John Schmeink (1999) — Recreation Therapist, St. Louis VAMC
Attending Eastern Illinois University's Department of Recreation Administration prepared me for many things in life. It helped me by having a small class size so I could get more personal attention from my professors. It prepared me for the business side of the recreation world. It helped me to be able to approach the clinical world of recreation therapy by exposing me to different populations and disabilities. It also helped me to realize which populations I would and would not like to work with. EIU and the department of Recreation Administration gave me the knowledge, skills, and abilities to excel in the field of Recreation Therapy. I currently am working with our Nation's Heroes, helping to restore their day to day functioning through ground breaking treatments and modalities.
Adrienne Gedvilas (2001) — Carroll Center Director, Oak Park Park District
I am working for the facility that I interned at over the summer. I am in charge of 10 part-time staff. I do all programming and coaching for the facility. I work with children from preschool to eighth grade. I use all of my past experience from all the classes. I think the most important is finance, since the park district is trying to change their budget.
Virginia Deniston (2000) — Recreation Therapist
It allowed me to get a job in the field. I decided on recreation therapy. The professors are knowledgeable. Your education is what you make it. I graduated with TR, yet most of the courses and degree is recreation based. This can be used to your advantage or disadvantage if you are not sure what type of recreation you want to focus on: Public, outdoor, commercial, or therapeutic. This allows you to experience all areas. Yet if you are positive you are interested in outdoor only you need to take courses in all areas.
Michael Sterba (1974) — Director of Parks and Recreation
My degree in recreation has taught me one valuable lesson in life. That lesson becomes even more obvious the older I /we get. That lesson is life is! If you have your health you got the world. Health is synonymous with leisure and leisure makes us all feel better, then recreation and leisure must be a good thing. Being in a position to help other people acquire better health through leisure and recreation has been very rewarding in my own professional development. How can you argue with helping people fell better about themselves and their communities? My degree was definitely a plus in life. Quality of life is everything!
I think that Eastern offered me a great educational experience. There was always something that kept the recreation major involved. The courses offered were valuable but most of us learn the real nuts and bolts of our profession on the job. There is no substitute for real experience. The faculty at Eastern offered a wide variety of expertise and personalities. I think the small classes and personable faculty members offered some great mentoring opportunities of which I took advantage. I feel blessed that I still have the opportunity to talk to individuals like Dr. Bryden and others. My relationships with these individuals make a life long bond to the EIU Recreation Department. I wouldn't have traded those years for anything. In fact my daughter plans to attend EIU starting in the Fall of 2004. She plans on being a teacher but she says she will definitely take some recreation courses during her time there. Go panthers!!!!
Brian Romes (1998) — Recreation Supervisor
The recreation department at EIU gave me the knowledge, skills and abilities necessary to excel in various aspects of recreation and leisure. From resume preparation to hands-on programming experiences, the professors dedicated their time to assure students' goals were achieved. The best experience I could have received was provided through the field work and internship experience. In addition, being active in the Student Association for Recreation taught me the importance of networking and professionalism.
My experience at EIU was not only educational, but also fun! I felt a close bond with many professors and students. In addition, class assignments were always job-related experiences. I truly benefited from my EIU experience, and would recommend the department to any incoming students.
Faculty were always willing to help and advise, had the necessary skills to be successful. Majors club was fun and a great way to be involved.
Tina Hlousek (1999) — Youth Sports Supervisor
The recreation program greatly improved my organizational, communication and leadership skills. My recreation degree has helped me to obtain jobs in the field, as well as earn specialized certifications. The faculty in the leisure studies department are excellent. I learned so much through the small size classes and interaction with other students. The majors club is also a great opportunity to learn and meet new people. The courses (requirements and electives) are both educational and fun.
Janel (Geary) Ordanas (1992) — Superintendent of Recreation
Opened doors by networking with other alumni. Courses laid a great foundation for employment and coursework for graduate degree. Participating in rec. club.
Corky Emberson (1994) — Athletics Manager, Urbana Park District
Helped get my job. Excellent program! Preparation was great for working world.
Vann Bennett (1994) — Golf Course Manager, Downers Grove Park District
Through field work and internships, great contacts for future employment opportunities. Superb faculty and curriculum.
Jamie Crisup (2001) — Recreation Supervisor
I use it everyday. I enjoyed all the classes.
Kelly Rathke (2001) — Recreation Manager
It helped to get my job. Great experiences that have benefited me in my career.
Kelly LaMore (1993) — Superintendent of Recreation
I had a great educational and personal experience at EIU. I would be happy to assist the program in any way.
Rita (Barlett) Ligeikis (1997) — Recreation Coordinator
Got a job in the field one month after I graduated. Programming classes, Mr. Smith's BBQ.