June 05, 2008

Recreational Sports and Services honors employees

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Recreational Sports and Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale recognized employees with Employee of the Month honors during the just-completed school year.

• Tim Goeckner, a senior from Teutopolis, is a senior majoring in mining engineering. He’s a four-year student supervisor for Recreational Sports and Services, typically referred to by the acronym RSS. The son of Jean Cornill and Rock Goeckner, Goeckner plans to complete his college education and travel around the world, particularly to New Zealand and Australia. Goeckner earned the honor for his work in facilities for October 2007.

“Tim is a very dependable employee,” said Corné Prozesky, assistant director of facilities for RSS. “He rises up to the challenge each time when confronted with a challenge. He handles difficult situations in a calm and collected manner and is always ready to lend a helping hand in any areas of need.”

Also honored for October 2007, Talitha Anne Stoffer, a sophomore from Decatur, has been an RSS student worker in special populations since the fall semester. The daughter of Ronald and Barbara Pennekamp, Stoffer anticipates graduating this summer with an occupational degree as a physical therapist assistant. She plans to continue with her schooling in the future to become a physical therapist.

“Talitha has shown amazing energy and initiative with the kids at Parents Night In,” said Kathy Hollister, assistant director of special populations for RSS. “In fact, she was ‘discovered’ while playing with children at Evergreen Terrace. A pied piper of sorts, she also stepped up to the plate to work out with her fitness partner in the adaptive and inclusive recreation program very early mornings each week. She goes above and beyond expectations while still managing to get good grades and raise, along with her husband Derek, a wonderful little boy.”

• Robbie Cochrum is a second-year graduate student at SIUC and has been a personal trainer for RSS for since the fall 2007 semester. Honored for November 2007, the son of Loni and William Page was a double major in exercise physiology and sports management. He’s a second year graduate student in the kinesiology department at SIUC. From Harrisburg, he plans to enter the physician assistant program in summer 2009 after completing another master’s degree and his goal is working as a physician’s assistant for an athletic team. He would also like to someday own a pizzeria and a coffee house.

“Robbie is a dedicated employee who works hard to create programs for his clients that help them achieve their health fitness goals,” said Lynne Thompson-Cundiff, assistant director of fitness for RSS.

• Heather Lindenberg earned honors for facilities, as did Amanda M. Perkins for programming in December 2007. Lindenberg has worked at the RSS information desk since May 2007. A junior from Steeleville working on her bachelor’s degree in kinesiology specializing in athletic training, she plans to continue her schooling to become a physical therapist. The daughter of Jackie and Randy Lindenberg, she hopes to work for a college sports team and later as a home health care physical therapist.

“Heather’s a great worker; she does a great job and does it right,” said co-worker Sarah Hanson, a graduate assistant working at RSS. “She’s very polite and strives to help customers and she helps co-workers when they need shifts taken.”

Perkins, of Louisville, Ky., earned a bachelor’s in kinesthiology and is in the second year of her master’s program. The daughter of JoEtta and William Perkins, Jr. she’s worked as a personal trainer for RSS since February 2007. Perkins plans to complete her doctorate in sports psychology and become a professor of sport and exercise psychology.

“Amanda is a professional student trainer who really puts a lot of effort and energy into her client sessions,” Thompson-Cundiff said. “She is a graduate student in sports psychology and works very hard. She provides a positive, professional reputation for RSS.”

• Michael A. Jones is the programming employee of the month for January while Paruchuri Praveen earned the honor for facilities. Jones has worked in the program registration area since last August. From Chicago, Jones is a freshman. The son of Katrina Jones and Chester Parker, he plans to earn his bachelor’s degree and someday be an independent business owner.

“Michael is most deserving of this award due to his overwhelming willingness to assist all of those who he came in contact with, from patrons to fellow student employees,” said Dana Sample, office manager with the financial aid office “He listened attentively to patrons who needed assistance and picked up shifts for fellow co-workers. Mike was always going above and beyond to show that he really did care about you!”

Praveen Paruchuri is a graduate student in electrical and computer engineering. From Venkatapuram, India, Paruchuri has worked at RSS in custodial for a year. Paruchuri is the son of Venkateswara Rao and Pushpavathi Paruchuri. He plans to become a software engineer after graduation.

“Praveen is an example for all other students to follow,” said Prozesky, the assistant director of facilities for RSS. “With a full load of master-level classes he still revels in his custodial duties. Praveen is the consummate teammate; he makes sure that all staff and patrons feel comfortable and welcomed.”

