In the spotlight: Linda Wooster shows energy and dedication

Melissa Scagliola

Linda Wooster, Quinnipiac associate athletic and recreation director, is dedicated to bringing a wide variety of recreational programs to Quinnipiac students, staff and faculty. Wooster oversees the campus recreation program, which includes evening aerobics, the fitness center, intramurals, physical education and special events.
Wooster has been at Quinnipiac for 19 years and has been the director of various recreation programs for ten years. Before coming to Quinnipiac, Wooster was a high school physical education teacher, track coach and athletic director. She is from Bethany, Conn., where she still resides.
As an undergraduate at Southern Connecticut State University, Wooster majored in elementary education, became an English major, and then moved to physical education. Later degrees included a master’s in athletic administration from Penn State, with a second master’s or sixth-year certificate from the University of Bridgeport program. Her third master’s degree is an MBA from Quinnipiac.
Wooster has several objectives for the Quinnipiac recreation program. The first includes offering a large and diversified number of programs to students. Other objectives include adding new programs and combining ideas with both the Intramurals Director and Physical Education Director to come up with exciting activities.
“We don’t want programs to be stagnant, we want change and challenge,” said Wooster about activities she helps to plan and oversee.
Wooster gives credit to her colleagues Rose Mary DeGrand, the director of Physical Education, and the new director of Intramurals, Nick Wormley. Wooster discussed how the three bounce ideas off each other and provide energy towards programs here at Quinnipiac.
“Despite limited facilities due to construction, we held a great kickball tournament, intramurals are booming and many new and unique PE classes have been added,” said Wooster.
During the construction of the Recreation Center addition, Campus Recreation has been housed in construction trailers behind the gym.
Wooster feels the camaraderie developed in the close trailer environment has helped in putting programs together. She feels that the group works well together.
All areas of the campus recreation department have grown tremendously in the past three years. While Wooster is very proud of the growth, she said it came as a result of willingness of all those involved. Wooster said programs she has worked on have also had great support from Jack McDonald, director of athletics, and from Student Affairs staff.
“It is great to work with colleagues who have high energy levels, are truly dedicated to their jobs, are always willing to cooperate with one another, know how to have fun and have wonderful work ethics,” said Wooster. “People outside our department have no idea how much hard work and preparation go into making events look effortless. We love putting on programs.”
While Wooster is quick to discuss the group effort it takes to get her job done, her co-workers are quick to describe her personality.
“She is hardworking, fun loving, dedicated, accessible to students and to staff, while also having an enormous amount of enthusiasm for her life’s work,” said DeGrand.
In addition to the usual fitness and recreational activities at Quinnipiac, Wooster introduced a series of arts and crafts classes into the departmental offerings. The “Craft Corner” activities, designed by Wooster, fulfill leisure-time needs of students who want to get together to complete a project, socialize or just relax.
“Leisure time and life-time activities have always played a big role in my life,” she said. “[The Craft Corner] is a fun activity. It is nice to be able to offer these programs and gratifying to see how fast the classes fill up.”
Wooster is excited to move into the new recreation center.
“The recreation center looks so big and bright. The track is incredible. There are two new basketball/volleyball activity courts, an incredible multipurpose room. The place looks just gorgeous,” she said.
The recreation center will also house offices and a sports medicine and athletic training facility that will be used for both majors and athletics and will be one of the most outstanding facilities in the country, Wooster said.
“The new Recreation Center will enable us to dramatically increase the number of programs we offer to the Quinnipiac Community,” she said. “We can’t wait to show off the facility, add new equipment, and start working with the many groups who want to be part of the new Quinnipiac Recreation. It will be a very exciting year!”