Student Spotlight Jacob Hurt

Posted: April 16, 2018 at 12:48 pm, Last Updated: April 16, 2018 at 12:49 pm

How One Student Employee Found A Way to Combine His Passion With His Goals In Collegiate Recreation

There are many different paths that are taken by students who find themselves working in the field of Collegiate Recreation. Not surprisingly, many former and current athletes find their way to our Intramural Sports program, where they work as score keepers, referees, program assistants and more.

Jacob Hurt is one such student who found his niche while working within the Mason Recreation department during his freshman year.

A sports enthusiast and a former athlete, Jacob began his path in Mason Rec within the Intramural Sports (IM) department working as a referee. As a high school basketball player, he first began officiating while working with the Southwestern Youth Association (SYA) in Centerville, Va.

“Being able to stay in the game.. even though I enjoyed playing sports, I was never a super star, so (officiating) it’s a way to stay in the game and stay a part of it. Especially when I go to regional tournaments, the level of play is actually very competitive and so I get to feel like I am part of that.”

Jacob may have a few years of officiating experience under his belt, but the area of Intramural Sports is not the only program in Mason Rec that he has been able to work with.

In the summer of 2017, Jacob also began working as a Program Facilitator with The EDGE – Mason Rec’s experiential learning and team building program.

Working as both a Referee and a Program Facilitator with Mason Recreation, Jacob has the ability to work in a field that he is not only passionate about, but where he also gains experience in an area that is helping him work towards his big picture goals.

As an undergraduate student, Jacob is working towards a Psychology degree in Forensic Science.

He is also in a Peace Corps prep program here at Mason.

Jacob plans to volunteer with the Peace Corps after graduation, and one of his aspirations is to be sent to Thailand, where the Peace Corps has an impressive Youth and Development program that he hopes to one day join.

A portion of the Peace Corps acceptance requirement states that volunteers must have 50+ hours experience in an area similar to that which they are applying. Fortunately for Jacob, he was able to find that experience in working with The EDGE.

“I love working both (IM and EDGE). The EDGE is unique, I think it’s really cool how you get to see these groups come in and they might not.. work well with each other at the start of the program, but hopefully if you facilitate well and they are up for the challenge, they can improve by the end of the day and take away a lot of good things back to their school or their organizations. It’s really fun and cool to see that in participants.. It overlaps a lot, it’s interesting. It’s really cool to see how I show interests in different fields but they are all similar.. I’m in the College of Humanities and Social Sciences and I guess it all ties together.”

Jacob Hurt: Intramural Sports Official and EDGE Program Facilitator
Two programs, though they seemingly have little in common, have foundations that are far more similar than they are different.

As a referee, you deal with situations where you will need to make quick decisions, implement conflict resolution strategies, and ultimately seek to alleviate a situation.

At The EDGE, a Program Facilitator will lead a group through situations and activities that require team work, communication, and critical thinking skills, so that these groups can ultimately work together and grow as a unit.

Both positions call for the ability to manage a situation and communicate with the participants to overcome obstacles and manage the situation effectively.

Mason Recreation is proud to be able to help students like Jacob tie their passions to their goals and help them find their path!

No matter what your focus is in school, or where your path in life may lead, Mason Rec can help provide you with the tools and experience for a bright future.

We offer many opportunities for Mason students to get involved, excel, and succeed through quality facilities, programs and services!