In January 2015, Illinois Institute of Technology welcomed Courtney Priest (formerly Budd) as the Director of Recreational Sports and Fitness. Courtney brings a valuable combination of experience, leadership, passion, and creativity to the role and is excited about increasing the fun and fitness levels of both students and faculty at Illinois Tech.
Prior to joining Illinois Tech, Courtney earned her Master’s degree in Higher Education Administration from North Park University. During this time, Courtney also worked as a graduate assistant as North Park’s Coordinator of Intramurals and Special Events. This role allowed Courtney to gain invaluable experience managing recreation center facilities, student workers, intramural leagues, fitness classes, and event scheduling. By incorporating innovative ideas and student outreach, Courtney successfully increased overall North Park intramural participation by 15 percent during her time.
For the past eight years, including the two years spent earning her Master’s degree, Courtney worked as a Senior Operations Manager for Junior Achievement of Chicago. In this capacity, Mrs. Priest brought financial and economic programing to K-12 students in the Chicago area. Courtney’s time with Junior Achievement taught her the practical skills of event planning and management, but perhaps more importantly, she learned how to address the needs of a diverse group through compassion and creativity.
Prior to relocating to Chicago in 2004, Courtney earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Valparaiso University in northwest Indiana. While maintaining a strong academic regiment at Valparaiso, Courtney also sustained a full-ride athletic scholarship as soccer player. She was selected captain of the women’s soccer team for three years and was a four year letter-winner.
After her collegiate playing career, Mrs. Priest carried her passion as a player on the field to the sidelines. For eight years, Courtney coached soccer at multiple levels, ranging from the club soccer level to an NCAA collegiate program. Courtney also holds certifications from the Aerobic and Fitness Association of America (Primary Group Fitness Certification), the United States Soccer Federation (National Youth Coaching License), and the State of Illinois (Teacher's License, General Elementary).