By: Megan Riley
On Oct. 31, former Assistant Director of Campus Recreation Brittanie Naff had her last day at work.
For the last four and a half years, Naff has worked for the department of Campus Recreation as both the assistant director and as a fitness instructor for a variety of group fitness classes.
She has chosen to leave the University to take up a position as the assistant director of Marketing and Memberships at Old Dominion University.
Her departure marks a sad occasion for both employees of Campus Recreation and for students who knew her and enjoyed her fitness classes, but it also presents a problem: how is the department going to operate in the short term without an assistant director?
Naff performed many tasks as the Assistant Director of Campus Recreation. She oversaw many different people and handled duties such as day-to-day operations, staff management, group fitness, maintenance, marketing and memberships.
“It would be impossible to fill in all the gaps because she truly did so much,” said Kelly Shannon, the Director of Campus Recreation. “She did a lot.”
When Naff was hired as the assistant director, she became responsible for overseeing the graduate assistants, facility operations, and the fitness instructors.
According to Facility Supervisor Annie Del Zingaro, a junior elementary education major, Naff was constantly “overseeing us employees, our training, and the facility itself. She was always ensuring that gym operations were running smoothly, our staff were working diligently, our new staff was mentored, our questions were answered, and our ideas were listened to about making the gym a better place.”
According to Shannon, Naff also helped with other daily operations, including maintaining the fitness center and pool facilities and handling scheduling.
As time went on, Naff began to take on more roles like overseeing the group fitness program.
“When Brittanie started, she took over my position as assistant director while I became director,” said Shannon. “She also eventually took over the group fitness program from me and made it leaps and bounds better, increasing the quality and quantity of classes and instructors and increasing overall attendance to the classes themselves.”
In more recent years, according to Shannon, Naff had become engaged with the marketing and memberships aspects of Campus Recreation, becoming the person in charge of the social media and websites associated with the department. She also worked closely with Shannon to implement systems to ensure the sustainability of Campus Recreation if either one of them were unavailable to work for a time or chose to leave their jobs.
“She was a great leader who was organized, knowledgeable and passionate about all areas of Campus Recreation,” said Del Zingaro.
Once she knew that she would be leaving, in the months before her departure, Naff worked closely with Student Coordinators and Graduate Coordinators to implement systems to ensure that they could take over some of her duties and maintain the facility in her absence.
“Myself and a lot of other members of the department are helping out more since [Brittanie’s] departure,” said graduate coordinator of Intramural and Sport Clubs, Carolyn Rouse. “Our professional staff and student coordinators meet every week, so we can all discuss things going on within our specific departments and help each other out. It’s been a great way for us to all help each other out and bounce ideas off each other.”
As of right now, the department of Campus Recreation is operating without an assistant director.
“With COVID going on, the current protocol involving hiring is that departments have to get the President’s approval to post a hiring notice, said Shannon. “So, we have not been able to post a notice yet.”
However, even if everything moves along in a timely manner regarding posting the position, interviewing, and hiring, Campus Recreation might be without an assistant director for a while.
“Even if everything gets approved smoothly, we still will have more than a semester without a new Assistant Director,” said Shannon.
While everyone will miss Naff, they are rooting for her at her new job.
“We are sad to see her go, but her new position sounds perfect for her, and I am so excited to see what she does there,” said Rouse.