May 07, 2010

Student Affairs honors graduate assistant Cooke

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Samantha J. Cooke, who has won the praises of her supervisors for her outstanding work ethic, dedication and commitment, is the recipient of the 2010 Student Affairs Graduate Assistant Recognition Award at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Cooke, of Manteca, Calif., is a two-year employee in the Adaptive and Inclusive Recreation Program at Recreational Sports and Services. The daughter of Cynthia Lindsay and George Cooke, Samantha is a graduate student at SIUC and plans to complete her master’s in recreation resource administration by fall 2010. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in education.

“During my 27 years employed by Southern Illinois University Carbondale, I have had the opportunity to watch hundreds of students pass through our doors at the Student Recreation Center. Many stand out, but I can honestly say, Samantha is one of the crème de la crème. First and foremost, she is dedicated to her students and staff. They continually seek her advice and support, which she gives unconditionally. Her care about each one is genuine. She is a mentor and positive role model for many,” wrote Kathy Hollister, assistant director of special populations for Recreational Sports and Services, in nominating Cooke for the award.

Hollister also praised Cooke’s “impeccable” work ethic, her efforts as a team player, and her determination to learn as much as she can about her profession.

Cooke said her career goal is a position where she can “educate people about the wilderness and sustainability practices by using experiential education as a vehicle.”