Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation

The mission of the Department of Athletics, Physical Education and Recreation (DAPER) is to bring students, faculty, and staff together in educational activities that promote healthy lifestyles, enhance a sense of community, foster growth in leadership and teamwork skills, and encourage the pursuit of excellence.

DAPER's reporting relationship is to Dean Larry Benedict, dean for student life. DAPER's association with other units in the Division of Student Life serves to enhance the quality of the educational experience for student-life and learning, and community services at MIT.

Strategic Objectives Audit

DAPER moved into the Zesiger Center on September 23, 2002 and is working in partnership with the Health Fitness Corporation (HFC) to operate and staff the facility. A partnership analysis conducted by Sloan students during 2003 concluded that outsourcing to HFC has proven to be extremely beneficial for both MIT staff and the collective student body, and that the Zesiger Center is helping to promote community development.

In addition to the excitement generated by the opening of the new Z Center, DAPER continued to focus on the implementation of some of the initiatives set forth in the strategic plan. Paramount among the initiatives is DAPER's commitment to improving its facilities. Headlined by the state-of-the-art Al and Barrie Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center, new projects have included the renovation of the Rockwell floor and Briggs field. Follow through on projects like these demonstrate DAPER's commitment to bringing together the MIT community through productive self-improvement pursuits. Additional programmatic opportunities have yielded an increase in the quantity and quality of physical education classes offered. Student membership has increased from a historical high of about 6,000 to a record setting number of over 8,000 and continues to grow.

The Student Athlete Advisory Committee (SAAC) completed its second year and continues to significantly improve the communication between varsity athletes and DAPER administration. An additional committee was also formed to include the members from other SAAC's from various institutions competing in the same athletic conference as MIT with the goal of raising awareness, and the sharing of leadership ideas highlighted by two annual workshops.

DAPER played a more visible role on campus than ever before, with greater inclusion and participation in Freshman Orientation, Freshman Advising, Freshman Outdoor Leadership Program, the Committee on Undergraduate Programs, and the Committee on Student Life as well as serving as host to the primary welcome event during Campus Preview Weekend (CPW). In addition, our faculty-coaches worked together at the DAPER CPW event to increase student awareness of our superb physical education, club, varsity, and intramural programs.

DAPER continues to encourage greater alumni involvement in the evolution of the department. Toward that goal, on June 6, 2003 DAPER partnered with MIT's Endicott House to host the first annual Tech Varsity Breakfast. Approximately 40 former varsity athletes and their guests were in attendance along with a substantial subset of current coaches and administrators. DAPER worked in successful partnership with the Office of Resource Development to provide a forum for communication with MIT alumni about the department's intentions to create endowed funds in support of it's facilities and programs.

The Friends of DAPER, a board created to raise alumni awareness and involve alumni in department support efforts, held its first organizational meeting on June 6, 2003. Don Shobry's, '75 and Michael Schoen, '88 are the coleaders of this important DAPER alumni board.

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Staffing Changes

James Kramer was named assistant sports information director. Deborah Craig was promoted to the position of supervisor of the Lincoln Lab fitness center, replacing Kristen Zimmerman. Crystal Houston was hired as manager of the Facilities Team. Steve Wilhelm replaced Barbara Wiget as manager of the indoor tennis facility. DAPER restructured its business office to include the expertise of Mikel Tsipis, assistant director of finance who reports to Frank Salamone, director of finance for DSL with a 'dotted line' responsibility to Candace Royer, director and department head of DAPER.

Among the support staff, Gene Ho replaced Cheryl Eccles as support to the assistant director of athletics and our coaching staff, and Cynthia Keough replaced Deborah Craig in the Lincoln Lab fitness center.

The Facilities Team staff was reassigned from the Department of Facilities to DAPER. The team members include Clifford Bonvie, Barrington Cornwall, Albert D'Addario, Rick Halloran, John Katin, Cary Lord, James Mitchell, Ralph Santora, and Oliver Williams.

There were also several changes within the coaching staff. Men's basketball coach Larry Anderson and men and women's fencing coach Jarek Koniusz were promoted to associate professor/coach. Melissa Hart resigned her position of faculty coach of women's basketball/women's soccer. Appointments for interim men's volleyball coach Steve Lane and faculty-coach of baseball Mac Singleton were not renewed. Women's volleyball coach Paul Dill will fill the men's volleyball coaching vacancy. Julie Sasner assumed the position of head coach of women's ice hockey from Katja Pashkevitch. Dawn Gerkin, assistant professor of physical education and head coach of men's and women's swimming and diving, will replace interim head coach Joe Kurtz.

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Financial Services

The DAPER business office initiated a training program to distribute and solidify payroll, and reconciliation responsibilities of staff. As part of this effort the office documented business procedures for the DAPER policy and procedures manual.

