Category Archives: Student Employee Programming

BGSU Student Leadership Excellence Results in National Recognition

BGSU Recreation and Wellness is home to two recent national award recipients. The Outdoor Program is the winner of the David J. Webb Program Excellence Award from the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE.) Additionally, Student Wellness Network Vice-President Ashley Remer is the winner of the 2009 BACCHUS Network “Outstanding Student Award.”

The AORE is a national organization representing outdoor recreation programs at universities and military bases, as well as not-for-profit outdoor recreation programs.

“This is the highest award given to an outdoor recreation program,” said Director of the Outdoor Program Jerome Gabriel. “It’s the Emmy of outdoor recreation.”

Given BGSU’s location in an area not known for outdoor recreation like Northwest Ohio, it may appear surprising the Outdoor Program is the winner of this prestigious award. However, the program has a proud reputation in the outdoor recreation community.

“We were nominated for our ability to produce outstanding outdoor leaders,” stated Gabriel. “Students have gone on to be directors of outdoor programs in Colorado and Utah, graduate assistants in Georgia and New York, and work in many professional areas of outdoor recreation.”

The Outdoor Program also makes good use of the resources it has available with programs such as the adaptive climbing program, adrenaline youth climbing club, and the freshman wilderness experience.

Another important resource of the Outdoor Program is its student staff. The student employees at the program are vital contributors towards the program’s success.

“We give 100 percent recognition to our student staff,” said Gabriel. “The program wouldn’t have gone anywhere without students, who are passionate about outdoor recreation.”

The Student Wellness Network also has a strong reputation for producing leaders, a fact The BACCHUS Network recognizes.

The BACCHUS Network consists of over 32,000 student peer educators and advisors. BGSU’s Student Wellness Network is an affiliate. Student Wellness Network Vice-President Ashley Remer is the most recent winner of the “Outstanding Student Award.” Remer is the second BGSU student in as many years to win the award.

Senior Ashley Remer won “Outstanding Student of the Year” among other students due to her dedication to the Student Wellness Network.

“Ashley is a great leader and very charismatic,” stated Wellness Connection Director and Student Wellness Network Advisor Faith Yingling. “Other students look up to her as a mentor and leader. She brought the organization through a transition period after two main leaders graduated last year. Her leadership is very important. She really connects with students, and they feel comfortable with her.”

On Thursday, November 19 the Student Wellness Network has a table in the Union from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. as part of the Great American Smokeout. Visitors can find information on smoking cessation. Furthermore, Alcohol and Chemical Dependency Counselor Carrie Arndt is at the table from 12 until 2 p.m.

More information on the Student Wellness Network and the Wellness Connection can be found at their Web sites.

In early December, the Outdoor Program releases its Spring Semester trip schedule, which will include backpacking along the Appalachian trail and caving in Alabama. Please visit the Outdoor Program Web site for more information.

RecWell Opportunities for Student Employment and Experience

Recreation and Wellness employs BGSU students in a variety of different areas creating career and leadership development opportunities. Available positions can be found at all of the department’s facilities, such as the Student Recreation Center (SRC), Ice Arena, and Forrest Creason Golf Course. Additionally, there are four different levels of positions. A position’s level reflects its responsibilities, any required experience or certification, and salary.

Morgan Montgomery is an Intramural Student Supervisor with Recreation and Wellness, and has been for nearly one year. He has been with the department for a total of two and a half years, beginning as an official for Intramural Sports.

“It’s been great. There is camaraderie, our staff is close,” said Montgomery. “For a job like this in school, you can’t beat it.”

Employment at Recreation and Wellness contributes to the professional development of students and supplements classroom learning with real life experience.

“My job has prepared me for managing and directing people,” stated Montgomery, a construction management major. “Not everyone gets that, dealing with people and having a staff. The management of people will help.”

Considering his experiences working for Recreation and Wellness’ Intramural Sports Program, Montgomery recommends student employment with the department.

