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Spring 2014 Intern Blogs

April 1


Laura Berry

Cypress Springs ISD

Administrative Intern to the Athletic Director


Activities  and tasks covered over the month of March, include  working outside with the student's now that the weather has finally warmed up. It has been a little challenging trying to shuffle space and time in the inside weight room as well as on the track due to other sports wanting to begin their training outside as well. Additionally, we have decided to add morning water polo workouts in addition the after school practices.


Other typical tasks such as filing more paperwork for student athletes, as well as tournaments continue.  We also continue to speak to other students who might be interested in joining the club water polo team and swimming, in hopes to grow the team. Additional duties over the course of the month, involve helping coordinate, collecting money, writing up receipts, and turning in money into finance department to be deposited into the water polo account. In regard to my own personal training, I was brought up to speed this week in researching, reviewing, and calculating student athlete's grades to be able to determine if any qualify for academic all-district. We also covered e-school system training, so that I could pull this information from there and notify all pertinent background information needed and required to the correct persons.


I also dedicated some time to cover a new system to me called Rank One, which the school uses to manage the competition schedule, and scores of the multiple sports involved. Furthermore, we covered videos and athlete information uploaded into Hudl so we can review plays. Routine tasks that I continue to be involved in on a daily basis as we move between swimming and water polo workouts in the pool , is the setting up and break down of the lane lines, backstroke flags, water polo goals, a variety of water polo balls, and caps. Furthermore, we completed a design for water polo sweatshirts for the team, collected student t-shirt sizes, and placed the order for the team so that they will look uniform.



Michael Brewster

Blinn College

Spirit Programs Administrative Intern


March was a final push month for many of the projects and events that the Blinn Spirit program were taking part in.  The final games of the men’s and women’s basketball regular season came to a close, as well as the regional tournament the men and women both participated in, and the national tournament that the Lady Bucs went all the way to the Elite Eight in.  Due to budget, the cheer and dance teams were not taken to the regional tournament in Tyler, TX or the national tournament in Kansas.  March was also the month where the National Champions Lady Buccaneers volleyball team had their ring ceremony between a baseball doubleheader. 


Athletics was very busy over the month of May and the spirit squads were busy as well.  The Blinn Cheer team had a show-off in Galveston, Denton, and Brenham Texas during the month in preparation for their trip to Nationals.  The Blinn Treasures Dance team had a competition in Denton, TX and a show-off in Brenham, TX.  Both teams use these show-offs and competitions for recruiting purposes as well as a way to get the squads prepared to perform their nationals routines in front of large crowds.  I was in charge of coordinating this year’s BC Nationals Show-off on March 30 on the Brenham campus.  We hosted the Sam Houston State and Stephen F. Austin cheer and dance teams as well.  This was the first time that the show-off had taken place outside to resemble the atmosphere of the national championship in Florida.  I was able to coordinate set up of a competition floor and sound system out in a corridor of our newest dorm building.  The turnout for this event was standing room only and the publicity the school and spirit programs received was unlike any other year.  T-shirt sales were done at the event as well to fundraise money for nationals expenses for both squads. 


The month of March also included paperwork for the athletic department in the form of travel authorizations and purchase orders, as well as paperwork for the NCA/NDA National Championships that will take place April 9-12 in Daytona Beach, FL.  Paperwork needed for this championship consisted of eligibility for athletes, team history and biography, travel information, and more.  With the season coming to an end, the stakes are high in these closing weeks.  March also saw the conclusion of the 2013-2014 recruit clinics offered by the BC Cheer program.  Tryouts will begin the first weekend of April to begin selecting the 2014-2015 cheer squad.


Erica Cahill

Texas A&M Athletic Department

Student Academic Services Intern


Spring Break was the second week of March and the Men's Basketball team attended the SEC tournament. There was a big push prior to the tournament to ensure that all class work was complete and tests were rescheduled where needed.  It was also midterms and there was a great deal of effort focused on making sure the students were in good academic standing.  We prepared reports for the coaches and other administrators to help evaluate current athlete performance and know where additional resources were needed.  We continued to meet with students to review weekly progress and homework assignments.  Once midterms were over, time was spent with the students to understand what needed to be accomplished for the remaining six weeks of classes to ensure a solid GPA.  


