December 18, 2009

Donlevy wins parks and recreation scholarship

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Derek Donlevy, a graduate student employee at Southern Illinois University Carbondale’s Recreational Sports and Services is the 2009/2010 winner of the $2,500 Otto Rice Memorial Student Scholarship from the Southern Illinois Parks and Recreation Association.

Donlevy, of Oconto, Wis., is a second semester graduate student working in the instructional and youth and family services programs. An RSS employee since January, he is studying for his master’s degree in recreation administration.

The son of Brian and Kim Donlevy, Derek also holds a bachelor’s degree in recreation management from the University of Wisconsin-La Crosse. His future plans are to work as director of a city park and recreation department or a park district.

Donlevy, who carries a 4.0 GPA, is a student member of the Southern Illinois association. He is also president of the SIUC Student Recreation Society and a student representative to the National Recreation and Park Association. He said he enjoys being a “facilitator of fun,” working with people and seeing them enjoy programs he’s involved with.

“The 2009/2010 Southern Illinois Parks and Recreation Association’s Otto Rice Memorial Student Scholarship couldn’t have been awarded to a more deserving individual,” said Kathryn L. Hollister, assistant director of special populations for Recreational Sports and Services. “According to those who knew Mr. Rice, he had a relentless work ethic, was devoted to the field of recreation and loved what he did. His daily life was a series of smiles. These same traits are definitely attributes of Derek as well. Derek is a doer with excellent time management, organization, problem-solving and people skills. He has brought that same smile to Southern Illinois University Carbondale and most importantly, to recreation. I am proud of him for this accomplishment and recognition.”

SIPRA created the Otto Rice Memorial Student Scholarship in honor and memory of the late Wood River Parks and Recreation Department superintendent who passed away suddenly in September 2009 after working for the department for more than 20 years.