• Brooke Marie Haarmann and Lindsay Paige Holtmann won employee of the month honors for February. Haarmann worked nearly four years at RSS and was a scheduling assistant and special populations workout trainer. A senior at SIUC from Effingham, she’s the daughter of Joedy Hightower, Greg Pelletier and Ray Haarmann. She graduated with an associate degree in physical therapy assistant and bachelor’s in technical resource management. She plans to pursue her master’s and doctorate in physical therapy. Haarmann wants to travel, marry and raise a family, and hopes to obtain a good job.

Haarmann’s supervisors say she worked about 12-15 hours weekly in the scheduling department and also with adaptive/inclusive recreation, serving as a fitness partner and trainer for disabled students. She was co-captain of the wheelchair basketball team, practicing each Tuesday evening and works with the Parent’s Night-In program on Wednesday nights. She also was active in a number of organizations.

“Brooke volunteers at Helia Healthcare geriatric facility in Carbondale two-three hours each week and is currently completing her internship in physical therapy at the Herrin Hospital and during breaks she works at a PTA clinic in Effingham, her hometown,” notes Linda Floro, administrative assistant, facility scheduling with RSS. “She travels home every other weekend to work at the KC Hall to earn extra income to help pay for school. She does all this while maintaining a good GPA. She deserves recognition!”

Holtmann is a sophomore from Albers working as a graphic designer in the RSS marketing department since November 2007. The daughter of Dan and Chris Holtmann, she hopes to graduate in May 2010 with a bachelor’s degree in art with an emphasis in communication design and a minor in advertising. Holtmann hopes to design advertisements for successful metropolitan businesses and someday own her own business.

“Lindsey is always smiling and has a very positive work attitude,” said Gary D. Tisdale, assistant director of marketing for RSS. “She’s very reliable and always eager to help and do more.”

• Julio Barrenzuela of Springfield is the March award winner. He’s been a salsa dance instructor at the Student Recreation Center since the spring of 2006. Barrenzuela, the son of Rosa E. Juarez, earned his marketing degree in May. Barrenzuela plans to create a Latin entertainment agency.

“”During his reign as our ‘Salsa Ambassador,’ he has generated a strong following of salsa dancers,” said Sally Wright, assistant director of recreational sports and services. “In March 2007 and again this past March, Julio was instrumental in coordinating a campus-wide interactive presentation by the ESPN world champion salsa dance team. It was for his hard work and effort in bringing the salsa champions from Los Angeles, Calif., to our campus that Julio was selected as the March Recreational Sports and Services program employee of the month.”

Erik Kressner of Lake Villa claimed March honors for his work in information technology for RSS. The son of Craig and Kathy Kressner, he graduated in May, majoring in information systems technology. He worked four years at RSS and plans to become a network engineer.

“Erik is an extraordinary individual who takes school and work very seriously,” said Heather Shaffer, systems administrator for RSS. “He is never late for a shift. He has become that ‘ideal’ student employee and I’m very proud to say that I’ve had the opportunity to have him as a member of my staff.”

• Joshua Lindberg of Carbondale garnered Employee of the Month honors for April. Working since August 2007 at the desk in the RSS Lifestyle Enhancement Center, he’s the son of Phil and Lynn Lindberg. He’s a freshman majoring in aviation flight and management. Lindberg’s career goal is flying corporate jets.

“Josh is very dependable, especially for a freshman and has really stepped up to the plate helping train our new Lifestyle Enhancement Center staff,” said Thompson-Cundiff. “He consistently works to improve the organization of our front desk. He’s honest, dependable and hard-working, a great asset to our team.”

Kashayla Brooke Stanford of Rockford also earned the honor for April, working as an administrative assistant for RSS. The freshman mortuary sciences and funeral services major is the daughter of Wendell and Danita Stanford and Patricia Patton. After obtaining her bachelor’s degree she plans to further her education in graduate school. She intends to become a licensed funeral director and embalmer and serve as a coroner after completing graduate school.

“Kashayla is the most efficient student employee I have ever had,” said Prozesky. “She completes tasks before any deadline and is always ready for more. Her attitude and demeanor are awesome. She is a breath of fresh air and is fun to work with. She leads by example and seeks opportunities to help others all the time.”

Recreational Sports and Services awards Employee of the Month honors in recognition of outstanding effort and service by student employees. An April 25 banquet recognized winners and celebrated contributions student workers and full-time staff make to Recreational Sports and Services and SIUC. It was part of the RSS “Past and Present Weekend Celebration.”

Robbie CochrumAmanda PerkinsMike Jones

 Brooke HaarmannLindsay HoltmannJulio Barrenzuela

Kashayla StanfordParuchuri- PraveenErik Kressner

Josh LindbergHeather LindenbergTalitha Stoffer