Student Spotlight on Cody Kenyon

Cody Kenyon is a Miami University freshman from Toledo, Ohio. He is majoring in Sports Leadership Management and has become a loyal Rec Center patron. Cody strives to show that a disability doesn’t create limitations. His passion, motivation, and desire to help others are admirable and that’s why the Rec marketing staff wanted to learn more about him.

When did your fitness/sports passion begin? 

Around junior high. That’s when I started to get exposed to other kids and I started to want to fit in. Basketball became my passion, I fell in love with the sport and I wanted to play as much basketball as I could.

What motivates you to work out every day?

I know that whenever I step on the court,  people will obviously give me a different look because of my leg. I tend to use that as motivation because people are going to look at me as if I’m different no matter where I go. I feel that it’s my job, I represent everybody with a disability out there. I view this as promoting awareness and letting people know that we don’t want to be treated differently and that we can play ball just like anybody else.  

Has the Rec helped your health in any way?

Yes, it’s definitely nice having an indoor court and having a facility to lift and workout, it has certainly been useful. Otherwise, I would be sitting in my dorm doing push-ups.

What do you like the most about the Rec?

I would say the indoor courts, it’s nice to be able to play with everybody. Obviously, there are times where it’s nice to have the gym for myself and I know what are some good times to come for that. Yet I know that I can also come and play with a bunch of people and get that experience of playing with a team.

How would your friends describe you?

If they were describing me, nothing would ever come up about my leg, because people that I associate myself with don’t see me as being different. For example, a lot of people when they see me playing basketball say “oh you’re pretty good for a guy with one leg”, my friends would just say I’m pretty good in general.

What are you most passionate about?

I’d have to say, the people that I care about. When I was growing up, I always tended to put other people before myself. I’m passionate about caring for the people that care about me: my family, my girlfriend, and everybody back home. I like to make sure that they’re well and that everything is good with them.  


Interview by Dania Puente

Staff Spotlight on Gabby Kinnamon

Gabby Kinnamon

Gabby has been working here at the Rec Center for almost 4 years and is currently the Assistant Director of Club Sports and Youth Gymnastics. Parents compliment Gabby on her coaching abilities and her gymnastic kids all talk about how amazing of a coach she is. She is always willing to go the extra mile and help others in need. Additionally, she is the Rec staff socialite and likes to help organize staff gatherings at and outside of work.

When and how did you become a part of the REC staff? I started in 2014 as the Club Sports and Youth Gymnastics Intern and then in 2015 I became the Assistant Director of Club Sports, so I’ve been here 4 years.

In this position what do you do? Oversee all the club sports which we have 54 teams and  I also run our youth gymnastics program which has 200 participants in it.

What do you like the most about your job? Oh, there are so many things. One of the biggest things I like is the people I work with, all the people here at the Rec are really great and we make work fun. Also working with the club sports, developing their leadership and helping them through problems. Seeing our teams succeed and knowing that you had a small part in that and just being able to help the students, and help them for their future. And then the gymnastics program, I get to see little tiny kids progress all the way through. I usually work with the older girls and just seeing them get the skills that they’ve been working on forever it’s really rewarding.

What’s your best memory at the REC?

H.Dean Smith

It’s hard because we have so many great ones. I would probably say, I think it was two winters ago, a big group of us walked to Goggin and went ice-skating during lunch, and Dean was ice-skating and that was great. That’s probably one of the best ones.

How would your colleagues describe you? I don’t know, probably silly. I would hope they’d say I’m hardworking but I think they’d probably say something towards silly. Fun? I don’t know I handle most of the social things that happen so something around that.

What’s your favorite recreational activity? Not cardio… Swimming probably, I’ve been a swimmer my whole life and tumbling even though I’m not very coordinated anymore but it would probably be one of those two.

What are you most passionate about? Helping people succeed. I was ready to fail out of college, I was about to drop out, I hated school.  My mentor totally turned everything around for me, so I’m hoping to be that person, even if it’s just a small thing, being able to help someone. To just have the ability to impact people every day.

When are you happiest? When I’m sleeping… probably when I’m home with my husband and my pets hanging out. Or at an alpaca farm!

Do you have a personal philosophy that you live by? 

 No, I mean I guess one thing I live by is “find a job you love and you’ll never work a day in your life” because that’s how I feel here.

