During the January 17 episode, host Tony Doody, Senior Director of Student Engagement at Rutgers University, spoke about the latest research and best practices in campus wellbeing with Dr. George Brown, Assistant Vice Provost in the Office for Student Affairs at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities; Pam Watts, NIRSA Executive Director; and Chris Wise, Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs at Virginia Tech.
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Tony DoodyTony Doody has over 25 years of practical experience and oversight in senior leadership positions within the Higher Education industry in the areas of Facilities Management, New Student Orientation, Recreation, Parent and Family Programs, Leadership and Training, Marketing and Communications, Adult Learning, and Major Events and Programs. He currently serves as the Director of Student Centers at the University of Delaware. Over the last six years, Tony has presented at over thirty universities and national conferences on topics of innovation, digital leadership, technology, and unconventional leadership. He received the Diamond Honoree Award from the ACPA Foundation, the highest honor of the American College Personnel Association, recognizing transformative contributions to the field (2017) and earned NASPA's 2017 Technology Emerging Practice Award. In addition, Tony has worked over 20 years as a consultant in the areas of executive coaching, leadership development, presentation skills, risk-taking, innovation, social media, conflict resolution, and team cohesiveness. Past clients include J&J, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Vistakon, Navigant, Janssen Pharmaceuticals, United Way, Merrill Lynch, Tumi International, and Aventis Pharmaceuticals.
Pam Watts is the Executive Director for NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. A former CPA, Pam joined NIRSA in 2000 and in her tenure with the Association she served primarily as NIRSA’s second-in-command until assuming the Executive Directorship in early 2012. Pam was a key contributor to the Association’s transition to a ‘Future First’ governance model and establishment of a credential for collegiate recreation. She directs the staff team at NIRSA HQ, fosters external relationships for the association, and works closely with NIRSA, NIRSA Foundation, and NIRSA Services Corporation Boards of Directors to actuate the aligned strategic plan of all three entities in service to members.
Pam is a Certified Association Executive and, in her role fostering external relationships for the Association, she currently serves as the Past Chair of the Council for Higher Education Management Association’s Steering Committee; as a member of the American Council on Exercise’s Industry Advisory Panel; and as a Board Member and Treasurer for the National Coalition for Promoting Physical Activity.
Dr. George M. Brown has served within Student Affairs and Collegiate Recreation and Wellness for 33 years. He received his Bachelor of Arts in Business Administration in 1982 from Trinity University and his Master of Arts in Health, Physical Education and Recreation in 1983 from Miami University. He completed his Ph.D. in Health Education and Health Promotion in 2010 from The University of Alabama. He has served in many leadership areas and presented on numerous occasions within NIRSA (National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation) and is a current and active member of the ACHA (American College Health Association) and NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators). During his time at The University of Alabama he served on the Student Affairs Executive Council at chaired the Student Health Advisory Committee over multiple years.
He currently serves as an Assistant Vice Provost in the Office for Student Affairs and is on Leadership team for the Division as well as Director of University Recreation and Wellness at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities (UMTC). His research interest is physical activity and holistic wellness among college students. He has held adjunct appointments within the College of Human Environmental Sciences as well as the College of Education at The University of Alabama. At UMTC he oversees and directs a comprehensive University Recreation and Wellness department with 64 full and part-time staff in addition to over 800 student employees. University Recreation and Wellness at The University of Minnesota-Twin Cities annually serves over 65% of the campus community and realizes over 1.3 million annual visits to all facilities.
Chris Wise has been at Virginia Tech since 1987, when he was a graduate student serving as a graduate assistant in Recreational Sports. He has held multiple positions during his time at Virginia Tech including a long tenure as the Director of Recreational Sports. As Assistant Vice President for Student Affairs, Chris provides leadership to the following departments with a primary goal of integrating health and wellness into the everyday culture of Virginia Tech: Cook Counseling Center, Hokie Wellness, Recreational Sports, Schiffert Health Center, and Services for Students with Disabilities. These departments encompass more than 750 employees with operating budgets in excess of $25 million. Resource development and management has been a hallmark of Chris’ long tenure at Virginia Tech. He has initiated a variety of building projects related to health and wellness, has developed numerous new income streams, and has grown staffing in thoughtful and efficient ways to provide needed programs and facilities while respecting the cost of education. During his years as director of Recreational Sports, Virginia Tech was twice named the nation’s fittest college by The Active Times.
Chris looks for opportunities to continue to learn. He is actively involved with NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation as well as NASPA—Student Affairs Administrators in Higher Education. He has served a two-year term as NIRSA Virginia State Director and is a graduate of the NIRSA School of Recreational Sports Management and the NIRSA Executive Institute. He is also a graduate of the Academy for Leadership Excellence at Virginia Tech and the Virginia Tech Executive Development Institute.
Chris developed a passion for sports at a very early age and it led him from being a college athlete at Newberry College in South Carolina where he received his under graduate degree in Physical Education to a career in health and wellness with a student affairs twist. At a time when Chris was undecided about what his career path might be, he was introduced to Virginia Tech’s Division of Student Affairs, where he now prides himself on providing health and wellness programs that allow students to find their career passion while pursuing a life of well-being.