The Department of Recreation and Intramural Sports in the Hofstra Fitness Center is home to almost 30 club sports, various intramural activities and several weekly fitness classes. The goal of this department is to keep the Hofstra community active and well. The leader behind this successful and growing department is Patricia Montagano, affectionately known as Pat.
Montagano has been at Hofstra since 1987 and has helped oversee the rise of the recreation department. “The fitness center was not here when I started,” Montagano said. Before her arrival, the facility was shared with athletics and physical education, and in 1989 the Recreation Center opened. The building, now called the Fitness Center, saw another renovation in 2011 and has continued to grow.
“We continuously do what we can to keep this an exciting state-of-the-art building that our students really love and utilize,” Montagano said.
Another growth in the department under Montagano’s supervision has been taking over School Spirit Support. Gabriella Munoz, the graduate assistant (GA) for Spirit Support, defines her department as consisting of “the dance team, cheer team, pep band and mascots.”
“Being the GA for Spirit Support is about being there to help all of the groups within spirit,” she said. “I act as the liaison between Spirit and outside groups or departments.”
“Pat helps by just being really supportive and always encouraging me to come up with new ideas,” Munoz said.
Since it is a relatively new faction of the department, both Montagano and Munoz hope to see more recognition for Spirit Support. Both the cheer and dance teams have won awards and now the mascots, Kate and Willie, can be followed on Instagram and Twitter with the social handle @HUKateandWillie.
Montagano wants students to know that she “supports all teams, clubs and organizations.” Montagano said, “Through the years, I get really involved with students and all the experiences that go along with being a student on campus. That’s what I love most about my job, that I get to work with them in so many facets.”
One of the clubs that she acts as the faculty advisor for is Adopt-a-Dream. “Pat actually sat on the new club recognition committee, and when she saw our former president speak about the club and why she wanted it to be a club on campus, Pat was so interested in our mission that she asked personally to be our faculty advisor,” said Sam Jean-Louis, a junior and the Adopt-a-Dream president.
Each semester, the organization takes on a child with a disease and grants them a dream come true. In her role as faculty advisor, Montagano helps the club create a plan to fulfill the child’s dream and encourages each student in the club to be a leader.
“Pat is so many good things rolled up into one human being,” Jean-Louis said.
Montagano sees a bright future for her department and its branches. “I am absolutely so proud of Hofstra rec, so proud of all that we’ve accomplished and how we’ve grown throughout the years.” She hopes to see a healthier and more active campus. Her advice for students who want to get involved is to “just think about your health and do something about it.”