GWsports.com Staff Spotlight: Jason Wilson ('96)
Jan. 29, 2013
GWsports.com's Staff Spotlight series periodically highlights a member of the George Washington University Department of Athletics and Recreation team. In today's feature, GW softball senior and Athletics Communications student intern Kristi Saporito sat down with alumnus Jason Wilson ('96), Associate Athletics Director for Facilities.
GWsports.com: As a GW graduate and long-time member of the Department of Athletics and Recreation, you have seen GW go through many changes. What has been your favorite project?
JW: So many of the projects have been transformational to the Department of Athletics and Recreation and the university as a whole; choosing just one project is difficult. All projects approved by the department and the university have an underlying purpose of benefitting students and student-athletes. With that in mind, building the Lerner Health and Wellness Center, the Mount Vernon Athletic Complex, renovating the Charles E. Smith Center and renovating baseball's Barcroft Park have all stood out.
GWsports.com: In the past few years, the Smith Center has been renovated, and the Mount Vernon facilities are now slated for a face-lift. What impact do you see these improvements having on teams that call the Mount Vernon Campus their home?
JW: First and foremost, the changes will dramatically impact the day-to-day experiences of students and student-athletes who utilize the Mount Vernon Campus facilities. The improvements will impact the morale of student-athletes as well as the overall student body at GW. The changes also have the opportunity to play a major role in the types of coaches and support staff we attract and retain, which will ultimately impact student-athletes on a daily basis throughout their college careers.
GWsports.com: In addition to overseeing GW's facilities, you oversee several varsity teams. What is your favorite part of this aspect of your job?
JW: Working with student-athletes and coaches and trying to make a positive difference in their lives athletically, academically and personally.
GWsports.com: What does a typical day for you entail?
JW: I attend a number of meetings and carry out administrative tasks and responsibilities that impact the divisions and personnel that I work with. When my schedule has a window of opportunity, I work hard to try to plan ahead and work on goals that can improve the areas that I am involved in moving forward. Currently, I oversee several areas of athletics, including facilities, events and operations, several sports teams - men's and women's swimming, baseball and women's tennis - as well as strength and conditioning.
GWsports.com: What type of interaction do you have to have with student-athletes?
JW: Working with student-athletes is hands down the best part of my job and what fuels my passion. I always try to engage student-athletes whenever I see them, whether that be just a simple greeting or a conversation about a variety of topics. I listen carefully and try to assess their personal or team experiences to gain a better understanding of how we, as a staff, can improve their time here.
GWsports.com: What role do you play in the execution of non-athletic events, such as concerts or guest speakers?
JW: I hold more of a supervisory role to ensure that we are in sync with department and university goals, values and expectations. For example, one key goal for our events team is to host quality events and activities that enhance the prestige of the department and university while also generating revenue. Fortunately, I have a great team that handles all aspects of non-athletic events led by Alan Zebrak, our Assistant Athletic Director for Operations.
GWsports.com: What is your favorite GW memory?
JW: Personally, I can narrow my favorite memory down to three moments: men's basketball's Sweet 16 run in 1993, women's basketball's Elite 8 run in 1997 and men's soccer's A-10 Championship in 2004 which was hosted at the Mount Vernon Campus. I was a student at GW during the Sweet 16 appearance, and I was a full-time staff member during the women's basketball and men's soccer runs. All three of these events remain very special moments for this department and the university. The entire university and the community really came together in a way that only athletics can accomplish. Professionally, my favorite moments are the times when I am able to give my best advice or am able to ask questions or share an anecdote that may help a student or student-athlete. That is, by far, the best part of my job.
GWsports.com: What has been an "only at GW" moment you have experienced?
JW: I would say that my experience is two-fold. First, the number of VIPs present and special events that occur in or around GW is unique to Washington, D.C. Second, I have "only at GW" moments on a daily basis when I take a moment to consider that I have an opportunity to walk past the White House at lunch, or run past the Washington Monument or Lincoln Memorial before or after work, or even drive past embassies from around the world on my way to work. The list seems endless.
GWsports.com: What does "Raise High" mean to you?
JW: "Raise High" is a belief shared by many of us that we are committed to excellence in every aspect of our lives.