Tiffany Lundy, Sid Gonsoulin, Paul Milton, Brian Turner, Kent Blumenthal.

At an August 2 ceremony touted by Kent Blumenthal, NIRSA Executive Director, as "a seminal event," the National Research Institute for College Recreational Sports & Wellness, in Partnership with NIRSA, was formally opened in The Ohio State University's new Recreation and Physical Activity Center (RPAC). The ribbon-cutting ceremony assembled all members of the Research Institute's Advisory Board, whose concurrent two-day meeting agenda addressed final details on the partnership between NIRSA and OSU.

"This is an exciting day for those touched by college recreational sports," Danell Haines, Institute Director, said of the opening ceremony. "The Research Institute will provide the infrastructure needed to conduct, report, and teach research skills. Furthermore, the Institute will provide data needed to defend recreational sports' existence, align for further growth, and to make superior decisions regarding programs, services, and facilities. Ultimately this will lead to an enhanced quality of life for those involved in college recreational sports."

The mission, vision and values of the Institute have been established as follows:

Mission: The mission of the National Research Institute for College Recreational Sports & Wellness is to foster and facilitate interdisciplinary and collaborative research, provide educational research services, and to develop data sharing processes directed toward optimizing college recreational and wellness pursuits.

Vision: The Research Institute will provide services aimed at building research capacity within College Recreational Sports and Wellness. Building research capacity is a process of individual and institutional development that leads to higher skills and greater ability to perform useful research.

Values: The Research Institute values:

  • Multi-disciplinary and multi-center research.
  • Building sustaining relationships with units on and off campus.
  • Developing research, publishing, and presenting skills in college recreational sports and wellness professionals and future professionals.
  • Developing processes that will assist in disseminating college recreational sports and wellness data among others involved as well as interested in the higher education experience.
  • Taking advantage of cutting-edge technology and creative thinking to meet the ever-changing needs of higher education and participants.

The Advisory Board members will serve renewable, two-year, staggered and rotating-year terms, with the following administrative model: the Board will consist of six members from OSU and five members from NIRSA, plus one ex officio member (NIRSA Executive Director). NIRSA representatives will include a member of the Board of Directors, the Journal Editor, a Past President, two Members at Large and the Executive Director. OSU's contingent will include the Director of Recreational Sports, the Research Institute Director, the Director of the Student Wellness Center, a Student Affairs Representative, a Physical Activity & Educational Services faculty member, and one other OSU faculty member.

The first Research Institute Advisory Board members have been installed as follows. OSU members are: Danell Haines, PhD, Assistant Director, Department of Recreational Sports; J. Michael Dunn, CRSS, Director, Department of Recreational Sports; Connie Boehm, Director, Student Wellness Center; Barbara Wharton, Office of Student Affairs; Brian Turner, PhD, Physical Activity & Educational Services; Kathleen Hill, PhD, Research Institute for Sport & Citizenship; and Mary Daniels, PhD, CRSS, Faculty Representative.

NIRSA will be represented by: Gerry Maas, PhD, CRSS, Director, Health, Safety, and Transportation, Wyoming Department of Education; Sid Gonsoulin, CRSS, Associate Vice President of Student Affairs and Executive Director of Recreational Sports, University of Southern Mississippi; Paul Milton, PhD, Director, Student Recreation & Wellness Center, Kent State University; Tamra Garstka, CRSS, Director, Student Recreation Complex, Arizona State University; Tiffany Lundy, Physical Activity & Recreational Services, University of Oregon; and Kent Blumenthal, PhD, CAE, CRSS, NIRSA Executive Director.

Sarah Jane Hubert, NIRSA's Communications Specialist and Editor, will serve as the NNC liaison. As the Research Institute receives requests for assistance, a staff of graduate assistants will help with design for studies, plans for research methodology, and suggestions for data collection. NIRSA Member Institutions and Associate Members will receive these services at a significantly reduced cost.

For more information, visit the Research Institute's Web site.

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