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Northwest Missouri State University


News Release

Students in Northwest's Exploring Recreation Resources course visited a kids climbing gym in Colorado as part of a 12-day, high-impact, three-credit hour course. The annual summer course offers students an opportunity to experience career options in the field of parks and recreation.

Students in Northwest's Exploring Recreation Resources course visited a kids climbing gym in Colorado as part of a 12-day, high-impact, three-credit hour course. The annual summer course offers students an opportunity to experience career options in the field of parks and recreation. (Northwest Missouri State University photos)

    Sept. 13, 2016

    Students experience real world, networking in Colorado through exploring recreation resources course

    By Lexi Ryan, media relations assistant

    Thirteen Northwest Missouri State University recreation students traveled to Colorado this summer as part of the University’s Exploring Recreation Resources course, now in its 10th year.

    Dr. Sue Myllykangas, associate professor of recreation, instructs the course every summer to help students network with professionals and step into career environments they are exploring.

    “It is quickly becoming a sought-after class in the summer, per the students,” Myllykangas said. “We go to Colorado because I spent 35 years there and that's where I worked in the field of recreation until I went on for my graduate studies. I have a network of friends and colleagues who help us cut costs and give us an inside tour of various professional venues. We also have opportunities to get some hands-on experiences while we help out professionals and participants.”

    Exploring Recreation Resources is a 12-day, high-impact, three-credit hour course designed to offer students the opportunity to see and experience a variety of professional options in the field of parks and recreation.

    Exploring Recreation Resources students visited with the Northwest Alumni Association's Colorado Chapter.
    Exploring Recreation Resources students visited with the Northwest Alumni Association's Colorado Chapter during the chapter's barbecue gathering.

    “Students in all years experience a full-day, white water raft trip down Brown’s Canyon on the Arkansas River,” Myllykangas said. “Students in past years have experienced zip lining, summer tubing, hiking, moose photography, alpine slide, ski lifts, swimming in hot springs, exploring state and national monuments and parks and more.”

    Additional opportunities include officiating track and field, weight lifting, basketball and swimming competitions at the Rocky Mountain Se

    nior Games for adults over the age of 50. Students also have had the opportunity to assist with Veterans Day celebrations and a wheelchair sports camp for kids.

    “At the seniors’ track and field meet, I met a reference for my future job applications,” Chantel Adams, a senior therapeutic recreation major from Beatrice, Nebraska, said. “Networking is important and I got a lot of that on this trip. Advice from all venues we attended gave us great insight on what works in our career path and what doesn’t work.”

    After speaking about the course at a Northwest Foundation Board dinner on the acceptance of her 2015 Governor’s Award for Teaching Excellence, Myllykangas and her students were invited by Northwest alumni Bob and Seal Burrell to the Northwest Alumni Association’s Colorado Chapter alumni barbecue. The Burrells have since made the barbecue an annual event and invited the students to help further their network.

    “Everything I learned on this trip will help me in future classes, and I also have exposure to what my jobs will be like when I am able to work within the field,” Kramer Ragsdale, a junior therapeutic recreation major from Blue Springs, Missouri, said. “I know the steps I need to be successful and I know how important all the connections that I make are.”

    For more information about Exploring Recreation Resources, contact Dr. Sue Myllykangas at susanm@nwmissouri.edu or 660.562.1377.


    For more information, please contact:

    Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
    mhorn@nwmissouri.edu | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900

    Northwest Missouri State University
    215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468