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.
Jaren Yang, class of 2018
As a student, I grew intellectually and spiritually during my time at Gordon. While double majoring in Recreation, Sport, and Wellness and Business Administration, I learned that going above and beyond gave me the best opportunity to succeed after college. Several months before graduation, I was offered a full-time position in the Content Associate Program working as a Production Assistant at ESPN in Bristol, CT. As a Production Assistant, I am tasked with watching, cutting, and editing film to put on our various shows while interacting with Head Producers and Anchors.
Working at ESPN has been a dream come true and I couldn’t have done it without the constant support of Dr. Valerie Gin. I will never take for granted the knowledge, encouragement, and love she showed to not only me, but everyone she interacts with.
As I continue to build my professional career, I will always have the necessary values instilled in me from that one small college just north of Boston. My advice to anyone reading this is to always shoot for the stars and never sell yourself short—God has exciting plans for you!
Sam Johnson, class of 2017
At Gordon, I had the very unique opportunity to pursue an education in an environment in which I was able to also grow in my faith. The individualized support and encouragement I received at Gordon College, in particular from Dr. Gin, gave me the ability to pursue my dream. I knew I wanted to work in sports so the combination of Recreation Sport and Wellness, and Business Administration was the perfect pairing. During my time at Gordon, I completed internships with the Cape Cod Baseball League and Dynamic Sports Training in Houston, Texas. These internships helped me gain valuable professional experience while in school.
Upon graduation, I participated in the Disney College Program to get my foot in the door in order to network within the company. From there I was able to secure a full-time role with the Event Operations team at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex in Walt Disney World. In my role, I have had the opportunity to work directly with several prominent sports organizations such as the NFL, the NBA, the MLB, the NCAA, and La Liga. On top of gaining professional experience in the sport industry, I am also pursuing my Master's Degree in Sport Managment from the University of Florida. All of these opportunities that I have been blessed with stem from my personal development I experienced during my time at Gordon College.
Nathaniel Hairston, class of 2016
The Recreation, Sport and Wellness major was the perfect fit for me personally, as well as my career goals. Through the major I learned not only the benefits and importance of recreation for a healthy society, but also teamwork, leadership, and effective time management. Additionally, I developed the ability to research, write and give presentations at a professional level. The classes and professors pushed me intellectually, spiritually and physically. I also enjoyed the friendships I built with the students and professors.
The RSW major required internship ensures that students gain some real workplace experience outside of the classroom. My internship with Loon Mountain Ministry at Loon Mountain Ski Resort in Lincoln, NH combined my faith with my passion for skiing and the outdoors. It also eventually led to my current job at Loon Mountain as a Snowmaking Foreman. In this position, I supervise snowmaking operations, as well as assist with trail grooming and year-round infrastructure maintenance. I'm also involved with the current planning and proposed construction of a downhill mountain bike park to expand the summer recreation opportunities at the mountain.
Skylar Bareford, class of 2014
Being a RSW major absolutely set the foundation for my current career in college athletics. In fact, I would attribute the Philosophy of Coaching class to where I really began to understand the higher calling there was in being a coach for the kingdom. I still use the principles and ideas I learned in that class each day as the women's basketball coach at Covenant College. Through my professors, classes, and friends in the major I also learned how to live life to the full for Christ and how to share his love and joy with others through sport. This major is about more than giving you a great skill set to take into the workplace. It equips you to think critically about how your specific field impacts the kingdom of God, and the role that you play within that.
My RSW required internship was a prestigious one, with the UCLA Women’s Basketball team. Right after graduation, I received a graduate assistant position with the Greenville University Women’s Basketball team. After graduating with the MS degree, I was hired full time as an Assistant Women’s Basketball Coach and Senior Women’s Administrator. I currently serve as the Head Women’s Basketball Coach at Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA.
Bobby Brown, class of 2014
Choosing the RSW major with a Sports Studies concentration was one of the best decisions I ever made. My RSW professors and courses challenged me to get out of my comfort zone and taught me to be a servant leader- two things that were critical in helping me to thrive in internships with a high school athletic director and a NCAA I football team, and also with my current job in the NFL.
I am so fortunate to be honoring Christ by serving others through athletics, something that would not have been possible without my RSW courses and experiences. After graduating from Gordon College, I earned my Master’s degree in Athletic Administration from Boston College while continuing working for the BC football team.
I currently hold the position of Coordinator, Football Operations and Team Travel for the New England Patriots.
Kendall Bukuras, class of 2014
Deciding to become a RSW major with a sports studies concentration and kinesiology minor has served me well not only with my career in collegiate sports but also in everyday life. The major made me go out of my comfort zone and realize my true potential. The professors and classmates, most of whom are friends, gave me the opportunity to grow in my faith through studying sport and recreation.
I thoroughly enjoyed the RSW major and it influenced me to obtain my masters at Concordia University Irvine in Coaching & Athletic Administration. I went from being a graduate assistant in the Gordon College Athletic Department to becoming the Director of Broadcasts and the Assistant Softball Coach. The courses in RSW helped me understand that sport is not just about wins and losses, but about building relationships and trust in order to become the best you can be in any given situation.
Rachel Collins, class of 2006
While at Gordon College, I majored in Recreation and Leisure Studies (now RSW) with an emphasis in Outdoor Education. Gordon gave me the foundation to pursue a variety of careers in the outdoors, including camp management, sea kayak and mountaineering guiding, outdoor education, and public lands management. After graduation, I went on to earn an MS in Experiential Education from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and a Ph.D. in Parks, Recreation and Tourism from the University of Utah. At the University of Utah, I was the NOLS Research Fellow.
Currently, I am a Visitor Use Specialist for the National Park Service optimizing recreation opportunities, improving transportation system performance, and implementing visitor user management strategies to protect park resources and enhance visitor experiences. When I’m not working, you can find me skiing, hiking, and boating with my husband, son, and dog.