SUNY Brockport helped Christine Winter channel her lifelong interests into a field of study and, ultimately, a career. “I grew up outside playing sports with my older brother and a bunch of kids in our neighborhood. I always loved being outside, so I thought it made sense to attempt to study the environment,” she says. Originally an environmental science major, Christine learned from a classmate that the Recreation and Leisure Studies major might be more geared toward her interest area. After changing majors, she never looked back. “I had no idea that a degree in Recreation and Leisure Studies actually existed. I thought to myself, ‘Wow, that sounds exactly like what I want to do!’ I set up a meeting with the department chair, and the rest is history!” Christine is currently working as a recreation supervisor with the Town of Brighton Recreation Department. She serves the community year-round by planning, developing and evaluating several of the department’s programs and special events. “I primarily oversee youth sports programs, such as summer camps and clinics and our popular youth basketball leagues in the winter. My duties include hiring part-time and seasonal staff, program and departmental promotion, budget management, equipment ordering and management, and customer service.” She also has served three years as secretary on the executive board for the Genesee Valley Recreation and Park Society.Read on for more about Christine and her experience at Brockport.
What was your favorite aspect of the REL program? What is your best academic memory from college?
I really enjoyed the experience of learning how to build my résumé and create a professional portfolio, applying for internships, and getting real-life experience by interviewing for multiple internship sites. The professors urged us to become involved in groups like Rec Club, Rho Phi Lambda honor society, and the Genesee Valley Recreation and Park Society (GVRPS). I served as an Activities Coordinator in Rec Club for a few semesters, and I volunteered as a moderator at a Diversity Conference, a GVRPS Annual Conference, and a New York State Recreation and Park Society Annual Conference.
How has your REL education helped in your work? How do you apply what you’ve learned?
I feel like everything I did in class has somehow found its way into my daily routine as a recreation professional. I kept everything (literally). There are times when I actually reference some of the materials I gathered in school!
Was there a particular professor who was a big influence on you?
Each and every one of the professors that I had the pleasure of learning from brought such an amazing array of knowledge to the table. I credit all of them in helping me arrive where I am today. I am forever grateful!
What would you tell someone looking to major in REL at Brockport?
You’re making the right choice!