BLACKSBURG, Va., May 5, 2009 – Jennifer Rezac, assistant director of intramural sports and technology at Virginia Tech, was recognized at the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Annual Conference in Charlotte, N.C., in April for her contributions to the Virginia Tech Recreational Sports department.
Rezac received the Virginia Recreational Sports Association (VRSA) Award of Merit, after being nominated by Benjamin Smith, coordinator of intramural sports at Virginia Tech. The VRSA Award of Merit is presented to “recognize the outstanding contribution, involvement, and exceptional performance of an individual professional member within his/her respective campus recreation department as well as on a state or national basis within the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA).”
Rezac was nominated in recognition of innovative ideas, leading to the growth of Virginia Tech Recreational Sports. Rezac has redesigned the way the department functions by developing new technologies. Online registration pages, which create convenience for students, and database formatting, which increases the efficiency of the department, are examples of the ways her technological contributions have increased the productivity of the department.
In 1996, Rezac created the University Sports Officials Association at Virginia Tech. This organization has provided an opportunity for many students to advance their skills as game officials, and has provided a pipeline for game officials to work at the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. Rezac has also encouraged the association to become involved in community service projects, such as helping with the local Special Olympics. Two scholarships have been established by the association for deserving members in order to pursue careers within the field of recreational sports and related professions.
As the direct supervisor of seven graduate assistants over the past years, Rezac has been supportive of students by furthering their careers in recreational sports. Five of her seven graduate students have chosen to stay full-time in recreational sports or parks and recreation. She has also helped undergraduate students discover their potential by helping them obtain graduate assistantships or a full-time job upon graduation.
In addition to her work at Virginia Tech, she also officiates Women’s Division I College Basketball, under the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). In March, Rezac had the opportunity to officiate in the March Madness women’s tournament. Out of 1,000 eligible officials, she was chosen as one of 96 to officiate in the tournament. Her biggest game was No. 5 seed, the University of Tennessee versus No. 12 seed, Ball State.
Ball State had the biggest upset of the tournament, handing Tennessee their first-ever loss in the first round of the March Madness tournament. Rezac notes that her experience with officiating games of this magnitude is directly used to benefit her students back at Virginia Tech; she uses the situations and experiences gained to better prepare her student intramural officials.
“Jennifer has devoted the last 12 years of her life to improving the intramural program and Recreational Sports as a whole at Virginia Tech. Her devotion to students continues to improve the lives of every student who interacts with Recreational Sports. She is an excellent example of an individual who strives to do what is right and fair for everyone, both students and professional staff. She has and will continue to represent what this award stands for throughout her career at Virginia Tech,” said Smith.