CWURecreation NewsRecreation News's Melissa Robertson Taught Children in India for Spring Break, 19 Apr 2018 13:35:19<p style="text-align: center;"><strong><a href="">CWU Recreation’s</a> Melissa Robertson Makes a Difference with Children in India</strong></p><p>Central Washington University’s <a href="">Climbing Wall</a> and <a href="">Challenge Course</a> Coordinator, Melissa Robertson, spent her Spring Break volunteering in Delhi, India through a non-profit called <a href="">Thrive Seed</a>. Thrive Seed’s main focus is on children’s education and women’s empowerment, focusing on creating safe and nurturing learning environments where girls can attain a quality education.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 150px; margin: 5px;">&nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp; &nbsp;&nbsp;<img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 169px; margin: 5px;"></p><p>Robertson had the opportunity to teach English and basic literacy skills to children ages five to 15 whom have had no formal education. Thrive Seed makes it possible for these children to attend school for one hour a day, rather than begging on the streets. These schools are located in slums which are heavily populated, very poor areas. The classrooms are one building rooms with no roof, whiteboard, or school supplies. Regardless of the conditions, these children are excited to be at school every day and are eager and appreciative to learn.</p><p>“Everyone was so kind to us the entire time,” Robertson said.&nbsp; “Even the poorest people in the slums would offer us food or chai- even if it was the last food they had. We didn’t meet anyone that wasn’t welcoming and appreciative of us.”</p><p>Robertson chose Thrive Seed because, after her past experiences with larger non-governmental organizations, she wanted to volunteer for an organization that is local and serves the community. Thrive Seed is a one-woman operation started by Sonu Kaur, a teacher and social worker. Her goal is to help women and children create a bright future through education. Kaur supports the children and their educations with her own money. She also organizes all of the teachers and volunteers at each of the three schools.</p><p>For Robertson, the most rewarding aspect of the trip was educating the children and facilitating their eagerness to learn.</p><p>“It is so mind opening and really makes you appreciate what you have,” Robertson said. She hopes to establish a group of students that could volunteer at Thrive Seed through an organization such as the <a href="">Center for Leadership and Community Engagement</a> on campus. Thrive Seed desperately need volunteers and Robertson believes that anyone would benefit from volunteering.</p><p>Another important aspect to Thrive Seed is women’s empowerment. In many villages, the women must rely on their husbands because they have no formal education. If anything happens to their husband, they have no way to support themselves. Thrive Seed helps educate women on how to support themselves and their families through practical education.</p><p>“Thrive Seed teaches them useful skills and I met some of the most successful women in the slums and it was no surprise that they have gone through the women’s empowerment program,” said Robertson.</p><p>For her next adventure, Robertson wants to volunteer in Peru, Colombia, or any Spanish speaking country. She expressed that she wants to learn Spanish and has always been fascinated with Central and South American culture.</p><p>“Thrive Seed also connects young adults with tourists and has them act as tour guides for the city and surrounding areas. I would love to help with that program as well since my background is in recreation,” said Robertson.</p><p>For more information regarding the Robertson’s journey to India or how you can get involved like her, please email To learn more about <a href="">Thrive Seed</a> and to discover more about how you can help, please visit their website at <a href=""></a></p><p><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 355px; margin: 5px;"></p></p style="text-align: center;"></p style="text-align: center;">Central Washington University’s Rodeo Club Presents Todd D. Anderson Memorial Rodeo, 18 Apr 2018 11:53:08<div><strong>Ellensburg, Wash., April 18, 2018</strong>— This weekend the CWU Rodeo Club will be&nbsp; hosting their annual Todd Anderson Memorial College Rodeo at the Kittitas County Fairgrounds. All of the weekend’s events are free of charge and will feature competitors from 10 different schools including&nbsp; Washington, Oregon, and Idaho. A few of the weekend’s hottest events will be bronc riding, barrel racing, team roping, and bull riding.</div><div><br>Slack will be taking place on Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. CWU Rodeo’s performances are Friday and Saturday from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m., and then again on Sunday from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., which is the Championship Short Go. During the performance on Saturday, Todd Anderson’s friends and family will speak about him and his legacy. There will be a silent auction&nbsp; on Friday night at 6 p.m. until Sunday at 10 a.m. Proceeds from the silent auction go towards the Todd Anderson Memorial Scholarship, which is received by a Rodeo Club member every year.