The athletes also needed to prepare to register for next semester's classes, both summer and fall.  Many are taking classes over the summer to get ahead on their studies for the fall and in preparation of next season.  The athletes spend time volunteering at local community centers and in many cases are able to get class credit for their volunteer hours. With basketball season ending, there is a great deal more time dedicated to their studies and additional study halls were added as needed.  I've gotten to know a few of the athletes and it's been fun connecting with them on a more personal level.  They are all motivated and interesting students looking to move forward in their academic and athletic careers.


Rusty Caldwell

SHSU Recreational Sports

Graduate Assistant


“March Madness” is certainly an appropriate label for my past 31 days. As an outgoing graduate assistant, I have a duty and obligation to help organize the search for my replacement. Along with my current duties, this consisted of interviewing several candidates through Skype and on campus visits. The search continues until an offer is given and received but for myself, this was good practice I am entering the next phase for my career and have begun the job search and interview process too. In preparation of applying for jobs, I have met with a mentor of mine to go over what position(s) I am interested in, location of job, how large of a university I would want to work or in, do I realistically qualify for a position, and also the possibility of working in a municipal or community recreation environment. As a member of NIRSA (National Intramural Recreational Sports Association), this is the beginning stage of the job search as most positions start appearing now until mid July so it is important for a job seeking graduate student to start applying early and getting as many interview opportunities as possible. As a young professional, I go into my interviews not just thinking about the near future, but realizing that these employers are also professional colleagues of mine in the same field. We will cross paths again eventually and if we do not, I have had the pleasure of expanding my network.


The first week of March was also hectic for because of the preparation for a regional NIRSA basketball tournament at Texas Christian University (TCU) on the March 7th-9th that I helped served on the official’s committee. With the 2nd week of March consisting of Spring Break for me and a family vacation to the magical kingdom of Walt Disney World, I had to ensure we were ready to leave for the tournament and also ready to for work immediately upon return that Monday after Spring Break. I was fortunate to bring a student official of mine to the tournament. This student has been employed under me for 2 years now and has improved as a basketball official each season and I certainly wanted to reward his effort by offering him a spot if we got permission from the tournament. Now, many of you might ask “why is it important to participate in a weekend basketball tournament with intramural basketball teams from around the region” and the main reason is because of the student development opportunities that exist for both the student staff and participants. For students who compete, the same learning outcomes that exist in their programs at their home institutions still apply to the tournament. Most teams have to budget for this tournament, practice in advance, meet with their intramural director for expectations of behavior and conduct, all which lead towards our goal of influencing students to establish healthy patterns of physical activity while learning how to deal with diversity, social norms, conflict management, teamwork, decision making skills, budgeting and travel planning, etc. Teams put a lot of effort and resources in this tournament and take it seriously. As professional staff members, we have an obligation to provide a quality service and tournament to these students from facility management and hospitality, tournament rules and administrative policies, and quality officiating.


This tournament had over 40 teams that played in a pool play division with the top 2 advancing to a single elimination tournament. Approximately 30 student officials for other intramural programs around Texas and surrounding regions applied to this tournament and only the most experienced ones were allowed to officiate. For student employees who have a shared interest like the professional staff in high school officiating, these tournaments are great experience and learning “seminars” that provide them with hands on feedback, evaluations, and mentoring from experienced basketball officials. As a graduate student and young professional, I also learn a great deal from other experienced individuals that I can utilize for future games myself or even with the development of my own program. Although this is a tiring experience that typically begins with meetings and opening round games that last until 10 or 11pm, Saturday morning from 8am to 10 or 11pm again, with semifinals and championships on Sunday morning-early afternoon usually. We don’t get paid, we simply volunteer because we enjoy the experience and value professional and student development in a recreational sports environment. These skills would be transferable to any career path I choose as I have learned to be a better evaluator of performance, learned how to develop staff member, schedule and coordinate a large sport tournament, obtain sponsors for gear, food, banners, and other sponsorships and more. There are a lot of development opportunities in these tournaments and I have never come back from one wishing I did something else that weekend.


