Eric Hawkes was named Director of University Recreation at NC State in November 2011 and assumed responsibility of the institution’s recreation and fitness programs, services and facilities designed for 34,000 students and 10,000 faculty, staff and affiliates. Eric leads a staff of 32 professionals and approximately 900 student employees with an annual operating budget of more than $6.3 million.
Hawkes and his team have transformed NC State's recreation, fitness and wellness programs and facilities into one of the nation's finest. Working in partnership with student leaders, Eric and the University Recreation team secured funding and executed several significant facility enhancement projects. Completed in June 2016, the $7.6 million Carmichael Locker Room and Fitness Center Expansion project added 6,000 sq. ft. of much needed strength and conditioning space, updated locker rooms and improved the overall look, feel and navigation of the Carmichael Gym. The $45 million Carmichael Addition & Renovation project is currently in design and is expected to open Fall 2020. The facility will shape the future of wellness on campus by unifying, celebrating and inspiring active lifestyles of the NC State community.
Throughout the past decade, Hawkes has been actively involved in the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) through participation in institutes, workshops and presentations at national, regional and state conferences. Eric currently serves on the NIRSA Services Corporation Board of Directors where his direction guides marketing opportunities for recreation centers and outdoor venues. In 2011, Eric received the NIRSA Region II Award of Merit which recognizes exceptional performance, dedication, creativity and innovation within the profession.
Prior to NC State, Hawkes was the Director of Campus Recreation at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he cultivated a high achieving team of professionals and students dedicated to excellence. Under Hawkes’ leadership, FAU developed and implemented a recreation master plan which included the Recreation & Fitness Center and opened in January 2009. The $18.6 million facility was recognized as a 2011 NIRSA Outstanding Facility of Merit Award winner.
Prior to FAU, Hawkes held several positions at the University of Missouri (Mizzou), which included serving as a member of the design team for the $50 million MizzouRec facility.
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.
Director of Wellness
Heather Sanderson, Ed.D
Wellness and Recreation
Dr. Sanderson joined University Recreation in 2012 as an Associate Director. She currently oversees Assessment and Research, Student Development & Training, Member Services, Marketing and Communication, and Business Operations. She is also an Adjunct Faculty for the Department of Health & Exercise Studies and serves on the DASA Assessment Council.
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.
Wellness and Recreation
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.
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.
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.
Originally from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Stephen received his Bachelors of Science in Sport Management from Slippery Rock University.
Upon completion, he moved south to East Carolina University, working as the Club Sports Graduate Assistant for Campus Recreation & Wellness, while earning a Master of Science in Recreation and Park Management.
Prior to joining NC State University Recreation in August 2015, Stephen was the Assistant Director of Facilities for East Carolina University Campus Recreation & Wellness.
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.
Coordinator, Facility Operations
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 2014 as the Strength and Conditioning Coordinator. He currently holds certifications from ACE, Les Mills, FMS, and the American Red Cross.
Originally from the Pacific Northwest, Leigha Krick joined University Recreation in June of 2016 as the Coordinator for Group Fitness. Prior to moving to Raleigh, Leigha served as the Graduate Assistant for Group Fitness at Washington State University in Pullman, WA. Leigha holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Human Physiology from the University of Oregon and a Master’s Degree in Sport Management from Washington State University.
Leigha is an active member in the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, having presented at several conferences, and served in a number of roles, including service as the Region VI Student Leader and coordinating the 2014 and 2015 Region VI Student Lead On. Leigha is nationally certified through the American Council on Exercise, and American Red Cross.
Coordinator, Strength and Conditioning
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.
Assistant Director, Outdoor Adventures
Nathan Williams joined University Recreation in July of 2015 as the Assistant Director, Outdoor Adventures. In this role, he oversees Outdoor Adventures Trips, the Equipment Rental Center, Climbing Wall, WolfWheels bike rental and repair program, and Wolfpack Bound first-year trips program. Prior to NC State, Nathan served as the Trips Coordinator at UNC Wilmington and was a web developer at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Nathan holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Education from the University of Minnesota Duluth and a Master’s Degree in College Student Affairs Administration from the University of Georgia.
Nathan currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), where he helps advance the outdoor recreation field through increased research and assessment practice. Nathan’s scholarly work focuses on how outdoor recreation benefits students’ leadership development and environmental awareness. He has presented on these topics at numerous national conferences, including the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA), and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).
Erin Daniels joined University Recreation in August of 2015 as the Coordinator, Outdoor Adventures. In this role she manages the day to day operations of Outdoor Adventures Trips, the Equipment Rental Center and the Climbing Wall. Prior to NC State, Erin was a Graduate Assistant at the University of Houston and served as the Interim Assistant Director of Outdoor Programs at Rice University. Erin holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Environmental Studies from Westminster College and a Master’s Degree in Sports and Fitness Administration from the University of Houston.
Erin has been an active member of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) for the past three years, and has attended numerous national, regional, and state conferences. She has presented at the Texas Outdoor Leadership Conference (TOLC), and the Southern Sport Management Conference (SSMC).
Mark joined the University Recreation team in June of 2016 as the Coordinator for Outdoor Adventures. In this role Mark manages the challenge course, climbing wall, and equipment repairs.
Prior to moving to Raleigh, Mark served as the Outdoor Center Graduate Assistant at Georgia College and State University in Milledgeville, GA and as an instructor for the Voyageur Outward Bound School in Ely, MN. Mark holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Outdoor Leadership from North Greenville University and a Master’s Degree in Outdoor Education Administration from Georgia College and State University.
Mark has been an active member of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education, the American Canoe Association, and the Association for Challenge Course Technology. He has presented at the Adventure Education Conference as well as led team building workshops for the National 4-H Conference.
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.
Originally from Somerdale, NJ, Emilie received her Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications from The University of North Carolina at Charlotte. After completing her degree, she moved to Statesboro, GA where she worked as the Sport Clubs Graduate Assistant for Campus Recreation and Intramurals, while earning a Master’s of Education Degree in Higher Education Administration at Georgia Southern University.Prior to joining NC State University Recreation in November 2015, Emilie was the Coordinator for Club Sports at The University of Kansas.
In her spare time, Emilie likes to support the Wolfpack Club Sports and Intramural Teams, play tennis, go to the movies, and spend time with family and friends.
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Nelson Santiago joined University Recreation in February of 2016 as the Coordinator for Sports Programs. Prior to becoming Coordinator for UREC, Nelson served as Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at NC State University. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in Sports and Fitness and Master's in Higher Education from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.
Along with his passion for social justice and student development, Nelson also is in his 13th season officiating NCAA men's basketball and second year in the NBA's Development League.
Training, Development and External Relations
Assistant Director, Training, Development and External Relations
Assistant Director, Training, Development and External Relations
P: (919) 513-3890 email@example.com
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.
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.
Heather joined the Wolfpack in June 2015 as Member Services Coordinator for University Recreation.
Originally from Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, Heather received her Bachelor of Arts degree from James Madison University in 2013. Heather stayed at JMU for graduate school, receiving her Master’s degree in Campus Recreation Leadership in 2015. During this time she worked as the Graduate Assistant for Facility Services.
Heather also completed a summer internship with UCLA Recreation in Facilities and Special Events.
Heather is an active member of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA). She served as the Virginia State Student Leader and has presented at several conferences and Student Lead-Ons since joining the organization in 2012.