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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato


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Department Announcements

  • Dr. Brooke Burk is a new incoming board member to serve a three year term for Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation.
  • The Association of Outdoor Recreation Edcuation awarded grant funds to conduct a research study on barriers to participation and willingness to pay to develop campus outdoor recreation programs.  The project team includes RPLS faculty - Dr. Robyn Ceurvorst, Dr. Jonathan Hicks, and Dr. Rachelle Fuller; Adventure Education Coordinator - Sam Steiger; Experiential Education Graduate Assistant - David Childers; and Undergraduate Researcher - Madeline DuBois.  Results were presented to MSSA and at the AORE conference.  

Student Announcements

  • F14Ryan Trench, Lauren Stasi, Bri Spicer, Anna Koenecke, and Gina Hauge (pictured from left to right) are part of an inter-professional research team providing recreation activities to enhance literacy intervention and therapy in the Center for Communication Sciences and Disorders. As part of their research, they have designed recreation activities that meet individual needs to improve interest in reading and writing. Their work will be featured at the Minnesota Speech and Hearing Annual Conference on April 7th. It has also been instrumental in the design of a literacy and recreation-based summer camp, called Camp Maverick. Camp Maverick will be offered for the first time this summer to children in Kindergarten through 5th grade.  F14
  • Greta Wintersteen is the receipent of the Minnesota Recreation and Park Foundation Scholarship.  Congratulations Greta!F14
  • Megan Holt is the receipent of the Minnesota Therapeutic Recreation Association Scholarship.  Congratulations Megan!
  • Kaitlyn Sturdy is the receipent of the Southern Minnesota Recreation and Park Association Scholarship.  Congratulations Kaitlyn!
  • Kaitlyn Sturdy and Cody Benschoter are the recipients of the Fall 2016 Department of Recreation, Parks & Leisure Services Joanne Ardolf Decker Scholarship.  Congratulationis Kaitlyn and Cody!

