Service is a pillar of Katelyn Voorhees’ background.

When she was young, she volunteered with her grandfather at a local air force base growing up in Florida. Fast forward to 2017, and that mindset hasn’t changed much for Campus Recreation’s graduate assistant for operations.

Voorhees was elected as a volunteer student leader for Region II of NIRSA — the national leader in collegiate recreation — and is currently serving a term that runs through the end of April 2018. She is one of eight students elected to the leadership program within the NIRSA Member Network.

“Katelyn is a truly valued leader of our association; we know that her contributions and volunteer service on the 2017-18 Member Network will make an exemplary impact on both NIRSA and Clemson University,” said Pam Watts, NIRSA executive director.

In her role, Voorhees helps facilitate opportunities for leadership and involvement for members of NIRSA, the primary vehicle for regional communications, constituent representation, networking and professional development in the field of collegiate recreation.

A second-year graduate student pursuing a master’s degree in counselor education with an emphasis in Student Affairs, Voorhees has gained plenty of experience already in facilitating opportunities for employees at Clemson.

“I have a hand in all student hirings and evaluations with our climbing wall specialists, lifeguards and operations assistants,” Voorhees said. “I help serve as a resource for our student employees in those areas.”

Haley Cox and Katelyn Voorhees of Campus Recreation

Voorhees works with her supervisor, Haley Cox, inside Fike Recreation Center.
Image Credit: Ashley Jones

Voorhees first gained an interest in Clemson after meeting her current supervisor, Haley Cox, at a regional NIRSA conference. Voorhees grew up with a dream of attending the University of Florida and was able to live that out. She earned her undergraduate degree in family, youth and community sciences in 2016.

She has seen a lot of parallels in her Clemson experience.

“I wanted a dream school for my graduate program, but I also wanted the type of place where I could go to football games and feel ‘All-in’ with the rest of the student body,” she said. “The one school that stood out was Clemson. Being able to earn a graduate assistantship offer to come here was amazing. It’s been rewarding.”

At Florida, she also earned a minor in nonprofit organizational leadership. That background plays a big role in why she serves as a graduate advisor for Clemson Miracle, a student-driven philanthropic group designed to raise support for the local Children’s Miracle Network Hospital in Greenville.

After working as the chair of the student development committee within NIRSA’s Region II last year, Voorhees got a taste of the type of impact she could have on aspiring leaders in collegiate recreation.

“I believe in leaving things better for those that follow me,” Voorhees said. “I’ve been fortunate to have great role models come before me in these student leadership positions with NIRSA (such as Jenny Rodgers, Campus Recreation’s interim director of fitness and wellness).”

Voorhees is excited to return to her home state later this fall when the Region II conference meets in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla. She will also help plan many components of the national conference held in Denver next March.

Amid all that time and energy, she’ll continue to learn the ropes in Campus Rec.

“Katelyn has done a great job,” Cox said. “Students love her and how she engages with them. She is a great advocate for Clemson in this role with NIRSA.”