June 14, 2010

Recreational Sports and Services honors Cooke

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Samantha J. Cooke of Manteca, Calif., recently earned honors as the Leadership Team Member of the Month in Recreational Sports and Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Cooke, the daughter of Cynthia Lindsay and George Cooke, is a graduate student in recreation resource administration. She works as a graduate assistant in the adaptive and inclusive recreation program. She’s held the position for two years. Samantha has a bachelor’s degree in education and hopes to complete her master’s degree by the end of the year.

After graduation, Samantha’s goal is to “educate people about the wilderness and sustainability practices by using experiential education as a vehicle.”

Cooke is also the recent recipient of the 2010 Graduate Assistant Recognition Award from Student Affairs at SIUC. She is the March 2010 recipient of the RSS Leadership Team Member of the Month Award.

“First and foremost, she is dedicated to her students and the staff. Her care about each one is genuine. She is a mentor and positive role model for many. Samantha’s work ethic is impeccable. She stays until the task at hand is accomplished and her team player approach opens doors to many opportunities,” said Kathy Hollister, assistant director of special populations for RSS. Hollister said it is a “joy” to work with Cooke, calling her one of the top student employees during Hollister’s many years with RSS.

Recreational Sports and Services presents the Leadership Team award each month to a member of its team, which includes full-time staff, graduate assistants and student employees. Full-time staff selects the award winner from among the nominations and it recognizes extraordinary leadership and teamwork skills.