November 07, 2007

Recreational Sports and Services honors students

by Christi Mathis


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CARBONDALE, Ill. — Jon W. Benton and Leighton A. Peavler are the employees of the month for September in Recreational Sports and Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Peavler, of Catlin, is a senior completing his bachelor's degree in exercise science. He plans to continue with graduate studies in occupational therapy, so he can pursue a career "where I may better the lives of others through rehab and therapy."

The son of Chad and Ruth Hay and Bob Peavler, Leighton has worked at Recreational Sports and Services, known as RSS, since fall 2007. Kathy Hollister, assistant director of special populations for RSS, recalls being a guest lecturer in a kinesiology class where she offered those interested in working as a fitness partner for the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation program the opportunity to contact her. By the time she returned to her office, she found a message from Peavler waiting.

"This decision was to become life-changing for him," Hollister said. "He'd been struggling with his career choice at the time and something I said in class piqued his interest. I was impressed with his initiative and the fact he was willing to take a risk with the unfamiliar, go beyond his comfort zone. Working with his fitness partners who just happen to have a disability has opened a new door, offered a new light. This has also gone beyond just the workout. He has extended the relationship to include friendship with fellow students. He has tutored them and even offered expertise in a new sport. Leighton is genuine, caring and of outstanding character. Having him on the staff has been one of the best choices I've ever made."

Benton, of Marion, is a senior working on a bachelor's degree in history with a minor in museum studies. His career goal is employment in a museum, interpretive center or visitor's center.

The son of James and Mary Benton, he works as a greeter and tennis court attendant for Recreational Sports and Services. Benton is also a member of the American Marketing Association.

"Jon is a very reliable and dedicated staff member," said Tena Bennett, coordinator of facilities and membership services for Recreational Sports and Services. "He always has a smile for everyone and loves what he does for Recreational Sports and Services. He is a great team player and we are lucky to have him on staff."

Recreational Sports and Services presents the employee of the month award to recognize student employees for demonstrating outstanding effort and service.


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