Executive Director, Wellness and Recreation
Eric HawkesExecutive Director, Wellness and Recreation
P: (919) 513-3895
Eric was named director of University Recreation at NC State in November 2011 and assumed the responsibility of the institution's recreation and fitness programs, services and facilities designed for 35,000 students and 10,000 faculty, staff and affiliates. In October 2017, Eric was promoted to executive director of NC State Wellness and Recreation. He leads a team of 32 professionals and approximately 650 student employees with an annual operating budget of more than $6.3 million.
Hawkes and his team have transformed NC State's wellness, recreation and fitness programs and facilities into one of the nation's finest. Working in partnership with student leaders, Eric and the Wellness and Recreation team secured funding and executed several significant facility enhancement projects including the $45 million Wellness and Recreation Center project currently under construction expected to open Fall 2020. In 2014, NC State charged Eric and his team to lead campus wellness (health promotion) efforts. These efforts have made a significant impact on-campus leading to a department name change in July 2018 to better accurately describe the role of the unit and its value and impact on student success.
For more than 20 years, Hawkes has been actively involved in numerous professional development associations including NIRSA, Athletic Business, Campus Rec Magazine, Partnership for a Healthier America and Building Healthy Academic Communities through participation in institutes, workshops, and presentations at national, regional, and state conferences. Eric served on the NIRSA National Services Corporation Board of Directors from 2015-18 where his direction guided marketing opportunities for recreation centers and outdoor venues. In 2011, Eric received the NIRSA Region II Award of Merit which recognizes exceptional performance, dedication, creativity and innovation within the profession.
Prior to NC State, Hawkes was the director of Campus Recreation at Florida Atlantic University (FAU) where he cultivated a high achieving team of professionals and students dedicated to excellence. Under Hawkes' leadership, FAU developed and implemented a recreation master plan which included the Recreation and Fitness Center and opened in January 2009. The $18.6 million facility was recognized as a 2011 NIRSA Outstanding Facility of Merit Award winner.
Prior to FAU, Hawkes held several positions at the University of Missouri (Mizzou), which included serving as a member of the design team for the $50 million MizzouRec facility.
Eric received a bachelor's degree in recreation and a master's degree in educational leadership from the University of Florida.
Hawkes and his wife, Nichole have two children, Hayden and Parker.
Dr. Shannon DuPree
Director of Wellness
Dr. Shannon DuPreeDirector of Wellness
P: (919) 515-1012
Dr. Shannon DuPree joined the Wolfpack in July of 2016 as the university wellness specialist. In March 2018 she was promoted to director of wellness. In this role, Shannon provides strategic leadership for an innovative, integrated and collaborative wellness model for the NC State University community.
A native North Carolinian, Shannon has spent the past 10 years planning, implementing and evaluating wellness programs, interventions and policies in North Carolina at the local and state level. Prior to NC State, she held positions with Greene County Health Department, North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services – Division of Public Health and North Carolina Central University. Her roles in local and state government provided an opportunity for her to gain extensive experience in grant writing, community organizing, advocacy, and strategic planning. Shannon is a contributing author to the 2014-2020 North Carolina Comprehensive Cancer Control Plan and Healthy North Carolina 2020.
Shannon has a bachelor's degree in public health education from North Carolina Central University, a master's degree in public administration from Strayer University, and doctorate in health science from Nova Southeastern University. She is a certified health education specialist by the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing, Inc, a certified wellness practitioner by the National Wellness Institute and certified wellness coach by WellCoaches.
Mary Yemma Barnhart
Associate Director, Wellness and Recreation
Mary Yemma BarnhartAssociate Director, Wellness and Recreation
P: (919) 513-3890
Mary received her bachelor's degree in business management and master's degree in parks, recreation tourism Management from NC State University. Mary began working as a professional with Wellness and Recreation in Fall 2006. In Fall 2018, Mary became an associate director with Wellness and Recreation.