Coming back from a much needed spring break, in addition to my normal day to day operations of the intramural and club sports programs, I oversaw the championship night for intramural basketball which took place in the University’s Johnson Coliseum. I have attended facility meetings to learn more about the personnel staff of our recreation center and the daily issues and planning that go on with that side of our facility. I have been able to provide feedback during those meetings as an outsider in how we operate and what possibilities they could do for their staff. With the limited time I have remaining, learning as much as I can in other areas will only help me with wherever I go. I have also been a part of the planning for the first ever Club Sports Golf tournament, which is a fundraising event for our club sports. We have discussed everything from sponsorship, food, beverage, tee times, number of golfers, prizes, trophies to facility and other amenities contracts. As I am heading down home stretch here at SHSU, I have several phone interviews for prospective employers and even one on campus interview approaching which I have been planning and prepping for. One thing is for sure, I have gained a wealth of knowledge from SHSU and I will take that to wherever I go and make a difference. Thank you for reading!


Michael Morales

Houston Dynamo

Premium Services Ticket Intern


I cannot believe that I am entering into the last month of my internship. Time has truly flown by.  We started out the month with a project that I was heavily involved in.  The Dynamo decided to add a special benefit for season ticket holders that purchased or renewed their tickets 3 weeks before the start of the season.  That benefit was custom nametags that were put on their seats.  The operations staff was charged with applying those 9,000 tags all throughout the stadium.  It’s safe to say that I became very familiar with the BBVA Compass stadium during the week we put them on.  It was a long process, but our hard work paid off once the first game came around.  The season tickets holders really liked them and it was evident by all of their positive postings on social media. 


The first game was held on March 8.  It was not only my first game to work; it was also the first MLS game that I had ever been to and I was not disappointed.  We got to the stadium early to set up promotional areas and locker rooms.  As kick off grew closer the energy in the building began to grow.  Once the gates opened, I handed out giveaways to fans entering through the west club entrance.  During the game, I assisted customer service and answered fans’ questions.  The atmosphere in BBVA is amazing during a game.  The crowd gets involved, especially the Supporters.  Those are the hardcore fans that sit in a bleacher section, jumping up and down, while singing songs throughout the entire game.  The Dynamo scored their first goal one minute into the game and the place went wild!  It ended as a 4-0 win for the Dynamo, a great first game for me.  We went on to the win the next weekend at home as well. 


During those two home games, I have learned a lot about what goes into preparing and putting on a professional soccer game.  There is so much behind the scenes work that goes on to better the fan experience that they do not see.   That work has been worthwhile to see the excitement on their faces.  Our record is currently 2-1 and we face a big test this coming weekend with in state rival FC Dallas coming to town.  I have really enjoyed the season thus far and look forward to an exciting last month.  Go Dynamo!

Mark Piatkowski

Hull-Daisetta ISD

Assistant Athletic Director Intern


The month of March boasted several important events in preparation for the 2014-2015 calendar year at Hull-Daisetta.  Following the new UIL realignment, Hull-Daisetta’s Athletic Department has been working diligently in preparation to compete with the respective schools assigned to the region and district.  As the acting Assistant Athletic Director, several collateral duties have been allocated from Coach Finney (HDISD Athletic Director) in order to stay focused on the current calendar year as well. 


Several athletic activities are in season currently, which yields to duties that must be met in order to achieve the outlined expectations of a successful program.  Junior High and High School track and field, baseball, and softball are concurrently taking place.  The Junior High Boys won their district meet at West Hardin when they competed against schools such as Evadale, Big Sandy, Colmesneil, Sabine Pass, and West Hardin.  The boys had an excellent showing, winning the meet by almost 100 points from the field and running events combined.  Hull-Daisetta High School boy’s track and field has yet to compete for the district championship that will take place on April 9, 2014 at Evadale High School followed by the area finals on April 16, 2014 at Zavalla High School.  Along with track and field events, expense reports in respect to each event or sport must be completed and submitted to the Athletic Director for review.  Expense reports will include any food and beverage services, equipment required, and entry fees that may be assessed prior to each athletic event.


Baseball and softball required a lot of attentional focus the last month because of the preparation needed to each field.  Prior to the season, the baseball and softball fields were both in substandard shape, and each field required funding to meet the demands.  Discretionary purchases for turf supplies, parts for machinery, and fill dirt were ordered to remedy these concerns.  Baseball and softball require effort in maintaining these playing surfaces, which normally is budgeted prior to the beginning of the year; however, Hull-Daisetta ISD allocates a large portion of expenses to football due to the size and impact of the sport geographically.  Baseball and softball expenses for the month of March included uniform and hat orders, tournament fees, food and beverage invoices, and equipment orders such as baseball and softball bats, first basemen’s and catcher’s gloves, and miscellaneous items for field maintenance. 


