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K-State's Kathleen Hatch receives national honor for advancing recreation and well-being

Thursday, Feb. 16, 2023



MANHATTAN — Known for her passion for wellness, health and sustainability, Kathleen Hatch, Morrison Family associate vice president for student well-being at Kansas State University, has been selected as the 2023 NIRSA Honor Award recipient.

This award is the highest and most prestigious honor bestowed upon members who provide exemplary service to the organization and make meaningful contributions to the field of collegiate recreation. Formerly known as the National Intramural Recreational Sports Association, NIRSA will present Hatch with the award on March 23 at the organization's annual conference.

"I am humbled and grateful for this recognition by an association that has been part of my professional journey from the beginning," Hatch said. "I share this with so many whom I had the privilege to work with and be inspired by to think in new ways and stay motivated to be a positive force.  I love that I now have a tremendous opportunity to support our individual and community well-being here at K-State."

Hatch joined K-State in August 2021 to lead university initiatives that enhance the K-State student experience by promoting well-being. She oversees Lafene Health Center and Counseling and Psychological Services, Recreational Services, Cats' Cupboard, Powercat Financial, Student Access Center and the Morrison Family Center for Student Well-being.

As an advocate for student well-being, Hatch is currently focused on several key initiatives that provide a continuum of evidenced, informed care while looking for new upstream approaches to increase capacity and shape a healthy community.  She currently represents K-State in the U.S. Health Promoting Campuses Network and will soon begin a role on its executive committee for sustainability.

"I couldn't be more excited to see Kathleen honored with NIRSA's most prestigious award," said Thomas Lane, vice president for student life and dean of students at K-State. "Since starting as the inaugural Morrison Family associate vice president for student well-being, Kathleen works tirelessly to help move K-State forward in becoming a health-promoting university. It's gratifying to see her holistic approach to student well-being nationally recognized."

Prior to K-State, Hatch served as executive director of recreational sports at The Ohio State University, where she led a team to reimagine the role of recreational sports as a healthy campus asset and was deeply involved in advancing broader university efforts within the health and wellness community. She also owned a successful executive consulting firm focused on advancing healthy campuses across the U.S. and Canada. Hatch also worked at Washington State University for 25 years, most recently as assistant vice president for campus life.

Hatch earned her master's in education from Oregon State University and her bachelor's degree in physical education from the University of Calgary, Alberta.

Hatch has also received several honors throughout her career, including the 2019 Executive Leadership Award from Ohio State; the NIRSA National Service Award in 2010; the 2008 Alumni Award for recreational sports from Oregon State University; and the 2003 NIRSA Region VI Award of Merit.

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NIRSA Honor Award


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Kathleen Hatch

Kathleen Hatch, Morrison Family associate vice president for student well-being, is the 2023 NIRSA Honor Award recipient.

Written by

Michelle Geering