As Speaker at George Mason University
USTA Mid-Atlantic | September 22, 2017
When Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro found out she was in at the George Mason University’s School of Recreation, Health and Tourism, she was excited but also apprehensive. She didn’t expect to see that she’d be at the “Prince William Campus,” a campus that only recently opened their doors. As one of the first students on the campus, she was met with limited amenities.
“There wasn’t even a cafeteria on the campus, it was that new,” said Fitzpatrick-Navarro. “All of us students had to brown bag our lunches and we just sat on the floor.” But while that may have seemed like an inconvenience, Fitzpatrick-Navarro credits those days to the many strong relationships she built with fellow students and faculty alike. So much so, she tributes her time at Mason with helping her secure her first job and putting her on a journey to success and where she is today as the Chief Executive Officer of USTA Mid-Atlantic Section. ADVERTISEMENT
Fast-forward 20 years and Fitzpatrick-Navarro is recounting that very story and representing the School of Recreation, Health and Tourism and USTA MAS as a guest speaker at the George Mason University – now SciTech Campus – Anniversary Celebration on Sept. 20, 2017.
At the celebration, several distinguished guests and Alumni described the impact of the SciTech campus – from personal achievements to research breakthroughs on important health issues such as Lyme’s Disease. In her remarks, Fitzpatrick-Navarro affirmed the fact that recreation and wellness are essential to a strong community and integral to the livelihood of those on the campus and beyond.
Not only that, she also expressed how tennis can be the sport that builds community and brings people together – and through a show of hands found that more than half in attendance play. As the governing body of tennis in the Mid-Atlantic, the Section strives to make tennis accessible to all and seeks growth for the game within the SciTech Campus community and Prince William community at-large part of that.
To cap off her remarks, she noted how USTA Mid-Atlantic is making a difference in Prince William through a variety of tennis programs this year, including partnering with the county’s Parks and Recreation department to offer tennis programs and opening a chapter of TGA Premier Tennis afterschool tennis enrichment in local elementary schools.
As a distinguished alumna and leader in the Mid-Atlantic, Tara Fitzpatrick-Navarro represents all that was celebrated about the SciTech Campus during the Anniversary Ceremony. She showed how a campus experience can shape a person through the relationships built and how talent and energies can be cultivated in way that continues to give back and build a community beyond what was ever imagined.