June 15, 2024

Kelly Shannon: On the Move

Director of Campus Recreation Kelly Shannon expected to find career fulfillment at UMW. But when her young son was diagnosed with leukemia in 2016, she realized she’d found much more.

Kelly Shannon, Director of Campus Recreation

Kelly Shannon, Director of Campus Recreation

“There was an outpouring of love and support. No one hesitated to check on me,” Shannon said. “Two years in and people are still following his journey and checking in with us.”

(To read updates, visit Graeme’s Warrior Page on Facebook.)

Shannon joined Campus Recreation in 2006 and has worked as a group fitness class instructor and assistant director. Yet she’d once wanted to be a physical therapist. Shannon fell in love with campus recreation while working a student job at Virginia Tech, where she earned her undergraduate and master’s degree.

These days, she oversees all sports, recreation, fitness and outdoor programs and plans new, fresh ways to get the UMW community active.

Q: What got you involved in this kind of work?
A: I really enjoyed learning how the body works and the benefits of exercise and activity. I’ve always been kind of a nerd for things like anatomy! Now I am motivated by using my experiences and knowledge to make a difference.

Q: Why did you choose to work at UMW?
A: I love the small, close-knit community.

Q: Why is Campus Recreation important?
A: When you graduate, you want to have an idea of how to be active. I take it on as my personal goal to help students find something they enjoy doing so when they leave college they can continue being active in some way.

Q: What’s the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Being able to see the impact we’ve had. Having a former student come back and talk about how they have changed as a result of campus rec. That’s powerful.

Q: Most challenging?
A: I have high hopes for what Campus Recreation can do and the impact we have on student lives. I have to realize that it’s okay to not get everything done. Tomorrow is a brand new day and you can try again.

Q: What’s something people don’t know about you?
A: I’ve gone skydiving twice!

Q: What’s your favorite thing to do outside of work?
A: I love hiking and being active with my family. I love exposing my [three] boys to hiking and nature.

Q: Any mottos you tell yourself every day?
A: Good vibes only.