&nbsp;</div><div><br>For more information on the Todd Anderson Memorial Rodeo and the CWU Rodeo Club’s involvement, please visit their website at <a href="http://C:\Users\frakerl\Downloads\\sport-clubs\rodeo" target="_blank"></a> or on Facebook, <a href="" target="_blank">here</a>.</div><div>&nbsp;</div><div><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 600px; height: 329px;"><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 388px; height: 600px; margin-left: 100px; margin-right: 100px;"></div></br></br>CWU announces new director of University Recreation, 20 Feb 2018 16:26:50<p><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 225px; height: 225px; margin: 3px; float: right;">ELLENSBURG, Wash., February 20, 2018--</p><p>Following a national search, Matthew Boyer has been hired as CWU’s new University Recreation director.<br><br>Since 2015, he has been Louisiana State University’s associate director of Program and Outreach. He was originally hired at LSU in 2008 to serve as the assistant director for Sport and Camp Programs. Since 2016, he has also been the Louisiana State director of the National Intramural and Recreational Sports Association.</p><p>“Matt brings with him to Central nearly 19 years of experience in the field of University Recreation in a variety of areas supportive of the growth and future of CWU Recreation,” said Jeff Rosenberry, CWU’s executive director of Student Involvement, within the <a href="" target="_blank">Division of Student Success</a>, which oversees University Recreation.</p><p>Boyer noted, “I strive to create a welcoming work environment where trust is a key virtue; an environment where failures are viewed as learning opportunities and are shared as openly as achievements. Success in creating strong relationships, both within the department and across campus, is a skill I have developed during my career.”</p><p>That also includes work as associate director of Recreation Service at the University of North Carolina–Charlotte and director of Intramural Sports and Open Recreation at San Jose State University.</p><p>Boyer earned his master’s degree in Recreational Studies at the University of Florida and bachelor’s degree from at the University of West Florida in Health, Leisure, and Sports.</p><p>His first day at CWU will be April 16.</p><p><strong>Media contact: </strong>Robert Lowery, Department of Public Affairs, director of Radio Services and Integrated Communications, 509-963-1487,</p><p>&nbsp;</p></br></br>Student Development and Programs AD to present at National NIRSA Conference, 24 Jan 2018 16:29:49<p><strong><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; margin: 5px; float: left;">ELLENSBURG, Wash., January 25, 2018 --</strong> Central Washington University Recreation’s Assistant Director of Student Development and Programs, <a href="" target="_blank">Dania Cochran,</a> will present at this year’s <a href="" target="_blank">National NIRSA Conference</a>. Her topic of choice; “Defining a Student Hiring, On-Boarding, and Continuing Education Process for Recreation Student Employees”. Cochran has spent several years creating a new hiring process for CWU Recreation, one that is different and more rigorous than the schools current process. Her goal is to whittle down to the most amazing and motivated student employees.</p><p>“I have spent the last full calendar year creating marketing materials, hosting Hiring Information Sessions, reviewing applications, organizing interview schedules, creating scoring rubrics, creating orientation and on-boarding materials, and checklists,” Cochran said. “I have created surveys for our student employees to find out what topics they wish to learn about for continuing education, and we are currently working on an incentive program to entice student employees to attend those sessions, as well as leadership checklists that will encourage those who wish to move up to attend.”</p><p>Co-presenting with Cochran will be her graduate assistant, <a href="" target="_blank">Catherine Hoffman</a>. Hoffman has been extremely valuable in the creation of these materials that are shaping the emerging processes.</p><p><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 200px; height: 331px; margin: 5px; float: right;">The National NIRSA Conference will be held in Denver, Colorado this year from March 4-7. Attendees will have the opportunity to expand their networks and develop professional by attending a wide variety of educational sessions, workshops, and social events, as well as the unparalleled opportunity to connect with leading vendors at the Campus Rec and Wellness Expo. This will be Cochran’s first experience presenting at a national conference, although she has previously presented at the <a href="" target="_blank">Northwest NIRSA</a> and <a href="" target="_blank">NIRSA Region 6 </a>conferences before.</p><p>“I went through a roller coaster of feelings: Super excited that it was selected; “holy smokes” I have a lot of work to prepare; and hopeful at how many people can use our suggestions, templates, and ideas to make their jobs easier at their home institutions.”