Faculty and Staff Kinesiology

Getting to know: Drew Ibarra

“Physical activity has always been a large part of my life, and being active is core to my life,” says Physical Activity Programs Director Drew Ibarra.


Drew Ibarra began working as the Physical Activity Programs director, which includes the Faculty Staff Fitness and Physical Activity Course (PAC) programs, in 2013. He also serves as a FSF and PAC instructor. He previously held positions including Mr. Spartan fundraising advisor, volunteer coordinator with the Boys and Girls Club of Corvallis, Americorps Service-Learning Coordinator for 509J School District, personal trainer at Cape Canaveral Kennedy Space Center and Saint Thomas Aquinas High School assistant wrestling coach. Drew earned a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from the University of Kansas and a MEd in College Student Service Administration at Oregon State.

What does your job as director of Faculty Staff Fitness and Physical Activity Programs entail?  

“I get the opportunity to be directly involved in most all aspects of the programs, including scheduling, hiring, advertising classes, working with student clubs, teaching classes, cleaning the facilities, purchasing equipment, working with campus partners, repairing facilities and equipment, organizing community events and interacting with amazing faculty and students. It may get overwhelming at times, but it truly is awesome work and every day is exciting.”

What do you wish others knew about your job?

Drew-Ibarra-Synergies“Other than our individual programs serving everyone on campus and some off campus, we host health promotion events throughout the year. Two of the lesser known programs/activities that we run are the Beaver Bowl Fun Run and the TRY-Athlon. Both of these events are hosted by the Faculty Staff Fitness (FSF) Program and are focused on getting the OSU community active. The Beaver Bowl is a 5K Fun Run with football themed drills along the route, and is paired with the Moore Family Center’s GridIron Chef Contest. This year, the GridIron Chef Contest and Beaver Bowl Fun Run will be held Nov 21. The TRY-Athlon is a spring time team walk/run/swim event that focuses on participating with your campus department/unit.”

“Physical activity has always been a large part of my life, and being active is core to my life.”

Why did you choose to work at Oregon State in the CPHHS, and what made you decide to get into this field?

“Physical activity has always been a large part of my life, and being active is core to my life. I used to competitively participate in a wide variety of sports. I then turned that focus into coaching and teaching the activities I love. In conjunction with my academic background, I felt the next phase of my career would take me to improving individual’s lives through physical activity, but on a grander scale. More students participate in PAC (Physical Activity Course) than in any other similar program in the country. In addition, the opportunity to head up the FSF Program was of real interest to me. The FSF Program is also one of the more unique university programs in the country. Few universities have programs specifically dedicated to serving the health and physical activity needs of their faculty, staff, graduate students and partners/spouses. Therefore, when I was selected as the next director, it was a real honor to be at one of the premier programs in the country. It also did not hurt that Oregon is truly one of the most beautiful places I have ever lived.”

What do you enjoy most about your job?

“Getting to interact with our great instructors AND students, but also helping to create a vision for our programs in the upcoming years.”

Drew-Ibarra-Synergies-2What is the best advice you ever received, and who gave it?

“’We may not always get the opportunity to plant the seed that may change a person’s life, but when we do, we must be prepared to seize the opportunity. Because what we do today may shape an individual’s future for the rest of their life.’”

What advice would you like to give to students and young alums?

“Advice is best shown rather than told. Be mindful of the people you see who are successful to you and watch how they carry out their success. I personally have had many small failures, but it was through these failures that I have been able to achieve some of my greatest successes.”

What is one surprising thing about you that not many people know?

“I damaged my hearing in a freak firework accident when I was a kid. It was self-inflicted, but none the less, if I do not hear you the first time, I do not mean to be rude.”

What are your favorite activities outside of work?

“Ultra marathon running and spending time with my family and friends.”