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RecSports worker receives national recognition

| Tuesday, February 3, 2015

The National Intramural Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) announced that RecSports student staffer and senior Jaclyn Paul received the 2015 NIRSA William N. Wasson Student Leadership & Academic Award on Tuesday evening.

“The award is … the highest award that a student [involved in recreational programs] can receive,” RecSports director Mark Williams said. “The award recognizes students who are employed by recreational sports departments and display outstanding leadership, academic prowess, a superior work ethic and are involved in service to their community. This award recognizes the whole person — their mind, body and spirit — and Jaclyn Paul is the epitome of all of these qualities.”

Paul said the award recognizes not only her work on behalf of Notre Dame RecSports but esteems the University’s entire program.

“When I learned that I received this award, I was very honored,” Paul said. “I have been involved with RecSports almost my entire time here at Notre Dame, and I know first hand how hard everyone in the RecSports department works.

“… My excitement in receiving the award is because it speaks to the entire RecSports department.”

Williams said that this recognition is especially noteworthy because Paul is the first Notre Dame student to receive this award.

“Jackie being the first from the University of Notre Dame to receive this NIRSA award will open the door to more of our students and staff in RecSports to be recognized for the outstanding work they do every day,” Williams said. “Nominating people for awards like this is a very sincere way to say thank you for what you do for Notre Dame and RecSports, and that we truly care about you and what you do for others.”

According to RecSports assistant director David Brown, Paul is a sociology major with a 3.78 GPA and is the president of the Waterski Club, a starter for the women’s club soccer team and works as a desk attendant at the Rockne Memorial Gym.

“More importantly, and what is missing from that list, is mention of Jackie’s personality and character,” Brown said. “Among her many truly outstanding attributes, what makes Jackie such a valuable member of our staff is her kindness and compassion. Students appreciate that they have an advocate who will do all that is possible to assist them.”

Brown said Paul’s positive qualities are evident are practiced far beyond her on-campus commitments. Paul taught second grade homeschool and tutored mathematics in Komga, South Africa, as part of Notre Dame’s International Summer Service Learning Program in 2013, Brown said.

“We are more than a little excited, not only because of the magnitude of the award and its impact on our RecSports program, but more so because of the character of the recipient,” Brown said. “On the day it was announced, the entire RecSports staff gathered in our conference room to congratulate Jackie and celebrate the occasion.”

According to the NIRSA website, the award will be presented at the NIRSA Annual Conference and Recreational Sports Expo in Grapevine, Texas, on March 30-April 2.

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About Rachel O'Grady

Rachel O'Grady is a senior Political Science major living in Ryan Hall. She most recently served as Assistant Managing Editor. Hailing from Chicago (actual Chicago, not the suburbs) she's been a Cubs fan since birth.

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