</p><p>For more information on Cochran, on CWU Recreation’s student hiring process, or on the Recreation center itself, please visit our website at <a href="http://cwu.edy/rec" target="_blank"></a></p><p>Media Contact: Claire Cox, Recreation, 509-963-3550, <a href=""></a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><br><strong>###</strong></p></a href=""></p style="text-align: center;"></br>CWU Recreation says goodbye to custodial staff member, Barajas-Garcia, but only to a great cause, 08 Dec 2017 14:05:39<p><strong><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 444px; margin: 5px; float: left;">ELLENSBURG, WASH., December 11, 2017</strong> – CWU Recreation loses long-time custodial employee, Luz Barajas-Garcia, who will be deployed overseas in the coming months. Barajas-Garcia has worked with Recreation for the past eight years, starting as a seasonal staff member and eventually becoming a full-time employee.<br><br>“It’s been awesome [working in Recreation], I love the culture, the family environment. Everybody has always been very supportive,” Barajas-Garcia says. “Working at the Rec has taught me so much about myself as well as helped me grow as a person. All the opportunities that I’ve had here, I feel like I probably wouldn’t of had in other places.”<br><br>Barajas-Garcia’s co-worker and confidant, Teresa Breckenridge, is proud to see her friend and employee leave to peruse amazing opportunities. When asked what is has been like being her boss, mentor, and friend, Breckenridge had much to say.<br><br>“A lasting one. Student staff love working with her because she gets right in there and works along with them. She jokes around and calls people on their crap. The popular place to be is with Luz. Doesn’t matter what your “position” is.”<br><br><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; margin: 5px; float: right;">Looking to the future, Luz will serve her time in the military during her deployment to an undisclosed location in the next few months. She also plans to enjoy time with her family, both here in the United States and in Mexico, before taking off. Barajas-Garcia also plans to return to Central when her deployment is over, hoping that she can come back to Recreation as a professional staff member, one day.<br><br>When asked about why she chose this path and why this was so important to her, Barajas-Garcia simply stated:<br><br>“I don’t do it to get recognition, or be applauded, I do it as a ‘thank you’ to a country that has opened its doors to me and has given me many opportunities. I believe everyone who volunteers to serve their time in the military, do it for the love of our country and to protect the American people and our families.”<br><br>Barajas-Garcia has been an instrumental asset to the Recreation family and will be missed by all.<br><br><strong>Media Contact:</strong> Claire Cox, Recreation, 509-963-3550, <a href=""></a>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>###</strong><br><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 338px; height: 600px; margin: 5px;"></p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></a href=""></p style="text-align: center;"></br>Melissa Robertson to serve on board of the Washington Climbing Coalition, 04 Dec 2017 08:39:34<p><strong><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 181px; margin: 5px; float: left;">ELLENSBURG, WASH., December 4, 2017</strong> – CWU Climbing Wall Coordinator, Melissa Robertson, has been asked to serve on the Board of Directors for the <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Climbers Coalition</a>. Robertson will serve as a liaison for the eastside climbers and begin to foster a community of climbers that are practicing both safe, and environmentally conscious, practices.<br><br>“By volunteering with the WCC and working on projects with the WCC, the students are able to see how much really goes into being able to climb outside,” Robertson said. “It also encourages them to be better stewards of the environment and hopefully gain a better appreciation for both the sport of climbing and the climbing community.”<br><br><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 333px; margin: 5px; float: right;">The Washington Climbers Coalition was founded by a small grant from the “Access Fund” in 2004. Since then, they have developed an active stewardship and outreach program, promoting responsible climbing and public access at areas around the state of Washington. The WCC works with the Access Fund and other partners to ensure that climbers have access to climbing areas, that they have places to deposit waste, making sure that the areas have safe climbing practices, and that climbers are being positive stewards of the environment.<br><br>“My job as a supervisor, coordinator, and educator at CWU goes well beyond the <a href="" target="_blank">climbing wall</a>,” Robertson says. “The skills and knowledge they gain by attending classes or clinics shapes their impact on the environment once they choose to go outside and climb.”<br><br>Robertson has previously served on several other boards across the nation, such as the Southeastern Climbers Coalition, the East Tennessee Climbers Coalition, and the Red River Climbers Coalition. She plans to start her outreach with social media, which she feels will be a valuable tool to reach the audience she needs to build on the east side of the mountains.<br><br>“When I first moved here 4 years ago I noticed that we have lots of climbers on the eastside of the mountains but no organization or governing body,” Robertson said. “Every time I talk to other climbers at the crag and climbing wall, they all want to meet other climbers.”