The Therapeutic Recreation Grant Staff 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.
Kelsey is a native to Tennessee, growing up in Murfreesboro, For the past four years she has called Knoxville home while earning her undergraduate degree in Therapeutic Recreation, which she received in August 2018. She is excited to continue her education at UT and obtain her master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Kelsey fell in love with Therapeutic Recreation and developed a passion for working with individuals with disabilities through Camp Koinonia, and she hopes to have a career continuing to work with developmental disabilities. You can find Kelsey jamming to the early 2000’s pop hits or binge watching One Tree Hill. Kelsey loves punny jokes, eating ridiculous amounts of wings, and enjoying anything outdoors.
Sophie is from Chattanooga, Tennessee and graduated from UT in 2019 with a degree is RSM and a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation! She is so excited to be back in Knoxville to continue her education in Therapeutic Recreation as a master’s student and a Grant Staff! Sophie knew from a young age that she wanted to work in Therapeutic Recreation, when she started going to and working at her home Camp in Georgia. Sophie would love to be a Camp Director herself one day, working with adolescents and teens with mental health concerns. When Soph is not in the office, you can find her exploring new restaurants around Knoxville or enjoying camping trips with friends!
Darrien is from a small town named Monticello, Arkansas. He graduated from Langston University with a bachelor’s degree in Health, Physical Education, and Recreation in 2017. His goal is to get his doctorate and become a researcher in the field of Kinesiology and become a professor. In 2016, he worked at a camp for children with special needs called Camp Ramapo in Rhinebeck, NY. This is where his passion came for research and working with children with special needs. In his spare time, Darrien likes to play his PS4 and watch movies. His interests include comic books (big Batman fan), football, basketball (Lake Show), and music.