“I can’t think of another job on campus where you meet the people you meet here, enjoy your job, and get to be around athletics,” said Montgomery.

As Intramural Supervisor, Montgomery is responsible for on-site supervision, inspection of facilities and equipment, and evaluation of scorekeepers and officials amongst other duties. Other supervisory roles, such as the Perry Field House Supervisor, share similar responsibilities. Both positions are categorized at level four.

In order for a student to work his or her way up to positions in levels two through four, entry into a level one position is encouraged. These positions, such as Climbing Wall Attendant and Golf Course Maintenance Attendant, allow the student employee to become familiar with a specific aspect of Recreation and Wellness. The Climbing Wall Attendant is responsible for customer service and maintaining climbing wall safety, while the Golf Course Maintenance Attendant’s duties include mowing the greens, tees, fairways and roughs.

After spending time working in level one positions, student employees have the chance to move up to positions with more responsibilities and higher pay. SRC Pro Shop Manager and Zamboni Room Associate are examples of level two positions. The SRC Pro Shop Manager supervises the Pro Shop Attendants, completes shift sales reports, and does periodic inspections of facilities and equipment. Duties required of the Zamboni Room Associate include training of the Zamboni Room staff and setting up the ice for games.

Certain positions may require outside certification. The Learn-to-Swim Instructor position requires an American Red Cross Water Safety Instructor Certification. While this position is at level three, its unique certification does not require applicants to have a prior work history with Recreation and Wellness at a level one or two position. Many of the other positions in the department require First Aid and CPR certification.

For more information on positions available and contact information, please visit the Recreation and Wellness Student Employment Web site.

BGSU Almnus, David Barac, on Leadership and Motivation


The University recently hosted a presentation by a former student with an interesting career. On Friday, September 18 in the Ballroom at the Bowen-Thompson Student Union, BGSU alumnus and Managing Director of the San Diego Chicken Organization David Barac spoke as part of Recreation and Wellness’ Student Development and Leadership Program. The theme of the presentation was Exploring Leadership and Motivation.

Barac opened his presentation with a video clip illustrating one of the more unique aspects of his job. The video was one of him, dressed as Barney the dinosaur, entertaining fans with the San Diego Chicken during an intermission at a Milwaukee Admirals hockey game.

“Occasionally, I get to dress up as Barney and I get beat up by a chicken,” said Barac.

Barac graduated from BGSU in 2003 with bachelor’s degree in Sport Management. He interned with the San Diego Chicken Organization and went on to get his M.B.A. from the University of Toledo.

The influence of BGSU was apparent throughout much of Barac’s presentation. He credited his time at the University for developing his professional writing and communication skills, as well as, his preparedness to be interviewed.

“Out here your grade is your paycheck,” Barac stated. “It’s important to practice your writing.”

However, Barac also conveyed the importance of things outside of work. “You have to balance work, volunteer work, and fun,” he said.

Barac also gave insightful advice relevant to those soon entering the job market. Persistence and dedication were two ideas heavily stressed, which he believed to be essential to long-term career success. He also effectively expressed the importance of career satisfaction.

“If you love what you do, doors will open up for you,” Barac said. “If you show others you can do the job and you love what you do, they’ll do business with you.”

Barac closed with some words of inspiration:

“Broaden you horizons. Try to learn new things,” Barac said. “Look at me. I work for a guy in a chicken suit, and here I am today.”

The presentation on Exploring Leadership and Motivation was the first in the Student Development and Leadership Program series. The program runs through the Spring Semester and includes 12 total presentations and workshops on topics such as Leadership and Technology, Crisis Management, and Interactive Teambuilding. To register for future program events, visit The next program event is Leadership and Technology on Wednesday, September 30 at 9:15 p.m. in the Student Recreation Center’s Youth and Family Room. The facilitator is Recreation and Wellness Assistant Director Lona Leck.