MIRSA State Conference – Recap

The 2017 MIRSA State Workshop was hosted by Michigan State University on November 9-10.  This year’s workshop theme was “Illuminating Recreation, Sports, and Student Well-being.”  There were approximately 90 individuals in attendance of which 25 were students and 65 were professional members.  The workshop took place in the Breslin Center, where the men’s and women’s Spartan basketball teams call home.  MSU hosted a post-conference Unified basketball event to wrap up the state workshop.  It was also announced at the workshop that the 2018 MIRSA State Workshop will be hosted by the University of Michigan.

Each year at the state workshop three individuals are presented with the association’s top awards.  Those award winners this year are as follows:

  • Justine Morneau (Western Michigan University) – Robert W. England MIRSA Outstanding Student Award
  • Bill Singleton (Oakland University) – Dr. Michael J. Stevenson MIRSA Outstanding Service Award
  • Marie VanBuskirk (Oakland University) – Dr. Tom R. Jones MIRSA Outstanding Member Award

The Scholarship and Awards Committee raised about $1,000 with their silent auction and were able to award $2,500 in scholarships to 12 MIRSA members.  Three MIRSA members were newly elected to serve on the executive board.  On May 1, 2018, MIRSA will have the following governance structure: State Director – Andy Boehnlein (University of Michigan), State Director Elect – Bill Singleton (Oakland University), Treasurer – Margie Wallington (Central Michigan University), and Past State Director – Darin Leigh (Western Michigan University).  The student leader for that term will be decided in the spring.

One of the top presentations from the workshop was titled, “Resolving Conflict Restoratively,” and was presented by Rick Shafer, Associate Director of Student Life, at Michigan State University.  The session introduced restorative justice as a philosophy and how the use of restorative practices can improve the experience for participants, student staff, and administrators.  Another top presentation titled, “There vs. Being There,” was presented by Sarah Button, Assistant Director of Marketing, Sponsorship, and Academic Programs, at the University of Michigan and Carlie Morrow and Jessica Glick – both Student Marketing Coordinators at the University of Michigan.  They led a discussion based around our ever-changing relationship with social media, technology, and those around us.