February 16, 2009

SIUC student is one of 12 in nation to win award

by Christi Mathis

Amanda D. Drawve

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Amanda D. Drawve is the recipient of a very select honor in the world of recreational sports.

The Southern Illinois University Carbondale graduate student and graduate assistant is one of just 12 graduate student winners nationwide of the William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award for 2009 from the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association.

The award recognizes outstanding undergraduate and graduate students employed by or participating in college or university recreational sports organizations. Drawve is one of just two graduate students winning the Wasson award from Region III, which includes Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Indiana and Ohio. There are six regions within NIRSA.

Drawve, who is from Springfield, is a six-year employee of Recreational Sports and Services (RSS) at SIUC. She’s held a number of positions within the department and currently is the facilities graduate assistant.

“I love working in campus recreation,” Drawve said. She said she was “kind of shocked” to learn she’d won the award, thinking she didn’t have much of a chance, but is quite happy and looking forward to the conference and her first trip to North Carolina.

The late Wasson was instrumental in organizing NIRSA, then known as the National Intramural Association, in the 1950s. The organization now includes more than 4,000 members from more than 700 universities, public park and recreational districts, correctional facilities, military installations, non-profit organizations and private companies. Drawve will receive her William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award April 3 at the annual NIRSA Conference in Charlotte, N.C.

The daughter of Gary and Pam Drawve, Amanda also earned accolades last fall as the RSS Leadership Team Employee of the Month for September 2008. Drawve earned her bachelor’s degree in health care management at SIUC in 2007 and is wrapping up her master’s in community health education. After graduating in May, she intends to pursue a career in the field of campus recreation.

Drawve manages all facility student staff members at the recreation center, about 90 student employees in all, and she and those staff members interact with about 700,000 visitors at the center annually, according to Corné Prozesky, assistor director of facilities for RSS.

“Amanda’s demeanor and behavior are exemplary and set an example for all to follow,” Prozesky said. “She is always ready to help with special events and is at all times ready to lend a hand in all areas of need. She is active in numerous student organizations including Illinois Intramural Recreational Sports Association, Eta Sigma Gamma (health education honor society), National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, Student Healthcare Management Association (as treasurer), Lifeguard Club, SIUC Leadership Council, SIUC Officials Club, RSS Leadership Team, RSS Staff Search Committee and as an orientation leader, to name a few. Volunteerism is alive with Amanda.”

He also noted, however, that academics are a high priority for Drawve as well.

“Her academic success and 3.9 GPA on a 4.0 scale combined with her other experiences make her a model for other students to emulate,” Prozesky said. He said Drawve has earned several scholarships and is very active in various organizations, attending state and national conferences “to educate herself on the latest trends and behaviors in the recreational field and brought back the knowledge for our SIUC students.”

“Her honors are many and as she’s received recognition for what she accomplishes, yet she remains always humble,” Prozesky added. “Amanda has been instrumental in recruiting, developing and mentoring many here at SIUC. Her role in RSS transcends employment and is positive, contagious with all participants and staff. We are very fortunate and privileged to be working with Amanda.”