The intercollegiate sports scheduling and budgeting database, used to plan over 750 events, was expanded to include the tracking of actual expenses and the printing of contest contracts. The new system streamlined the scheduling process for the staff which, in turn, helped to improve customer service.

The DAPER business office conducted analysis of fund account gifts and endowment income and added this information to the resources used to support department activities.

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Information Technology

The DAPER business office along with the Facilities staff offices have upgraded to PC's to facilitate immediate access to facilities scheduling information. The Day Camp is the first unit in DAPER to work with online credit card payments for both registration and full payment. DAPER developed an ongoing, online system to track and respond to the community's need for information regarding closings, changes in hours and schedules. The DAPER web site will be updated to enhance customer service (e.g. students will be able to fill out recruitment forms online). A program was written to work with the NCAA eligibility software to aid in the entry and retrieval of data.

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Intramurals and Club Sports

The Club Sports Council (CSC) was created in April 2002 as a student-led governing body for club sports designed to evaluate and improve the Club Sports Program. The CSC is composed of five students democratically elected by their fellow club sports leaders. Their substantial work was recognized with a Department GOLD AWARD for excellence in service to DAPER.

Within the club sports program, the CSC has strengthened the criteria required to gain or maintain club sports status through a committed focus on instruction and student leadership/participation. Currently DAPER supports 37 club programs serving nearly 900 students. Sport Taekwondo was added to the club sports offerings this year.

Intramural participation increased 3.0 percent as 11,212 undergraduate and graduate students competed. Teams were representative of players' residences, independent living groups or laboratories. This is the third consecutive year of increased participation in the program.

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Physical Education

The mission of the Physical Education Program is to provide learners with the instruction and skills necessary to lead healthy, active lifestyles and to foster both personal growth and a sense of community through physical activity.

In the programmatic area, the faculty/coaches were successful in completing the next phase of curriculum development, determining the desired student outcomes for the program. DAPER also made some changes to improve class offerings including a new climbing class. Working collaboratively with Health Education and New House, the organization became further involved in an exciting and collaborative project that produced a successful residence-based fitness/wellness program for the community. Consistent with the theme of lifetime learning, the Physical Education (PE) staff participated in two professional development workshops this year that related to implementing wellness in the curriculum development and enhancement of the student experience in PE.

Sports Medicine

DAPER continues to be proactive in its pursuit to provide outstanding and comprehensive health services to the MIT community. As well as meeting the needs of our student-athletes, sports medicine provides counsel and treatment for staff and coverage for DAPER supported alumni sporting events. Sports medicine promotes a safe and comfortable environment where student-athletes receive personal attention and have the freedom to confide in a health support staff, all of which contribute to student-athletes' confidence to stay in the game.

Sports Medicine, in collaboration with the Medical Department, now offers medical examination services in a Monday morning clinic hosted at the Kasser Sports Medicine facility. The genesis for this program was the care and treatment of weekend injuries that are incurred by our graduate student population and/or undergraduate students who are pursuing their recreational interest in club or intramural sports. This clinic has offered the MIT student community an easily accessible option for care and treatment and is consistent with DAPER's strategic goals to improve service and balance the commitment to all constituent groups.

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Student-Athlete Accomplishments

The volume of award winners, record setters and outstanding achievements by our student-athletes is too great in number to comprehensively mention in this document. Highlights of the 2002–2003 academic year are as follows:

By the Numbers

Conference/National Players of the Year


Conference/National Rookies of the Year


Conference/National Coaches of the Year


Individual National Qualifiers


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Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center

In cooperation with DAPER, the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center is managed by Health Fitness Corporation (HFC). HFC is a leader in health and fitness program and facility management. Together, HFC and DAPER set new standards for participation in fitness and recreation, member satisfaction, and revenue production.

Student involvement increased nearly 50 percent with 8,652 students activating their cards for athletic, physical education, and recreation facility access in FY2003. In FY2002, 5,781 students activated their cards. In other areas of membership development, the department was able to maintain the number of annual memberships, while adding nearly 300 6-month members and over 5,900 day pass users. During the academic year, we averaged over 12,000 members and pass holders accessing the facilities each week.

Member satisfaction was studied internally and externally with favorable results. On the Zesiger Center Member Satisfaction Survey, 84 percent of those responding to the survey indicated that their overall regard for the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center was above average. In addition, on the 2003 Student Survey, athletic facilities received a 3.5 rating on a 4.0 scale, after receiving a 2.41 rating in the year prior.

In the area of revenue production, the Zesiger Sports and Fitness Center is on track to generate the targeted $1 million in sales in FY2003. Concurrently, expenses for the operation are projected to be slightly below original estimates.

Candace L. Royer
Department Head and Director of Athletics

More information about the Department of Athletics, Physical Education, and Recreation (DAPER) can be found on the web


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