Heather Sanderson, Ed.D
Business Operations & Administrative
Admin Support Specialist
Admin Support Specialist
Fitness & Wellness
Fitness & Wellness
Fitness & Wellness Outreach
Strength & Conditioning
Marketing & Communications
Marketing & Communications
Eric Hawkes was named Director of University Recreation at NC State in November 2011 and assumed responsibility of the institution’s comprehensive recreation programs, services and facilities designed for 42,000 students, faculty, staff, and affiliates. Eric leads a staff of 28 professionals and approximately 650 student employees with an annual operating budget of more than $5.5 million.
Prior to coming to NC State, Hawkes was the Director of Campus Recreation at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he developed a first-class organization, cultivating a high achieving, results-orientated team of professionals and students dedicated to excellence.
Under Hawkes’ leadership, FAU created a recreation master plan which led to several projects and initiatives. The most significant project, the Recreation & Fitness Center, opened January 2009. The $18.6 million facility was a student-driven initiative designed to enhance the student experience on-campus. The facility was recognized as a 2011 National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) Outstanding Facility of Merit Award winner.
During the past decade, Hawkes has been actively involved in NIRSA by participating in many institutes, workshops and presenting at national, regional and state conferences. Most recently, Eric received the 2011 NIRSA Region II Award of Merit which recognizes exceptional performance, dedication, creativity and innovation within the profession.
Prior to FAU, Hawkes held several positions at the University of Missouri – Columbia, including serving as a member of the design team for the $50 million Student Rec Expansion and Renovation project.
Eric received a Bachelor’s Degree in Recreation and a Master’s Degree in Educational Leadership from the University of Florida.
Hawkes and his wife, Nichole have two children, Hayden and Parker.
Stacy Connell joined the University Recreation team in July 2013 as the Associate Director, Programs here at NC State University. In this role, she oversees the Competitive Sports, Fitness, Outdoor Adventures and Challenge Course areas. Additionally, Stacy leads the student employee training and development program for the department.
Prior to her time at NC State, Stacy worked at the University of Georgia and Texas Christian University overseeing fitness and wellness programs and services. While working at UGA, Stacy had the opportunity to establish and develop marketing as a unit within the Department of Recreational Sports. Notably in 2012, Stacy received the Living the Mission Group Award from the University of Georgia Division of Student Affairs for her contributions in the development of innovative student learning programs and manager trainings. In 2008, Stacy received the Outstanding Achievement Award from the Texas Christian University Division of Student Affairs attributed to her work in developing the employee wellness program for the university, serving as an advisor for an alternative spring break trip and assisting in the facilitation of a first-year experience trip for incoming freshmen.
Stacy holds a Master’s Degree in Kinesiology from the University of Georgia and a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Florida State University.
She currently serves on the NIRSA Health and Wellbeing Commission and the NIRSA Research and Assessment Committee.
She has been a presenter and invited speaker for many state, regional, and national conferences and has been an AFAA and ACE continuing education provider. Her experience expands into the classroom with teaching a variety of courses at multiple institutions to include biomechanics, exercise instruction, exercise prescription and wellness.
Prior to her arrival, she was the Assistant Director of Fitness at The University of North Carolina at Greensboro for 11 years in which she directed the fitness program and facilities, department marketing and communication and assessment. She chaired and served on the university employee wellness council and SACS university department reviews, as well as orchestrated facility needs assessments and capital advancement projects.
She received her Doctoral in Education degree in Kinesiology at UNCG in 2008. Her research interest focuses on the co-curricular experience and andragogy in kinesiology.
She has received numerous honors including the University of West Florida Outstanding Alumni Award, NIRSA Creative Excellence Award, NSCA National Researcher Award, and UNCG Graduate Teaching Award.
She received her Master of Science in Health and Exercise Science at The University of West Florida and her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at the University of Arkansas.
Jason began his career at NC State in August 2003, holding both the Coordinator and Assistant Director positions in the Intramural Sports program. In January of 2013, Spivey shifted from the Associate Director of Programs to the Associate Director, Facilities and Resource Management. Additionally, he served as the Interim Director of University Recreation from July to November of 2011. Jason has been a part of a number of university committees and work groups and most recently served as the departmental liaison for the Recreational Sports Master Plan.
During his professional career, Spivey has been actively involved in NIRSA by participating in many institutes, workshops and presenting at national, regional and state conferences. Most recently, Jason was re-elected to serve his second term as the North Carolina Recreational Sports Association’s State Director.
This native North Carolinian received his Bachelor’s Degree in Geography and his Master’s Degree in Management of Recreation and Facility Services from East Carolina University.