Mary has served on multiple work teams and committees at NC State and within NIRSA, serving as the host chair for the 2006 and 2010 NoCRSA State Workshops, host chair for the 2012 NIRSA Region 2 conference, chair of the 2015-16 NIRSA Student and Professional Development work team and leading and advising the NIRSA National Basketball Championships for eight years while hosted at NC State.
In 2011, Mary received the University Award for Excellence for her passion and contributions in student development and Pride of the Wolfpack Award in 2007 and 2017.
Mary and her husband, Kyle have one son Ryder and a yellow lab Caicos.
Associate Director, Wellness and Recreation
Business Operations and Administrative
Edna WilliamsBusiness Manager
P: (919) 513-3887
Edna earned her B.S. from NC State in business administration with HR concentration. While completing her education, she worked as a community assistant coordinator in housing and for facilities. Edna returned as a full-time professional in 2002 as business manager for Wellness and Recreation.
Assistant Director, Facilities and Operations
Emmanuel AkogyeramAssistant Director, Facilities and Operations
P: (919) 515-6842
Emmanuel joined Wellness and Recreation in Fall 2019 and received his bachelor's degree in human nutrition foods and exercise from Virginia Tech and his master's degree in campus recreation leadership from James Madison University.
Before NC State University, Emmanuel worked for collegiate recreation at James Madison University, University of Florida and University of Houston-Clear Lake. He has worked directly with member services, sport clubs, intramural sports, facilities and operations, fitness and wellness, and aquatics.
Akogyeram and his wife Megan have a son, Emerson. Originally from Ghana, Emmanuel enjoys playing soccer and other sports recreationally.
- Mental Health First Aid Certified
- Responsible Employee
Joni BussReservations Manager
P: (919) 513-7421
Joni graduated from NC State with a degree in communications. After working for various non-profit organizations and large corporations, she returned to NC State in 2006. She enjoys reading, movies and the theater. She also enjoys spending time on the soccer fields with her two children.
Coordinator, Facility Operations
Jonathan HennessyCoordinator, Facility Operations
P: (919) 515-2264
Jonathan joined the Wolfpack in June 2017 as coordinator, facility operations for Wellness and Recreation. Jonathan attended the University of Alabama at Birmingham in Birmingham, AL where he earned his B.S. in business management (2015) and The University of North Carolina at Greensboro in Greensboro, NC where he earned his MBA (2017). While completing his graduate course work at UNCG he worked as the graduate assistant of facilities and special events for Recreation and Wellness where he was awarded Graduate Assistant of the Year for the Division of Student Affairs.
Catherine O'KaneCoordinator, Aquatics
P: (919) 513-1555
Catherine joined the Wolfpack in June 2017 as the coordinator, aquatics for Wellness and Recreation. Catherine grew up in New Jersey where she attended Montclair State University and received her B.S. in business administration with a concentration in marketing and management and a minor in communication (2015). While at Texas A&M University - Commerce, Catherine was the graduate assistant of aquatics and risk management for the Department of Campus Recreation while also completing a M.S. in health, kinesiology and sport studies with a concentration in sport and recreation management (2017). Catherine loves to go on any type of water adventure, but her favorite adventure is to go stand-up paddleboarding with her dogs.
Assistant Director, Fitness
Will CraigAssistant Director, Fitness
P: (919) 513-3474
Will joined the Wolfpack in May of 2014 as coordinator, strength and conditioning. In March 2016 he became the assistant director of fitness. Prior to coming to NC State, Will attended Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, VA, where he earned his B.S. in human nutrition foods and exercise (2011) and a M.A. in instructional technology (2013). While completing his education he worked as a graduate assistant of fitness at Virginia Tech and has experience working outside of higher education in private wellness and recreation facilities.
