WHERE GRADS GO
There are many professional opportunities directly related to leisure and recreational services. Read below to find out what a few of our graduates have been doing.
Tom Benedict, class of 2005
Throughout my time at Gordon I knew I was in the right place, getting my Recreation and Leisure degree, but didn't know exactly what I wanted to do with it at the end. This is okay! During my last semester at Gordon, God's direction became clear to me: He was leading me into the social work field. I ended up being hired at a residential center for emotionally disturbed youth ages 8-18 where I was hired as a Therapeutic Recreation Counselor. I have been at this agency for about two and a half years doing a myriad of tasks such as: low and high ropes course, teambuilding games (focused on building specific interpersonal skills), coaching softball and basketball teams, and off-grounds trips. I use recreation and leisure to build strong therapeutic relationships to help kids better love and respect themselves and others by giving them skills and coping mechanisms for their very tough lives. I love what I do as you can see through my extreme wordiness, but I love to share about it because God did use Gordon's professors and environment to get me where I'm at today. I also am married, with my second daughter on the way. I live in a community of strong believers with three families in one house!
Megan Benevides, class of 2006
My Recreation and Leisure Studies internship turned into a full-time job after I graduated. A double major in Recreation and Leisure Studies and Business Administration, my full-time job with Special Olympics MA is a perfect fit for me. My official title is Special Olympics MA Associate South Section Director. My responsibilities include: planning, organizing, running and managing local sport competitions and fundraising events for Special Olympics MA's South Section. I also provide support for local programs as they compete at the State-wide competitions.
I get to do something different everyday and utilize both my majors in my position. From Accounting and Managing, to Programming and Coaching, my favorite part of my job is the interactions with the people I am working for. Our current athletes, coaches and family members inspire me and allow me to say: "I love what I do and I love my job." One of the more important parts my job is outreach to local school systems and communities that have not been exposed to Special Olympics yet. Starting new teams and recruiting new athletes is such a joy for me. It's so wonderful to see how one's passion for sport can change their lives. Being at Gordon helped me realize that my passion and wiring for sport has the ability to impact others' lives, too.
Rachel Collins, class of 2006
Since graduating from Gordon, I have moved to Minnesota and am currently finishing my first year of my graduate program in Experiential Education at Minnesota State University, Mankato. In this program we are in a continual conversation, through practical experience, seminars and research about what effective teaching and learning looks like. Also I was awarded a Graduate Assistantship working with MSU's Undergraduate Research Conference (URC). The URC provides funding and a venue for undergraduate students to do research in their chosen fields. The foundational skills I learned about programming, research, and the importance of having quality mentors from Gordon's Recreation and Leisure program have been pivotal in both my academic pursuits and in the work I am doing with Minnesota State University.
Also while I was at Gordon I was actively involved with the LaVida Center for Outdoor Education and was a student on the Immersion Semester. These both gave me a fabulous background about what it means to be involved in wilderness programming and how to be an effective teacher and leader. As a result of these experiences I have become a Wilderness Education Association Instructor and will be spending the summer of 2007 working for Alaska Mountain Guides and the International Wilderness Leadership School leading and teaching on Sea Kayaking Expeditions.
The small classes meant that I really got to know the students who I studied with while I was at Gordon and have conversations that not only lasted for a class period or semester, but through the years of our studying at Gordon. My hope is that as I continue in my academic and professional career I can continue to seek out how to facilitate this same experience for the students I work with.
Angela (Linsalato) Shaw, Class of 2003
After graduating from Gordon with a Recreation and Leisure studies degree in May 2003, I was hired as a program director supervising youth sports and teen activities for a municipal Recreation and Parks Department in Westchester County, New York. This position solidified my passion for the field and led me to earn a Masters degree in Recreation Education from Lehman College (Bronx, New York).
Gordon's Recreation and Leisure Studies program prepared me not only to further my education and work in the field, but most importantly to live life to its fullest, embracing each moment by the grace of God. In addition to my career, I enjoy coaching a youth baseball team alongside my husband as well as participating in recreational sports. I enjoyed my major and my time at Gordon so much my younger sister is now at Gordon majoring in Recreation and Leisure Studies!