Jessi got her start in campus recreation during freshman year within aquatics, fitness, intramurals, and outdoor recreation at Western Carolina University then went on to complete a capstone internship in campus recreation at the University of Massachusetts Lowell. She then headed to the University of Tennessee to complete her graduate assistantship as well as completing a master’s internship at the NIRSA National Center in Corvallis, Oregon. Next, she headed to the University of Southern Mississippi where she created the Southern Miss Outdoor Program and served as the Assistant Director of Aquatics and Outdoors. In March of 2013 she joined the University Recreation team at NC State as the Assistant Director, Aquatics which oversees the Carmichael Aquatic Center as well as Health and Safety Programming.
Jessi earned her B.S. in Parks and Recreation Management from and her M.S. in Recreation Administration. She has centered her research and passion on Campus Recreation and NIRSA and has had several opportunities to serve on various committees and work teams, including chairing the Career Opportunities Center Committee since 2011.
Edna graduated from NC State with a degree in Business Administration with HR Concentration. After several years in staffing at a temporary agency, she returned to NC State and began working with University Recreation. In her spare time, she enjoys photography and spending time with her husband and three children.
Admin Support Specialist
Victoria joined the University Recreation team in June 2013 as the newest member of the business team. If you're applying for a student position with URec, there's a good chance you'll find your way to her office. Previously, she was the Receptionist and Administrative Assistant to the CFO at Saint Mary's School in Raleigh after spending 5 years at the Department of Public Instruction assisting math and science consultants.
Born and raised right in the Raleigh area, Victoria prides herself on being a true North Carolinian. She received a bachelor's of fine arts degree in Dance Education at East Carolina University.
In her spare time, Victoria enjoys volunteering at her church and in the community, attending hockey games and cheering on the 'Canes, planning danceSPARK activities for the annual SPARKcon festival in downtown Raleigh, reading, running and spending time with her husband.
Nicole joined the University Recreation team in 2008. In 2010, she received the University Award for Excellence for her contributions in Human Relations. Nicole has more than 15 years of experience in Higher Education in a variety of different roles. Before moving to North Carolina, she gained experience in business, customer service management and database applications at Virginia Commonwealth University. Nicole received her Bachelor of Science in Psychology and her Master of Science in Criminal Justice from VCU.
Nicole and her husband David have been married for 10 years. She enjoys spending time with her husband, two small children and extended family and friends as well as traveling to the NC and SC beaches.
Admin Support Specialist
Jason has been part of the University Recreation team since June 2010. He received both of his degrees in Outdoor Education. Jason has been high involved with the Association of Challenge Course Technology and is currently a challenge course practitioner certification trainer tester. Jason enjoys flyfishing in his free time.
Mary received her Bachelor's degree in Business Management and Master's degree in Parks, Recreation Tourism Management from NC State University. After working as a graduate assistant with NC State University Recreation, Mary began working as a professional in the Fall of 2007. In 2011, she received the University Award for Excellence for her passion and contributions in student development.
Dan joined the NC State University Recreation team in June 2010. He graduated with a bachelors from Florida State University and masters from the University of Iowa. In his spare time, he enjoy sports, movies, and anything that involves adventure.
Ben holds Bachelor's degrees in Sports Management and Journalism at Ohio University and a Master's degree in Sport Management at the University of Florida. Before joining NC State University in June 2014, Ben served as a Competitive Sports Graduate Assistant at the University of Florida Department of Recreational Sports.
Sadat attended Northeastern University where he received his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice. Sadat then had a short stint with MIT Recreational Sports before joining Sun Devil Fitness at Arizona State University as the Coordinator of Facility Operations for 5 years. He also earned his Master’s Degree in Higher and Post-Secondary Education during his time in Tempe.
Sadat joined the Wolfpack in June 2013 and now oversees the Events, Facility Operations, and Equipment Room teams as the Assistant Director of Operations at University Recreation.
Sadat is active within the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and has served on several tournaments and Student Lead-On conferences. Sadat is currently the Director of Operations for the NIRSA National Soccer Tournament, as well as a member on the NIRSA Leadership Commission.
Kirk has been a NIRSA member since 2012. During his time with NIRSA, Kirk has served as the Student State Representative in 2012 and has attended many conferences
Joni graduated from NC State with a degree in Communications. After working for various non-profit organizations and large corporations, she returned to NC State in 2006. She enjoys reading, movies and the theater. She also enjoys spending time on the soccer fields with her two children.
Originally from Mentor, Ohio, Whitney attended The Ohio State University where she received a Bachelor’s Degree in Education. From Buckeye nation, Whitney moved on to Rocky Top where she earned a Master’s Degree in Sports Management from the University of Tennessee.
