August 20, 2018  

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Southern Miss Student Elected National Representative for Rec Sports Association

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Erica Estes

Erica Estes, a graduate student pursing a master’s degree in sports management at The University of Southern Mississippi, was elected as the National Student Leader for NIRSA: Leaders in Collegiate Recreation. She also serves as graduate assistant for facilities and fitness in the recreational sports department.

Estes was selected through a rigorous nomination and voting process with fellow NIRSA student members and will represent nearly 1,600 students nationwide regarding member network initiatives. The National Intramural Recreational Sports Association is the premier higher education association of leaders in collegiate recreation with a membership base of more than 5,000 members. 

In this position, Estes will serve as a leader to the entire student membership and potential new student members of NIRSA. She will help establish and set student goals and initiatives in conjunction with the student leadership team. She will help maintain a working relationship and constant communication with the regional representatives and the regional student leaders in an effort to create synergies among the regions.

Her position will identify and communicate with the member network board of director’s representative regarding potential initiatives and issues to be addressed by the NIRSA Board of Directors. She will also submit a report prior to the organization’s annual conference regarding student accomplishments, issues and initiatives that will be shared with the member network and NIRSA Board of Directors. Other duties include, assisting the state student leaders, coordinating the NIRSA mentoring program and creating student newsletters for review by the entire student membership.

When notified of her selection, Estes said, “Having the opportunity to serve as the NIRSA student leader for the 2015-2016 year is such a blessing. I am truly honored to serve amongst the strongest professionals within the field of collegiate recreation. It is a real testament to the mentors that I had during my undergraduate experience at James Madison University and to my current support system at The University of Southern Mississippi. Mentors of these institutions have encouraged me to step beyond my comfort zone to fully reach my potential.”  

Estes’ experience within campus recreation began in 2011 as a freshman at James Madison University. After working as an informal recreation assistant, Estes became an operations supervisor. Her growth in this position served to ignite her passion for campus recreation. She immediately began attending NIRSA conferences in pursuit of increased knowledge and experiences. Because of the interest in student empowerment and development, Estes also served as an engagement coordinator at James Madison University.

“Southern Miss is especially fortunate to have someone of Erica’s caliber representing us on a national level,” said Sid Gonsoulin, associate vice president for student affairs and former director of recreational sports. 

Estes is the daughter of Mike and Pam Estes from Bridgewater, Va.