Josh Norris - Student Affairs Service Award 2011-12

Statement of Wonderfulness

In Celebration of

Josh Norris
Adventure Leadership Institute Manager, Recreational Sports


Genuine·Visionary ·Unique·Energetic·Creative·Fun·Passionate·Mentor·Teacher·Leader


The Health & Wellness Alignment in the Division of Student Affairs is inspired by their colleague who often introduces himself as “Josh Norris; kinda like Chuck Norris but without the good looks or sweet karate moves.”

As manager of the Adventure Leadership Institute programs in the Department of Recreational Sports, Josh and his team provide vision and inspiration to the program and its participants. Josh blends humor, professional excellence, enthusiasm, logic, cheer, and sincerity in a way that makes him a natural teacher and leader.  He collects odd and interesting facts and relays them in a way that enhances communication and builds trusting friendships with colleagues.

Josh brings a rare passionate perspective and broad inclusive approach to his work and his creativity is infused with high energy.  The impact that Josh has made and continues to make in the Department of Recreational Sports is substantial. Every day he models the student-centered approach. His ability to connect on a personal level to everyone he encounters influences students and staff to always do their best. His infectious personality makes the work place a fun, creative, and rewarding environment to grow and develop. In developing the Adventure Leadership Institute – a rare and best practice in adventure programming – Josh has bridged the gap between student affairs and academics of the campus which is an ambitious endeavor necessary for future success and a campus model for others to consider.

Josh brings optimism and energy to every task or project he undertakes. He has demonstrated to colleagues and students just how impactful a positive mentor can be. He regularly extends greetings and encouragement to the people around him, deepening the conversation when warranted and constructive. Josh has a very strong social justice lens, which is reflected in his interactions and his decisions. He welcomes others into conversations with the intent of providing them a place to contribute ideas and be involved. Josh is known for being very approachable. His professional skills are evidence of a lifetime of disciplined study and practice.

Josh is also a quick-witted entertainer: He is half of a two-person band named “Kinda Delicious,” serious about fun, and always contributes to formal or informal celebrations in word, song, or stories. Co-workers enthusiastically describe Josh’s personality as one big celebration and declare that through his energy, passion, propensity for play, and humor he is inspirational and impactful. One colleague revealed, “Sometimes we all wonder what is going on in that head of his!”

Josh is a purposeful, open, just, disciplined, caring and celebrative colleague. His work is not defined by position description, but rather a personal passion for his art and science. Beyond that, he has a desire and gift to connect with the student spirit.  He challenges his students to reach beyond themselves and enables them to grow self-confidence and leadership skills. Josh Norris’ professionalism, ethics, and enthusiasm are influential forces in the lives of our OSU students and professionals.


17th Annual Service Awards Celebration
Division of Student Affairs
Oregon State University
May 22, 2012