The Therapeutic Recreation Experiential Education Team, or TREE, is composed of graduate students from the University of Tennessee who have very witty senses of humor but take their jobs very seriously.
Growing up in Cookeville, Tennessee, it was easy for Jodi to decide to choose UT for her undergraduate degree. She graduated in December 2018 with a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation and was excited to pursue a master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. After attending Koinonia Retreat and Camp Koinonia, Jodi fell in love with what UT’s Therapeutic Recreation camp programs offer for individuals with disabilities and their families. Working in the camp setting and being outside is what inspired her future goal of becoming a wilderness therapist to work with youth who have a behavioral health diagnosis. When not at school, you can find Jodi and her sidekick (Rowdy, the standard poodle) trail running, mountain biking, fly fishing – Rowdy usually scares all the fish off – or sitting on the couch watching animal planet with coffee.
Emma grew up in Franklin, TN. She graduated from UTK in May 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation/Sport Management with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation. Ever since she was little, she has always had a passion for helping others and discovered Camp Koinonia back in 2017 through her younger brother, Spencer, who has a developmental disability. She was a psychology major before and decided to switch when she saw the impact Camp Koinonia had on all of the children that attended. She is so excited to continue at UTK getting her master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Emma would love to work for and eventually own her own non-profit that specializes in assisting adolescents with disabilities within the community. In her free time, Emma enjoys cooking/baking, binging crime podcasts, or exploring outdoors.
Abbie, originally from Greenville SC, earned her Undergraduate major of Exercise Science and minor of Psychology at the College of Charleston, in Charleston South Carolina. She first discovered her passion for adaptive therapy while living in Charleston and working closely with an aquatic and motor therapy program designed for children with disabilities. Abbie is now a member of the Therapeutic Recreation master’s program at the University of Tennessee. She is eager to begin her new position as a part of the TREE Team, as well as her new curriculum at UTK! When Abbie is out of the office, you can find her exploring the city of Knoxville whether it’s at a restaurant in the city or hiking the beautiful Smoky Mountains!
Chase is from Signal Mountain, Tennessee, and recently graduated from Maryville College, studying in the fields of Outdoor Studies and Health Sciences. He is incredibly excited to not only continue his education with a master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation but to also be a part of the TREE Team! With a large focus in outdoor as well as emergency medicine, Chase has spent the past four years as the Health Director at Camp Lookout, in Rising Fawn Georgia, which led to him discovering the field of Therapeutic Recreation. His current ambitions are to either become a Camp Director, working with youth with special needs, or to go on to get his doctorate and become a professor. When he’s not at school or in a camp setting, you can find Chase either running, playing disc golf, board games, or building computers.