August 19, 2010

Student employees earn summer honors from RSS

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Phyllis “Abbi” Allen, Derek Donlevy, Alex Halbrook and Fal-Francisco Arriola are the winners of Student Employee of the Summer honors from Recreational Sports and Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

Allen, of Jerseyville, is a senior majoring in speech communications with a public relations specialization and a finance minor. The daughter of Mike and Debby Allen, she’s assistant camp director for youth camps at RSS and a two-year employee. She led seven youth recreation camps during summer 2010, planning activities, training staff, reserving facilities, scheduling tours, hiring camp staff and handling their scheduling and evaluation, ordering camp supplies and more.

She plans to attend graduate school to earn her MBA and seeks a career helping people. Campers and parents praised Allen, crediting her with making camp a great experience for the youngsters.

“It has been a privilege and an honor to have been a part of all of Abbi’s accomplishments. She is one of the best and most dedicated students who has been part of my staff. This summer Abbi had the responsibility of revamping our Dawg Days of Summer day camp. The comments I received about her from parents were overwhelmingly impressive. I am excited to see what she will do in the future because I know she will be successful,” said Shane Bennett, assistant director of intramural sports and sports clubs.

Donlevy, of Oconto, Wis., is a graduate student majoring in recreation administration. The son of Brian and Kim Donlevy, he holds an undergraduate degree in recreation management. He’s been a graduate assistant for RSS for two years. Donlevy anticipates graduating in May 2011 with his master’s degree. His career goal is working as the director of a campus recreation department or community park and recreation department.

Working for RSS this summer, Donlevy held dual roles, assisting with the aquatics and facilities departments while also learning the ropes in the sports clubs and intramural arenas. While coordinating the instructional programs department’s summer classes he also planned the fall schedule and served as lead staff person for the KidzRec three days a week, according to Sally Wright, associate director of recreational programs.

“All the while, he came with his smile!” she added.

Halbrook, of Carbondale, is working on his master’s degree in professional media and media management. He holds a bachelor’s in art with communication design specialization. The son of Richard Halbrook and Mari Schneider, Alex works in the aquatics program. After completing his master’s degree, he would like to develop new media educational platforms for wildlife conservation and open a turtle and tortoise conservation and research facility.

Halbrook assisted setting up the CPR/First Aid classes this summer for RSS as well as aquatics special event scheduling and payroll.

“Alex has been an integral part of our aquatics program for six years. He started as a lifeguard when he was a high school student and has worked his way up to a graduate assistant position. His knowledge of our procedures, friendly demeanor and great work ethic are an important part of the success of our program,” said Jeff Goelz, assistant director of aquatics and base camp.

Arriola, of Saipan, is a senior aviation technologies major. The son of Pedro S. Arriola and Donna Arriola, Fal-Francisco works in the reception area at RSS. He plans to complete his aviation technologies degree and get his airframe and powerplant certification and then secure employment in the aviation industry.

With a ready smile and eagerness to assist RSS patrons, Arriola has earned the praises of co-workers and visitors to the Student Recreation Center this summer.

“Francisco began working for us in May, prior to graduation. He has exceeded our expectations as a student employee. Great customer service is our goal at the reception desk and Francisco definitely meets that goal,” said Todd Bryson, assistant director of operations.

Recreational Sports and Services presents the employee awards to recognize outstanding effort and service by student employees.