December 02, 2014

Yang receives state recreation therapy award

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. -- Several Southern Illinois University Carbondale students and faculty earned recognition at the recent Illinois Recreation Therapy Association annual conference with attendees from numerous surrounding states. 

Therapeutic recreation majors Michelle Watkins, a junior from Chicago, and Natalie Williams, a senior from Freeburg, won two of just four available ILRTA Student Scholarship Awards to be able to attend the conference with free registration, lodging and association membership. They were chosen on the basis of applications, essays and faculty recommendations and the value of the scholarship is about $500 each. 

At the November conference in Chicago/Alsip, Heewon Yang, professor and chair of the health education and recreation department, won the Professional of the Year Award.  The award is presented for outstanding services and contributions to the profession and to the Illinois Recreation Therapy Association and the ILRTA conferences. Yang has served on the association board for the past eight years and has made 23 presentations at the conference during the past nine years.  

Several people from SIU made presentations at the 2014 conference as well.  Nicole Wagenschutz, a master’s therapeutic recreation student from Peoria, along with Yang and Jun Kim, health education and recreation assistant professor, presented “Brain Fitness for Older Adults” while Kim and Yang presented “Art Activities for Clients with Visual Impairments.”