As the Coordinator of Recreation and Wellness Programs, 2016 alumnus Haven Allard is concerned with all things fitness. From the start of the day to the end, he works with Campus Activities and other campus resources to give Eckerd students a relief from academic life through recreation.
Handling everything from intramural sports, to group fitness classes, none of his days are exactly the same.
Every morning you can find Allard making his way to either Campus Activities or the Fitness Center where he checks up on his emails for the day or spends a little bit of time organizing the center.
“I make sure things are neat and organized, which they almost never are,” Allard said. “As you might know, some people don’t like to re-rack their weights when they’re done with them. So, a lot of the times I come in and assess the damage as far as what has been left out from the night before.”
Thankfully, he doesn’t always have to restack weights alone, mentioning that often friendly students, employees and gym users will lend him a hand.
While restacking weights isn’t always very fun, the people he gets to work with often make up for it. He is happy to be in the company of his great employees and co-workers like ECOS Intern Jessica Piper, Associate Vice President for Student Life and Associate Dean of Students Fred Sabota, Associate Director of Campus Activities Lova Patterson and Coordinator of Campus Activities Ana Klingenberg. He’s equally, if not more excited to get to work with other departments ranging from facilities to the professors.
“It’s great to get to interact with a lot of other people on campus, and that’s something you only really get from the managerial side,” Allard said.
One office with which Allard works consistently is Campus Activities. Junior Raii Chowdry, a student worker in the office said that her interactions with are often unpredictable.
“I never know what he’s going to come in with. Every time he comes in the door he’s just like ‘Alright, who’s working?’ and then whoevers working get’s a surprise,” Chowdry said.
While unpredictable, she admits that Allard makes whatever they are doing fun and that’s appreciated.
The relationship Allard has with his employees proves to be an interesting one, considering that just last year he was just like them.
“Starting my freshman year I needed a job on campus, so I was hired as an intramural staff member, and then I also got a job lifeguarding later in my freshman year. Both of those jobs fall under the recreation programs under Campus Activities, so my bosses for those positions were in the same position that I’m in now,” Allard said.
When graduation came around, Allard knew he wanted a job right after in order to gain experience before pursuing graduate or medical school. This job was a perfect fit.
Transitioning from employee to employer has been easier given the great team behind him. Though they like to give him a hard time every now and again, he’s happy with the work they do.
When he isn’t in the office or running around campus, he devotes his time to other ventures. Over Winter Term, for instance, he and his girlfriend 2016 alumna Zena Marpet fostered not one, but two pitbull puppies.
“Unfortunately for me, not for them, they’ve been adopted. So they are hopefully making a family or two families very happy now. I miss them,” Allard said.
Although he doubts he has the emotional capacity to foster and give away puppies again, he has plenty of other goals for the future. Planning to pursue a career in medicine and eventually become a doctor after his time here at Eckerd, he doesn’t see this position as holding him back in any way.
“I think when you’re graduating there is this immense amount of pressure to hit graduation and then just have your life completely sorted out, and I think that that’s a myth that should be dispelled. Not that you want to graduate from college and just kind of bum around, but I think that you definitely have a long, hopefully, life ahead of you, so if it takes a little while to figure things out, that’s totally fine,” Allard said.
He gives this advice to the soon-to-be graduates of Eckerd College.
“If you have a dream job, and you don’t get it out of college, that doesn’t mean that you’re stuck or you’re not going to achieve your goals. Just be patient, work hard, find something that you find interesting … and then move on from there.”
Students who have any questions about life after college, the fitness or recreational programs or what it’s like to have two pitbull puppies for a month, shouldn’t hesitate to visit Allard in his office inside of the Fitness