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Updated 8:45 AM March 24, 2009

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Spotlight: Shea keeps active with recreational sports

As captain of the Active U! team Rock'n Rec Sports, Lisa Shea constantly encourages her teammates to stay active. "We just need to keep rocking, moving, and tracking even when we run into barriers," says Shea, senior assistant director in the Department of Recreational Sports.
(Photo by Lin Jones, U-M Photo Services)

Shea not only is an instrumental part of her own team, but one of her work responsibilities is assisting with the administration and direction of the Active U! program, which is part of MHealthy. Shea's efforts in ActiveU! reflect her personal commitment to promoting the health and well-being of others. "We hope that participants in the program will continue to make exercise a regular part of their lives," Shea says.

In addition to her role in MHealthy and ActiveU!, she oversees membership services at Rec Sports and supervises a number of student personnel. "Each day is a different day," Shea says. "That's part of the excitement."

Shea's involvement in athletics and fitness dates back to her time as a volleyball player. She received a volleyball scholarship from St. Francis University before completing her degree at Southern Illinois University (SIU), closer to her hometown of Germantown, Ill. At SIU she made a lasting impact by creating a volleyball league that still exists today.

After Shea completed her Bachelor of Arts, she went on to earn a master's degree in sports management from the University of Illinois. Shea began her career at the Department of Athletics and Recreation at Northwestern University, where she worked for more than four years. While at Northwestern she met her future husband, and in 1995 they moved to Michigan together.

Once Shea's husband took a job in Dearborn, working at U-M was a logical choice. "I have a lot of Big Ten history, so Michigan ended up being the perfect place to work," she says.

Shea began working for Recreational Sports in 1996, and assumed her current position as senior assistant director in 2007. During her tenure at Rec. Sports, Shea has done everything from managing rentals and reservations, to running a summer camp, to coordinating programs such as ActiveU!

"Our goal is to make people not just interested in using our facilities, but staying active and being healthy in general," she says.

Shea, who currently resides in Saline with her husband, works in her free time to promote the health and well-being of the community. She volunteers with the Almost 5k run/walk as well as the Big House Big Heart 5k run/walk. Both events donate their proceeds to charitable causes, including the Cancer Center and C.S. Mott Children's Hospital.

Over the years Shea also has served as a head or assistant coach for numerous youth volleyball teams. Shea was an assistant volleyball coach at Saline High School from 2002-04, and since then has coached for competitive club programs.

"I have a passion about more than what happens on the court," Shea says. "I like to teach respect, politeness and teamwork — these are as important as anything else."

To Shea, promoting these values is one of the most rewarding aspects of her work at U-M. "I work with a lot of students and when I make connections with them, and see them succeed, I know I am in the right spot," she says.

The weekly Spotlight features staff members at the University. To nominate a candidate, please contact the Record staff at

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