Whitney became a member of the Wolfpack in November 2011 as the Member Services Coordinator. In April 2013, she officially transitioned into her current role as the Facility Operations Coordinator. Whitney is responsible for the leadership of the Facility Operations student team in addition to the day to day operations of Carmichael Complex.
Whitney is a past recipient of the William N. Wasson Student Leadership and Academic Award presented by the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and the J. Michael Dunn Region III Lead On Conference Scholarship presented by the Ohio Recreational Sports Association (ORSA) in 2009.
Fitness and Wellness
Nick joined the University Recreation team at NC State in April 2014 as the Assistant Director, Fitness & Wellness.
Prior to NC State, Nick served as a Coordinator in Fitness & Wellness at both Auburn University and Drexel University. In addition to his experience in collegiate recreation, Nick spent nine years (2000-2009) in the U.S. Army and the Army Reserve and is an Operation Iraqi Freedom (OIF) Veteran.
A native of New York, he received a B.S.Ed. from SUNY Cortland and holds two Master's degrees, an M.S. in Kinesiology and Health Promotion from the University of Kentucky and an M.Ed. in Sport Administration from Xavier University. He currently holds certifications from NSCA, NASM, AFAA, and the American Red Cross.
Nick and his wife Jenn live in Cary and enjoy spending time with their dog, Meekah.
Fitness & Wellness Outreach
A native of Erie, PA, Julia earned a B.S. in Exercise Science and her start in collegiate recreation from The University of South Florida. After graduation, she moved on to the University of Kentucky where she received a M.S. in Kinesiology and Health Promotion, and is currently finishing up a Ph.D. in Educational Leadership. While at UK, she completed a graduate assistantship in fitness, and later oversaw wellness programs, special events, and the operations of a satellite fitness center.
Julia joined the Wolfpack community in June 2014 as the Fitness & Wellness Outreach Coordinator, and is responsible for creating programs for both students and employees on campus. She also serves on the planning committee for the Wood Wellness Village. Julia is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES) and ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, and holds other certifications through the NSHC, AFAA and American Red Cross.
Strength and Conditioning
Originally from Richmond, Virginia, Will received a Bachelors of Science from Virginia Tech in Human, Nutrition, Foods, and Exercise with an emphasis on Exercise and Health Promotion. After taking a year off from higher education and serving as the Front Desk Manager at the Midlothian Athletic Club in Richmond, Va, he accepted the Graduate Assistant of Fitness position at Virginia Tech. In December 2013 Will received a Masters of Arts in Instructional Technology.Will joined the University Recreation team at NC State in May 2015 as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. He currently holds certifications from ACE, Les Mills, FMS, and the American Red Cross.
Brittany is originally from Montoursville, Pennsylvania, and finished her Bachelor's Degree in Kinesiology at The Pennsylvania State University. Post-graduation, she worked as the Assistant Fitness Coordinator for the Penn State Fitness program. After one year in this position, she decided to attend James Madison University for the Campus Recreation M.S. program. During her time at JMU, she worked as the Graduate Assistant for Group Fitness and Wellness.
Brittany started her Wolfpack journey in June 2013 as the Fitness Coordinator. She stays current in the fitness trends as an ACE Group Fitness Instructor, ACSM Health Fitness Specialist, ACE Health Coach, and a NETA National Presenter. She is passionate about student development and fitness education. In her free time, she enjoys tennis, yoga, and cooking.
Marketing and Communication Specialist
Originally from South Florida, Adam recieved his Bachelors of Fine Arts Degree with an emphasis in Graphic Design from the University of Central Florida. Upon completion, he accepted a Graduate Assistantship at Georgia Southern University, working as a Marketing Graduate Assistant for Campus Recreation and Intramurals, and earned a Masters of Education Degree in Higher Education Adminstration.
Prior to arriving at NC State University in August 2013, Adam was the Assistant Director of Marketing for Auburn University Campus Recreation.
In his spare time, Adam enjoys watching sports, playing music and staying active.
Originally from western New York, Judy received the majority of her art and design education from the University of New York at Fredonia. Now an alumni of North Carolina State University, Judy graduated with her Bachelors degree in Art Studies focusing on Visual Arts in December 2013.
Judy began working for NC State University in June 2014. She works with the marketing team as a Graphic Designer and is responsible for creating visual elements used for promotion of the university’s recreation program.
Along with her passion for Design, Judy’s other interests include traveling, outdoor actives, cooking, and music.
David grew up in Wisconsin where he received a bachelor's degree in Business Management from the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire and a master's degree in Recreation Management from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. David has worked with University Recreation since June of 2010 and enjoys creating opportunities for students to discover the great outdoors through adventure education.