Alumni Announcements

  • Gabriell Edel has accepted the Communication Coordinator position at Partners for Affordable Housing in Mankato.
  • Joe Giesfeldt has accepted the position as the Assistant Forest Superintendent at Kettle Moraine State Forest - Northern Unit.  
  • Molly Ambrose has accepted the new STRIDE Coordinator position at Mankato Family YMCA.
  • John Henke, 1993 Graduate, is the Director of Parks, Recreation and Library Services for the City of Crosslake in Crosslake, MN.
  • Jocelyn Nielson, is the Activties Director at Vista Prairie at Monarch Meadows in North Mankato.
  • Sarah Ortmann is at the Sky Ranch Camp in Westcliffe, Colorado.
  • Laura Enyong has accepted a position at United Hospital in Geriatric Inpatient Psych.
  • Rhiannon Kuenzel has accepted a position with Golden Home Care in New Ulm as a Program Coordinator.  
  • Olivia Kranz has accepted a position as a Recreation Program Assistant at the St. Peter Regional Treatment Center.
  • Craig Hansen was selected as Superintendent of Knife River Indian Villages National Historic Site in Stanton, North Dakota.  
  • Josh Munsch is Executive Director at Soutside Services, Minneapolis, MN..
  • Eric Lucas, Director of Parks, Recreation, and Culture, Windsor, CO.
  • Mike Pflaum, Park Superintendent of Badlands National Park.
  • Emily Holle, is a Rehabilitation Therapist - Recreation Safety at the state hospital in Coalinga, CA.
  • Cody Swier is a Recreation Therapist position at Hennepin County Medical Center.  
  • Mike Ramirez is at the City of Bloomington Parks and Recreation Department.
  • Geran Herda is an Activities Therapist with Augustana Care in Minneapolis.
  • Aubrie Ford, has recently accepted a position at Sharon Towers, Charlotte, NC.
  • Jedidiah Cates is a Recreation Therapist with the Adult Day Health Care department at the Minneapolis Veterans Administration Hospital.
  • Tony Gerding, is teaching English for children at a language center in Hanoi, Vietnam which also is a summer camp during the month of June.
  • Emily Liebhard, CTRS, is an Activity/Life Enrichment director at Copperfield Hill Senior Living in Robbinsdale, MN.
  • Kara Kocmick, CTRS, is a full time Recreation Therapist position with the Minnesota Sex Offender Program in St. Peter.
  • Jon Hagen, is at the City of Woodbury Parks and Recreation and a Head Couching job for Woodbury's JV team.
  • Gina Robinette ris a Recreation Program coordinator with the City of Savage Recreation Department.
  • Abdulaziz Alqahtani is a Recreation Services Advisor at the Saudi Aramco Residential Camp in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia.
  • Sean Kelly is a full time permanent position as a an Interpretive Park Ranger with The Army Corps of Engineers Black Hawk in DeSoto, WI.
  • Elizabeth Quall his a Trailhead Ranger in Sequoia National Park.
  • Nicole Gorman is the Recreation Supervisor for the City of Farmington.
  • Melissa Williams (Jutz) CTRS, 2002 graduate, is a Regional Life Enrichment Director for The Goodman Group.
  • Sam Sundermeyer, 2012 graduate, is a Marketing Coordinator for Flagship Recreation.
  • Miranda Kearney, 2011 graduate, is a Life Enrichment Specialist at Ecumen Prairie Hill in St. Peter..
  • Brandon Johnson, is in the Adult Day Services program at Mount Olivet Rolling Acres.
  • David Foley, is the University of Minnesota - Extension Program Coordinator for Houston County 4-H.
  • Nichole Kwasny, 2013 graduate, is a recreation attendant at Camp Pendleton USMC base in California.
  • Mary Voight, 2012 graduate, is a Therapeutic Recreation Worker for Lawrence Hall Youth Services in Chicago.
  • Danny Coca, 2013 graduate, is the Registration Manager for BCD M&I (Event Management Company) in Chicago.
  • Anna Findsen, 2013 graduate, is the Resident Program Assistant at Freedom Pointe in Minnetonka.
  • Bethany Gassman, 2010 graduate, is a Law Enforcement Support Assistant for National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park, WY.
  • Mason Scharfe, 2011 graduate, is a Park Ranger for USACE.
  • Brenda Harker, 2009 graduate, is a Therapeutic Recreation Coordinator for Challenge Alaska.
  • Christine Hollingsworth, 2011 graduate, is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist for Foundation For Senior Living in AZ.
  • Christopher Piquette, 2011 graduate, is a Youth Sports Supervisor for Grand Junction Parks and Recreation in Grand Junction, CO.
  • Jonathan Phelps, 2011 graduate, is a Buildings and Grounds Maintenance Worker for MN DNR.
  • Aaron Finke, 2009 graduate, is a Duluth Stream Corps Program Manager for Community Action Duluth.
  • Gabe Glassman, 2009 graduate, is a U.S. Park Ranger for the National Park Service in Yellowstone National Park, WY.
  • Heather Stanek, 2010 graduate, is a Recreation Supervisor of Special Events & Aquatics for Salina Parks & Recreation in Salina, KS.
  • Ryan Parks, 2011 graduate, is a Recreation Supervisor for the City of Robbinsdale.
  • Aron Voss, 2008 graduate, is a Aquatics Manager Naval Air Field in Atsugi, Japan.
  • Brad Dushaw, 2012 graduate, is Recreation Supervisor for the City of Owatonna.
  • Sam Pertz, 2008 graduate, is a Parks and Trail Supervisor for Carver County Parks.
  • Katelyn Berkner, 2013 graduate, is an Activities Director for St. Lucas Healthcare Community in Faribault, MN.
  • Corinne Breimhurst, 2012 graduate, is Therapeutic Recreation Specialist on the Transitional Care Unit at Sholom Home West in St. Louis Park.
  • Kara Marks CTRS, 2010 graduate, is at Patton State Hospital in California.

If you are an alumni or student of the department and have an announcement, we would love to hear from you. Please send information to