Mary Lane Barnes Joins the Department of Recreational Services

Posted On October 1, 2018
Categories 2018 News

The Department of Recreational Services would like to welcome its newest staff member, Mary Lane Barnes.  As the marketing specialist, Mary’s responsibilities will be far reaching:  graphic design, social media content creation, photography and program promotion just to name a few.  Her first day at the Student Recreation Center was April 23, 2018.

Mary grew up in an active home where sports played a key role in her day-to-day life.  “My mom was a tennis, cheerleading and dance coach, so I spent most of my childhood playing in dugouts.  When Mom was busy, the team members helped me with my homework,” says Barnes.  Following her mother’s active example, Mary joined the dance and archery teams in high school.  Consequently, she found herself gravitating toward the sports world and seeking a career where she could work in a team environment.  Her first job at Eastern Kentucky University was in the Athletics Department as a student assistant.  It was at Eastern Kentucky University that Mary saw firsthand the different areas that work together to keep a sports facility operational, such as marketing, facility management, and human resources.  “At the end of the day,” says Barnes, “I knew that marketing fit my personality best; I’m most comfortable working behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.”  Mary was also able to find the team environment that she had been searching for.  “As the marketing specialist, I like that I get to work with everyone in the department,” she says.  Her enthusiasm for collaboration isn’t limited to just Recreation staff; Mary also “enjoys getting to work with people throughout the campus community.”

Mary knew moving from athletics to recreation was going to be a challenge, but her education and experience helped to prepare her.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Public Relations with a minor in Graphic Design, as well as a Master’s degree in Sports Management from Illinois State University.  While a graduate assistant, she managed all the marketing components for the soccer, volleyball, gymnastics, and softball teams. “The sports management program covers a broad spectrum, and since sports and recreation fall under the same umbrella, I wasn’t worried about the jump,” she says.  Mary also quickly points out that “Campus recreation is so much more than just recreation; it encompasses many different ways to better yourself as a human being.”

Mary has hit the ground running.  “Her enthusiasm to expand and modernize our marketing content is contagious.  We can’t wait to see how she grows into the role and makes her mark on the department,” says Andy Hudgins, Associate Director of Programs.  “I have a responsibility to let the students know about our events, so it has been ‘go’ from day one,” she says.  Over the last few months, Mary has certainly proven herself to be up to the challenges ahead.