By Dania Puente

Student Staff Spotlight on Ian Berg

Ian Berg, Class of 2019

Ian Berg is known around the Rec Center as the “Pro-Shop Guru”, he knows the Pro-Shop as well as the back of his hand if not better. He has memorized all product prices as well as all the details. “Wonderful Student Manager, wealth of knowledge. Great problem solver, our go to to fix anything”Jessie Bayer. With five years in the business, Ian tells us a little bit more about how he got here and what he does. 

When and how did you become a part of the REC staff?

I began at the start of my junior year of high school, so this is my fifth year here. I started back when reception and fitness were combined , I was in reception and CSS for the first two years and then I trained up to Pro-Shop for another two years, and starting this year I am Lead Staff.

What’s a normal workday for you at the Rec?

I guess it really depends on what I’m doing, since I can be Pro-Shop informal or just on Lead Staff shift, every day is a little different.

Do you think this job is preparing you for your future and career?

Yeah, I think so, I think it’s helped me be a little bit more outgoing. It’s made it easier for me to talk to people.

As a student manager here at the Rec, what’s a piece of advice you’d give students seeking your position?

Be ready to help out in any way you’re asked and be flexible with what you’re asked to do.


By Dania Puente

Staff Spotlight with Beth Keith

Beth Keith

Beth Keith is Miami Recreational Center’s new Assistant Director of Customer and Facility Services. She is the person one must see on a Monday morning; her positiveness and enthusiasm brightens everyone’s day and that’s why the marketing team decided to get to know her a little bit better.

When and how did you become a part of the REC staff?

August 21st was my first day, I’ve only been here a few weeks now. I interviewed over the summer and was hired as the Assistant Director of Customer and Facility Services.

What was it about this job that made you chose it?

So many things, the university is amazing. I attended some classes as a student way back in high school and I knew I loved the university, loved the area. I grew up in Ross Ohio, so coming back to this area and to Oxford was definitely appealing for me. And customer service is what I’m good at, is what I thrive in so I love this type of position where I get to use my strengths, especially for recreation, that thrives me too, I love to be active and I love helping to be active and to be involved. So I think there were so many things that made me want to come back.

In this position what do you do?

I’m learning that right now, but currently processing all of the membership; activation, cancellation, enrollment, those type of things. As well as customer service, working with the pro-shop, I think I will be working along with marketing initiatives, SilverSneakers®, I am still wrapping my head around all of those things.

What’s the thing you like the most about the REC?

I think right now because it’s what I’ve had the most exposure and interactions with is the staff, I think we have some awesome staff members, some full-time employees and students. I think everyone is so wonderful and just add so much to it, it’s not just a gym, by any means it’s so much more than that and within a month or two I already feel super connected and home here.

What’s your best memory at the REC?

Actually, this goes way back. I did an internship here in 2009 and my supervisor at that time took me to the equestrian center and we got to ride horses and I still vividly remember and I absolutely loved it. I think that’s just what we try to encompass here, we’re not just a gym where you lift weights,  we have so many opportunities outside of here, the Outdoor Pursuit Center, the Equestrian Center, Intramurals.

What’s your favorite recreational activity?

I love flag football, I like all the other normal running and walking, love to be outside in general, but I have played flag football as a professional staff for years and I absolutely love flag football.

What are you most passionate about?

I would say… I think trying to make people feel good about themselves in any way, I think I try to embody positivity myself, and I think I try to always bring that out on other people too and to help them  feel good. Help with customer service that just goes into making sure everybody is happy, that’s one of my top 5 things with Strengthsquest, is harmony and I want to be an includer.

What’s your life’s biggest dream?

I’ve had so many dreams come true I have two beautiful babies and I moved back home. I think it’s just, personally I want to be a great mom and I want to have my family be happy and successful. Within the professional one I want to see the facility be successful.

When are you happiest?

Is that a question for me? I’m always happy…when am I happiest? When I’ve just eaten chocolate? It’s a hard question for me. When I’m doing a good job and when I feel needed and successful, when I’m working hard.

Do you have a personal philosophy that you live by?

One thing that my husband and I always say is that we’ll make it through, we always do, no matter what challenge comes our way in general, we’ll get through it. It’s always that thing that we try to live by, where we are bigger than any challenge, that’s  something I always try to remember when things get hard.

By Dania Puente