<br><br>If you would like to learn more about what Melissa is doing with the WCC or you want to learn more about what the WCC is all about, please visit their website, here. To reach out to Melissa or to schedule private instruction, please email <a href=""></a>.<br><br><strong>Media Contact:</strong> Claire Cox, Recreation, 509-963-3550, <strong><a href="'s%20Climbing%20Coalition%20Ask"></a></strong>.</p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong>###</strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 500px; height: 281px; margin: 5px;"></strong><br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></a href=""></br></br></a href="'s%20Climbing%20Coalition%20Ask"></p style="text-align: center;"></p style="text-align: center;"></br>CWU OPR Coordinator serves on Manastash Ridge and Wenas WildLife Area Committee, 25 Oct 2017 08:23:55<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 549px; height: 366px; margin: 5px;"></p><p><strong>ELLESNBURG, WASH., October 26, 2017 </strong>– Central Washington University <a href="" target="_blank">Outdoor Pursuits and Rentals</a> Coordinator, Bradley Gasawski, has been asked to serve on the Manastash Ridge Trails Coalition (MRTC) and Wenas Wildlife Area Committee. While Gasawski is representing the mountain biking community on this task force, he also speaks for the hiking community, as he is an avid hiker himself, and considers all perspectives of other trail users.<br>Gasawski has been tasked with protecting the Ellensburg local trails as well as keeping access open for different user types. They are looking at ways to make the trails more sustainable, and at ways to protect the wildlife habitat, all while keeping the trails open for users.</p><p><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 300px; height: 225px; margin: 5px; float: left;">“As someone who has lived in beautiful places like Yosemite National Park in California and Adirondack State Park in New York, I know what happens to our beloved, protected areas when they are ‘loved to death’ by the people who visit them,” Gasawski says.</p><p>With just over 13,000 student’s on-campus at CWU and another 19,000 people living in the Ellensburg community, Manastash Ridge is used frequently by outdoor enthusiasts. With its close proximity to town, many people will head there for a quick hike to the ridge top, or a quick ride up on their mountain bikes. The views are stunning and the trail access is easy from town.</p><p>“I have a passion for the outdoors, conservation, and trail access, and I wanted to give back to my community and to the federal and state agencies who manage these beautiful places,” Gasawski said. “Being a part of this committee is helping us to build partnerships within our community.”</p><p>The Manastash Ridge is part of the Wenas Wildlife Area, and is co-managed by the <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife (WDFW)</a> and the <a href="" target="_blank">Washington Department of Natural Resources (WDNR)</a>. Community members can visit<a href="" target="_blank"> this website</a> to learn more and to review past meeting notes.</p><p>WDFW and the DNR welcome public engagement on this project. Meetings occur from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on the fourth Tuesday of each month at the <a href="" target="_blank">DNR’s Southeast Regional Office</a>, located at 173 Bowers Road in Ellensburg. Each meeting provides the brief opportunity for the public’s comments and concerns.</p><p><strong>Media Contact:</strong> Claire Cox, Recreation, 509-963-3550, <a href=""></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 549px; height: 366px; margin: 5px;"></p></p style="text-align: center;"></br></a href=""></p style="text-align: center;">CWU Recreation represents Central at the 2017 NIRSA Regional Flag Football Championships., 17 Oct 2017 13:48:35<p style="text-align: center;"><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 550px; height: 336px; margin: 5px;"></p><p><strong>PULLMAN, WASH., October 18, 2017 –</strong> Three CWU Recreation Coordinators and two Intramural Supervisors will attend and represent CWU at the <a href="" target="_blank">2017 NIRSA Regional Flag Football Championship</a>, in Pullman, WA from October 27 through 29.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">Alex Lee</a>, Coordinator for Sport Clubs and Camps, will serve on the All-Tournament Selection Committee. <a href="" target="_blank">Jordan Halstead</a>, Coordinator for Memberships and Facilities, will serve on the Operations Committee and <a href="" target="_blank">Jordan Bishop</a>, Coordinator for Intramurals and Special Events, will serve as a professional staff representative on the Official’s Committee. Intramural Supervisors, Brett Carter and Connor Parmenter will act in administrative roles and will also serve as officials at the tournament.<br><br>“[I] could not be more thrilled to be involved in this rare opportunity to have a NIRSA Regional Flag Football Championship in Washington State, at my alma mater, with some of the best co-workers from Central Washington University Recreation!” said Jordan Bishop.