Naomi MatelyCoordinator, Fitness
Marketing and Communications
Marketing and Communications Specialist
Visual Arts Specialist
Judy CorsiVisual Arts Specialist
P: (919) 515-3162
Originally from western New York, Judy joined the Wellness and Recreation team in June 2014. Judy received her bachelor's degree from NC State University in art studies after studying graphic design at the State University of New York at Fredonia and art education at the University of Central Florida.
As the visual arts specialist, Judy is passionate about and inspired by clean, clear and cohesive design. She has been a member of AIGA since 2016, attending both national conferences and local meetings.
Assistant Director, Outdoor Adventures
Nathan WilliamsAssistant Director, Outdoor Adventures
P: (919) 513-8126
Nathan Williams joined Wellness and Recreation in July of 2015 as the assistant director, outdoor adventures. In this role, he oversees outdoor adventures trips, the Equipment Rental Center, climbing wall, challenge course and Wolfpack Bound first-year trips program. Prior to NC State, Nathan served as the trips coordinator at the University of North Carolina Wilmington and was a web developer at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. Nathan holds a bachelor's degree in outdoor education from the University of Minnesota Duluth, a master's degree in college student affairs administration from the University of Georgia and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in higher education at NC State.
Nathan's scholarly work focuses on how campus experiences (outdoor recreation and otherwise) influence college student openness to diversity and intergroup contact. Nathan has served on the Board of Directors for the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) and has presented on a variety of topics at numerous national conferences, including the AORE, the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association (NIRSA) and the American College Personnel Association (ACPA).
Erin Daniels Heiser
Coordinator, Outdoor Adventures
Erin Daniels HeiserCoordinator, Outdoor Adventures
P: (919) 513-8125
Erin joined Wellness and Recreation in August of 2015 as the coordinator, outdoor adventures. In this role she manages the day to day operations of outdoor adventures trips, the Equipment Rental Center and bike mechanics. Prior to NC State, Erin was a graduate assistant at the University of Houston and served as the interim assistant director of outdoor programs at Rice University. Erin attended Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT where she earned her B.A. in environmental studies (2006), and earned her M.A. in sports and fitness administration (2015) from the University of Houston in Houston, TX.
Erin has been an active member of the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) since 2012, and has attended numerous national, regional and state conferences. She has presented at the Carolina Outdoor Adventure Leadership Summit (COALS), Texas Outdoor Leadership Conference (TOLC) and the Southern Sport Management Conference (SSMC).
Erin's published work includes:
An Evaluation of University Recreation Center Outdoor Programs for People With Disabilities: Perspectives From Professionals. Journal of Outdoor Recreation, Education, and Leadership 2017, Vol. 9, No. 1, pp. 83–97
Coordinator, Outdoor Adventures
Lauren StoverCoordinator, Outdoor Adventures
P: (919) 513-1662
Lauren joined Wellness and Recreation in January 2020 as the coordinator, outdoor adventures. In this role she manages the day to day operations of outdoor adventure trips and challenge course programs. Lauren attended East Carolina University where she earned her B.S. in parks and recreation concentrating in outdoor recreation in 2013. She earned her masters degree in parks, recreation, tourism, and sport management from NC State University in 2018.
Before NC State, Lauren was a leadership challenge course coordinator at Georgia Tech. Lauren has been an active member of the Association for Challenge Course Technology (ACCT) since 2015 and has attended conferences and served on volunteer committees.
Assistant Director, Sports Programs
Ben StrunkAssistant Director, Sports Programs
P: (919) 515-1862
Ben holds bachelor's degrees in sports management and journalism at Ohio University and a master's degree in sport management at the University of Florida. Before joining NC State University in June 2014, Ben served as a competitive sports graduate assistant at the University of Florida Department of Recreational Sports.
