Kendra Bayne (M.S. Sport Administration ’11)
Seize the Moment: A Campus Recreation Professional Perspective
By Tyler Hobby (M.S. May 2017)
Kendra Bayne (’11) is the Assistant Director of Assessment, Communications, and Staff Development at the RecSports division of the University of Notre Dame. Kendra plays a fundamental role in ensuring all the branches with Notre Dame’s recreational sports function at the highest level possible. As a Michigan native, she has enjoyed an exciting career that has recently brought her back to the midwest. The journey that took her away from home is a large contributor that helped get her to where she is today.
Kendra began her college career at Central Michigan University, where she developed an interest in marketing and worked as a community relations intern with the Detroit Pistons and Detroit Shock. She referred to this time in her life as “a leap of faith” because there was a lot of uncertainty going into this internship. She did not receive internship credit for the experience but wanted to gain the experience. At CMU, she discovered her love for campus recreation and began working in that capacity. Her ability to seize the moment led to more opportunities, including Georgia State University’s graduate program.
Kendra attended GSU to pursue her Master’s degree in Sport Administration. She accepted a Marketing Graduate Assistantship with the GSU Recreational Services Department. She was a tireless worker, who gained experience outside of recreation through other internships during the two-year program, including the Atlanta Braves. As a ticket sales intern with the Braves, Kendra experienced “the toughest job I’ve ever had. If you’ve ever had to work sales, you’d understand.” However, it was an invaluable experience that she credits to teaching her much about sales and reaching people. In addition to the multiple internships and graduate experience, she also completed a thesis with Dr. Beth Cianfrone, which was published in the Recreational Sports Journal.
Kendra was a standout student, who won the Mary Helen Huggins Scholarship, and advises current student to “not wait until the last six months to gain experiences. I get resumes all the time and I can always tell when they’ve waited to get experience right at the end. It doesn’t give a good impression that you really want to be there.” She also stressed the importance of taking opportunities while they are there, even if they don’t seem certain to fit your path at the time.
After graduating from GSU, Kendra moved to Louisiana State University for a Marketing Coordinator position. During the four years of working there, she was promoted to Assistant Director of Marketing. She played a large part in the marketing and communication of the $84.75 million UREC’s (LSU’s recreational facility) expansion and redesign project. Her marketing planning for that project took about six months.
Kendra accepted her position at Notre Dame in 2016. She is an active member of the National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and has received five NIRSA Creative Excellence Awards for sustainable marketing (1st place), large-scale signage (1st place), student digital presentations, student publication, and website design. If you are in the campus recreational services industry, take time to meet her at an upcoming NIRSA conference.