<br><br><a href="" target="_blank">The NIRSA Championship Series</a> gives college recreational sports participants the opportunity to compete, coordinate, officiate, and connect with skilled peers from other schools and take all the benefits of recreational competition to a higher level. Acting as a platform for professional development, up-and-coming professionals will build skills and engage in all levels of learning through their programming, staff, official, and volunteer positions. This is a rich environment of inclusive competition and sportsmanship, from participants to fans and volunteers, which supports our communities and core values, of health and wellness.<br><br>“This is an incredibly valuable experience for myself and for all of our staff and students at CWU Recreation. To be able to partner with another university in Washington State to host a NIRSA development opportunity is always exciting,” said Jordan Halstead.<br><br>The tournament will take place at the Valley Road Play Fields at the Washington State University campus in Pullman. For more information of the 2017 NIRSA Region 6 Flag Football Championships, <a href="" target="_blank">please click here</a>. For more information on CWU Recreation’s Intramural sport, like flag football, and much more, <a href="" target="_blank">please click here</a>.</p><p><strong>Media Contact:</strong> Claire Cox, Recreation, 509-963-3550, <strong><a href=""></a></strong></p><p style="text-align: center;"><strong><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 391px; margin: 5px;"></strong></p></p style="text-align: center;"></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></br></a href=""></p style="text-align: center;">Robertson Set To Make Waves at 2017 NIRSA Conference, 02 Oct 2017 16:23:28<p><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 549px; height: 366px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px;"></p><p><strong>CWU Climbing and Challenge Course Coordinator Is Asked To Present At Regional NIRSA Conference.</strong></p><p><strong>ELLENSBURG, WASH., October 4, 2017</strong> – Central Washington University Climbing and Challenge Course Coordinator, <a href="" target="_blank">Melissa Robertson</a>, has been asked to present her research at the 2017 National Intramural-Recreational Sports Association [NIRSA] Region 6 Conference in San Diego, California.<br><br>Robertson will present on “Maximizing Programs for your Climbing Facility”, speaking about new ways to promote climbing programs. Her remarks will also cover:<br><br>• Collaborations with academic programs and local businesses</p><p>• Understanding the differences between the instructional programs and the “Disney World Experience”</p><p>• Design programs for a variety of targeted audiences<br><br><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 250px; height: 250px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px; float: left;">“I am most looking forward to sharing my passion and experience with others that are excited about building climbing walls in their facilities or increasing their climbing programs,” Robertson said. “I think it will be a great experience to help bridge the gap that is often developed in recreation with climbing wall programs and the recreation center.”</p><p>NIRSA’s Region 6 Conference will encompass pre-conference programs, a student lead-on (a student networking opportunity), sponsored events, creative educational sessions, and networking opportunities.</p><p>Robertson is a current PCIA CWI provider, who has been working in the climbing industry since 2005. Formally the Assistant Director of the Climbing Wall and Outdoor Adventure Program at the University of Pennsylvania, Robertson came to us in 2014 and assumed her current position as the Climbing and Challenge Course Coordinator at CWU.</p><p><a href="" target="_blank">Click here</a> for more information on NIRSA’s Region 6 Conference happenings, as well as how you can get involved today.</p><p><strong>Media Contact:</strong> Claire Cox, Recreation, 509-963-3550, <a href=""></a></p><p style="text-align: center;"><a href="" target="_blank"><img alt="" src="/rec/sites/" style="width: 350px; height: 195px; border-width: 1px; border-style: solid; margin: 5px;"></a><br>&nbsp;</p></br></br></br></br></br></br></a href=""></p style="text-align: center;"></br>Claire Cox Announced as Health & Marketing Coordinator, 19 Sep 2017 17:43:14<p>On October 1st, 2017, Claire Cox will join the CWU Recreation professional staff as the Coordinator of Health &amp; Marketing.&nbsp; Claire is a proud CWU alum, graduating from Central twice - with a B.A. in Public Relations &amp; Advertising and a M.S. in Health &amp; Physical Education with a specialization in Athletic Administration.</p><p>Claire is coming from the department of University Advancment. &nbsp;She brings a strong background in marketing and getting people engaged in activity. &nbsp;She is looking forward to career development in personal training and group fitness.</p><p>Claire's supervisor, Michael Montgomery - Assistant Director of Operations, said "I am very excited to add Claire to our team. [Claire] brings a great attitude and deep sense of school pride. &nbsp;I can't wait to see what she can acheive and create in her new role."</p><p>Montgomery continues, "[Claire] is a wildcat at heart, and is ready to make an impact on our campus."</p><p>Claire can be reached by phone at 509-963-3550 or by email at</p>