Coordinator, Sports Programs
Emilie BuzhardtCoordinator, Sports Programs
P: (919) 513-3891
Originally from Somerdale, NJ, Emilie received her B.A. in organizational communications from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte (2010). After completing her degree, she moved to Statesboro, GA where she worked as the sport clubs graduate assistant for Campus Recreation and Intramurals, while earning a M.Ed. in higher education administration at Georgia Southern University (2013). Prior to joining NC State Wellness and Recreation in November 2015, Emilie was the coordinator for club sports at the University of Kansas.
Coordinator, Sports Programs
Nelson SantiagoCoordinator, Sports Programs
P: (919) 515-7335
Originally from Los Angeles, CA, Nelson Santiago joined Wellness and Recreation in February of 2016 as the Coordinator for Sports Programs. Prior to becoming Coordinator for Wellness and Recreation, Nelson served as Assistant Director of Multicultural Student Affairs at NC State University. He holds a Bachelor's Degree in sports and fitness and Master's Degree in higher education from the University of Central Florida in Orlando, FL.
Along with his passion for social justice and student development, Nelson also officiates NCAA men's basketball at the Division I level.
Training, Development and External Relations
Assistant Director, Training, Development and External Relations
Coordinator, Member Services
Zach MehlenbacherCoordinator, Member Services
P: (919) 515-7488
Zach earned his bachelor's degree in parks, recreation and tourism management from NC State University in 2015. Zach worked throughout his undergradate career with Wellness and Recreation in competitive sports as a supervisor, program assistant and intern. Upon graduation, he earned a professional position with Wellness and Recreation as the assistant coordinator, competitive sports where he worked until 2016. Zach spent the next four years in the aviation industry, working with the Raleigh-Durham Airport Authority and American Airlines. In the Fall of 2019, Zach returned to NC State, joining Wellness and Recreation as the coordinator, member services.
Zach and his wife, Emily, have two children, Dakota and Lincoln.
- Responsible Employee
- John F. Miller Award Winner
Administrative Support Specialist
Assistant Director, Wellness
Trumane LeeAssistant Director, Wellness
P: (919) 513-2834
Trumane joined the Wellness and Recreation team in September 2019, as the assistant director of wellness. Before joining NC State, Trumane served the City of Raleigh as a health and safety analyst. In that role, he researched, developed and implemented many of the organization's workplace well-being programs. However, his passion for wellness in higher education began during his undergraduate years at East Carolina University (ECU) in Greenville, NC. While attending ECU, Trumane served as a health promotion intern for the Student Health Service - Health and Nutrition Education, and earned his B.S. in health education and promotion with a concentration in community health (2010). He later earned his Master of Public Health from the University of New England (2019).
Trumane is a certified health education specialist (CHES), certified in tobacco cessation, and a wellness coach. Trumane's passion is providing the tools necessary for populations to be able to remove any barriers that can inhibit positive behavior change and ultimately, create an environment that will aid individuals in obtaining and maintaining total well-being.
Coordinator, Wellness Programs
Alexis SteptoeCoordinator, Wellness Programs
P: (919) 513-3448
Originally from Bluefield, Virginia Alexis joined the Wolfpack in October 2017. She graduated from Radford University with a bachelor of science degree with a concentration in health education and health promotion and obtained her masters of public health in community health education from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. While attending UNCG, she served as a graduate assistant for HealthyUNCG, an employee wellness initiative aimed at improving staff and faculty well-being.
She is a Nationally Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach (NBC-HWC), Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES), indoor cycle and group fitness instructor and certified peer education trainer.
Coordinator, Wellness Programs
Katie BelusaCoordinator, Wellness Programs
P: (919) 513-3888
A native of New Jersey, Katie joined the NC State Wellness and Recreation team in August 2018. Katie holds a B.A. in human development and family studies from the University of Connecticut, as well as a Master's of Public Health specializing in social and behavior health from Boston University. Katie is a certified health education Specialist (CHES) and is also certified as a personal trainer, fitness nutrition specialist and youth worker. Outside of the office, you can find Katie at the gym, traveling, watching hockey or petting any animal she can find.