Compiling budgets for the upcoming year and meeting the operating budget for the current year were priorities in March, but there were other areas of attention to focus on.  Finalizing the schedule for the 2014-2015 Hull-Daisetta Bobcats’ football season and evaluating athletes were a large part of the past month.  Assessing each athlete prior to the beginning of the year extended an opportunity to evaluate progress in each individual toward the end of the year.  Coach Brian Huckabay, a veteran football coach of 30 years and Offensive Coordinator at Hull-Daisetta, has collaborated and worked extensively with the coaching staff to implement and monitor an off-season conditioning program that allows us to evaluate each athlete consistently in order to track improvements.  The regimen constructed by the coaching staff will allow our athletes to compete at their full capacity in pursuit of another potential playoff run in 2014.  The off-season program will lead into spring football training, which combined with resistance and speed training allows for an overall future program improvement. 

The month of April will most likely be similar to March, because the sports currently in-season (track and field, baseball, and softball) will not change.  The planned operating budget for the 2014-2015 school year will be submitted for review to administration and finalized at a later date.  Discretionary spending may encompass more field and equipment supplies, which are weather dependent.  The town has experienced a notable amount of inclement weather over the last month that has become a hindrance to maintaining a playable surface during our home district baseball and softball games.  The Hull-Daisetta baseball and softball programs are both in position to reach the playoffs, which could also extend financial obligations in addition to the already budgeted costs.


Tabitha Radwanski

University of Houston - Clear Lake

Assistant Director of Student Life, Recreation, and Fitness Intern


As a new month began, so did my journey into a full time position.  I mentioned in my previous blog that I was offered the Assistant Director of Student Life, Recreation and Fitness position at the University of Houston-Clear Lake; and of course I accepted it. I know, it sounds like a mouthful.  My first day was just like any other first day: meet with HR, fill out a ton of paperwork, get a tour of the campus and officially meet some higher ups.  As I settled into my new spacious office, I started creating a plan of action for myself and this program.  First and foremost, assess the situation.  I spent pretty much my first week just digging through all the filing cabinets, electronic files, binders, and storage closets just to see what kind of equipment and information I had available.  Next, I really wanted to observe how the staff and program operated before making any changes or suggestions, if they were even necessary.  Which led me to my next step: officially meet my staff.  I set up individually meetings with my staff members to see what they were wanting from our campus recreation program and more importantly, me.  These meetings allowed me to get honest feedback for what events were successful in the past, some ideas on what the staff was looking for from a leader, and suggestions for new ideas. 


Once I was able to see what the program and my staff had to offer, I started brainstorming of things the program needed.  The first item on that list was structure.  The position had been vacant for almost a year, therefore most of the staff had to be on their own.  This allowed for the leaders to emerge, which was great on the student development side of things.  However, this also created a work environment without any true organization and structure.  I did find a brief staff manual that was created by the previous person in this position.  This was a great starting point for me.  After countless hours of discussions with my boss and co-workers, I was able to have an understanding of their policies and procedures.  Those conversations greatly assisted me as I created the first draft of a staff manual.  While it is still being reviewed and edited, the plan is to try and have this ready by the end of the Spring 2014 semester.  Along with a new staff manual, there will be trainings conducted in case of an emergency situation.  These trainings will also include very detailed expectations of what the job is to entail.  I will be sure to keep you informed on how all of these turn out.


Don’t think all I have done for the past month is organize, observe and write a first draft of a manual.  This job has provided me with great opportunities in expanding my knowledge in other areas of campus recreation.  I do have a background in facilities and operations, so I was thrilled to be included on several meetings to discuss two large projects.  First, due to the nature of the student population, our Facilities department is going to pour a six feet by thirty feet slab of concrete to help create a modified cricket pitch.  The second project, is to turn two tennis courts into two basketball courts. 


To top off this past month, we hosted a 3 on 3 Basketball Tournament & Knockout Competition.  This was truly a great time and from the feedback I received, a huge turnout.  While it was the only event we hosted in March, it is not the last for the semester.  I do have several events coming up in April and I cannot wait to tell you how they turned out. Stay tuned and I will fill you in on all the details!



March 2014 Blogs


February 2014 Blogs

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