UWRF student wins top recreational sports award

Posted November 23, 2020

For the third consecutive year, a student at UW-River Falls has won a top honor from the Wisconsin Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (WIRSA).

Riley Zyduck, a senior, earned the WIRSA Student Award for her work with Campus Recreation.

WIRSA is a program that brings together students and professional members involved with recreational sports on Wisconsin college and university campuses.

The association is made of 20 schools across Wisconsin and “is the governing body of the state’s recreation departments at the college level,” according to Ryan Rudesill, assistant director of Campus Recreation.

Every year, in early October, a state conference is held at a different school involved in WIRSA. The Student Award is presented during the conference.

Directors, professional staff and student staff attending the three-day state conference are involved in business meetings where they talk about what they want to implement in their programs. WIRSA also hosts education sessions about regulations.

Rudesill said that Zyduck has been creating most of Campus Recreation’s promotions and graphics for the past three years.

“She has a passion for promotions and marketing and a skill set in graphic design,” he said.

The WIRSA Student Award is only given to one student who shows outstanding leadership and dedication in their campus recreation department. Each school nominates one student and the WIRSA Scholarship Committee selects the winner.

Emma Pignato of UW-River Falls won the award in 2019, while Megan Lee received the honor in 2018, according to WIRSA’s website.

Zyduck won her award partly because of her dedication to teaching herself Adobe Illustrator, Adobe Photoshop and Adobe InDesign so that she could create projects faster and in house.

“I spend a lot of hours looking things up on YouTube,” Zyduck said.

Since Zyduck learned these programs on her own she said that even though she had no idea what she was doing it felt good to be recognized.

“It’s humbling to know that I was doing something right,” she said, “and truly helping our program better itself.”