Donald Stenta said he hopes to be “a steward of creating excellent student experience,” as he enters his new position as the Recreational Sports Director.
Kurt Carmen, former interim Rec Sports director, is now the associate director. An interim director was in place because there were changes being made in the department, said Tracy Stuck, assistant vice president for student life.
The recreational sports director position initially opened up when Mike Dunn, the previous director, died, Stuck said.
Stuck said the initial search for a new director wasn’t very successful, but with a second search, they were able to find Stenta. She described him as a “visionary leader” and said she looks forward not only to seeing his visions play out but also to the work he will do with the students.
Stenta has been with Ohio State for 18 years. Most recently, he was a faculty member at the John Glenn School of Public Affairs and a visiting assistant professor at the School of Educational Policy and Leadership in the College of Education and Human Ecology.
Stuck said Stenta has “a spark” and is very optimistic on how he will be reaching out to students. Stenta’s position was announced on Feb. 14, and he began his new position April 1.
Although Stenta could not provide his new salary, his predecessor made about $100,000 a year, according to public databases.
Stenta said he expects to be managing a lot of the operational aspects of recreational sports, including the financial aspect. He will also manage fitness, intramural, competitive and community programs.
Stenta said he is eager to reach out to students and student organizations to focus on creating a well-being across campus.
“I plan to be very focused on creating an extraordinary student experience at Rec Sports … It is a major initiative of the Office of Student Life at Ohio State that I plan to fully support,” Stenta said in an email. “I also plan to balance the many stakeholder needs in Rec Sports by providing excellence in our service, programs and facilities.”
Stenta is the adviser for three organizations: Sigma Phi Epsilon Fraternity, Democracy Matters and Ultimate Club, which is an ultimate frisbee club on campus. He said he has a passion for working with students.
Brandon Edwards, a third-year in political science and chair of the University Recreational Sports Committee (URSC), an organization that helps shape policy for recreational sports and works with students on issues in the department, said Stenta is ready for the position.
“I’m really excited to have Dr. Stenta on board,” Edwards said. “I think that he has been very engaged already, he’s been eager. I appreciate that.”
Edwards said he looks forward to the new things Stenta will be able to implement. He said he is excited to work with Stenta on projects like turf fields at Lincoln Tower Park and online intramural registration.
Scott Holmes, the fitness Coordinator, shared a similar attitude of excitement and optimism. He said that although he does not expect the change in directors to have an immediate effect on his operations, he is looking forward to somebody who will be able to make decisions, since it has been a year and a half with no permanent director.
“Ohio State has maintained a national reputation and I want to build on that,” Stenta said.