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Grant Staff

The Therapeutic Recreation Grant Staff is composed of four graduate students from the University of Tennessee who have very witty senses of humor but take their jobs very seriously.

Ashley Bordenet

picture1Ashley made her way to Knoxville from Tullahoma, Tennessee, and no, this is not a made-up town. She graduated from the University of Tennessee in the spring of 2016 with a Chancellor’s Honors bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology. Ashley fell in love with the Camp Koinonia programs and decided to pursue two years of graduate school in order to attend as many camps as she can! She enjoys working with children (probably because she acts like one), and she desires to pursue a career in a camp setting for children with developmental disabilities. When she’s not napping, you can usually find Ashley eating way too many carbs or Smarties, laughing at her own jokes, singing off-key, thinking about bread, watching videos of teacup pigs, becoming a blanket burrito, enjoying the outdoors, or laughing until she cries. Mainly, you can just find her laughing until she cries.

Seth Lister

picture1Seth Lister emerged from the great city of Franklin, TN. Seth graduated from the University of Tennessee in Spring 2014 with a bachelor’s degree in Supply Chain Management. He spent the next two years flipping houses and backpacking though Tennessee. He spent most of his time pushing his limits rock climbing, mountain biking, snowboarding, and whitewater kayaking. His love of extreme sports is matched only by his passion for Camp Koinonia. He did not participate in Camp until his senior year, but fell instantly in love with the program and has returned as a volunteer ever since. After a two-year hiatus from school, Seth is back in his first semester in the graduate program for Therapeutic Recreation and is eager to get out and start a camp program of his own. Seth is a world record holder for Hawaiian shirts and wolf tanks, and also is a big advocate for mullet and mustache equality.

Patrick Smith

Patrick hails from his homeland of Spencer, Tennessee (we know; you have never heard of it either). He was the valedictorian of his graduating class at Van Buren County High and has continued his journey of awesomeness by being one of the coolest guys you probably don’t know. He graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation in the summer of 2015 and could not resist the urge to come back for graduate school and more student debt! Patrick completed his internship at the Norris Health and Rehabilitation Center in Andersonville, TN which solidified his passion to work with the geriatric population and pursue the specialty certification. He loves our camp programs, but has also developed an undeniable passion for anything involving video games, exploring the beauty of nature, road trips, Cici’s Pizza, and “The Hobbit” or “Lord of the Rings”. Yes, you can take him to New Zealand to tour Hobbiton.

Anna Ross Palmer

picture1Anna has returned to her hometown of Knoxville, TN after graduating from Samford University with her bachelor’s degree in Fitness and Health Promotion. Though her name is longer than she is tall, do not underestimate this girl. She is full of passion for many things, some of these being therapeutic recreation and personal fitness, closely followed by a deep love for her labradoodle Brewster, breakfast food, fishing in the Keys, eating popcorn for dinner, and anything involving avocados. She is so dedicated to therapeutic recreation that she has decided to pursue even more schooling to obtain her master’s degree in the program, keeping her from her one true love, sleep.

Liz Thornburg

picture1Liz Thornburg is from the small town of Stanton, Michigan. She graduated from Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor’s of science degree in Recreation and Camp Administration in the spring of 2016. Liz has a passion for camp and providing opportunities for individuals with disabilities. This passion motivated her to work towards a master’s degree in Therapeutic Recreation. Liz has worked at camps since high school at five different camps; three of the camps were working with individuals with disabilities. Liz’s life comprises of three major things: cats, camping, and coffee.

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