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Rec Life SPRING 2015


Howdy, Patsy Kott dedicated herself to service! She took her last breath, surrounded by friends and family, on January 31, 2015. Her passing left a void in the hearts of all that knew her. As a member of the Texas A&M Rec Sports family, the life of Patsy Lee Kott will always be celebrated. The Rec Sports family celebrated Patsy’s life at her memorial on February 7, 2015. This issue of RecLIFE Magazine highlights Patsy’s life and the lasting impact she had on those she encountered. During her thirty-one years at Texas A&M, Patsy always represented the Aggie Spirit, earning the admiration and respect of her colleagues. She was always willing to share her time and expertise with all who needed assistance, specifically those who were passionate about outdoor recreation. She spent much of her time at Texas A&M serving as a mentor to students from all walks of life. Patsy wanted to leave something behind to assist the student staff within the Outdoor Adventures program. She decided that giving to the Department of Recreational Sports Scholarship Endowment was a great way to offer this assistance. This endowment honoring Patsy Kott supports scholarship opportunities for Outdoor Adventures current and future student staff. The individuals that receive the Patsy Kott Memorial Scholarship are those that have demonstrated the same passion and commitment to the Outdoor Adventures program that she did. Her donation will ensure that an annual scholarship will be presented, in her name, for years to come. If you are interested in supporting the Department of Recreational Sports scholarship honoring Patsy Kott, please go online to and note ‘Honoring Patsy Kott,’ or you may send a check payable to the Texas A&M Foundation with the note ‘Honoring Patsy Kott’ on the memo line. Patsy Kott will always be loved and remembered by her family here at the Department of Recreational Sports.

James M. Welford Director of Development Department of Recreational Sports


contents 92 Years of Achievements






Patsy Kott Legacy


Expansion Update


Where Are They Now?


Scholarships & Awards


20 Years of Group Fitness


Sport Clubs Achievements





Alyssa Bailey

Graphic Artist

Kendra Spaw

Communications Coordinator - Kelly VonDrehle Marketing Director - Michelle Briggs Director of Development - James Welford


92 years of achievements An Insight Into Texas A&M’s Gymnastics Team The sport of gymnastics began in early Greek civilization as a form of exercise that included jumping, swimming, throwing, running, and weight lifting. The Romans took over the development of the sport, using it to prepare for warfare. With the decline of the Roman empire came the decline of the sport, though tumbling was continually a form of entertainment in early Europe. During the 1700s in Germany, and other parts of Europe, modern gymnastics began to take shape with the use of the side bar, balance beam, parallel bars, horizontal bar, and the addition of jumping events. It was not until the 1880s that the sport of gymnastics made its way to the United States. The Texas A&M Gymnastics Club has a rich history, dating back to its origins in 1923. The club was established as the Texas A&M Tumbling Team by a small groups of cadets. The team spent time fundraising to attend exhibitions in Austin and Waco each year. They also performed regularly at Aggie basketball games. Over the last ninety-two years, the Texas A&M Tumbling Team has become the Texas A&M Gymnastics Club, participating in competitions over ten times per year.

was undefeated in all conference competition. Both the men’s and women’s teams placed third at the NAIGC Nationals in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. Senior Andrew Archer, who served as captain of the men’s team this year, is currently the Men’s National Vault Champion.

In the fall, the Gymnastics Club takes time to practice four days a week to prepare for competition season in the spring. On home football game weekends, the club holds their main fundraiser, Flips for Tips, to raise money for operating expenses. In the spring, the club maintains a rigorous practice schedule while traveling around the country to represent Texas A&M University. Katie Thompson, a member of the Class of 2016, is a three year veteran of the Texas A&M Gymnastics Club and currently serves as co-president. “Having the opportunity to be surrounded by other Aggies that love this sport and are willing to put in so much time and dedication to the craft is truly inspiring.”

In addition to competing nationally during the 2015 season, the Texas A&M Gymnastics Club awarded scholarships to three of their members to help reduce tuition costs for both in-state and out-of-state students. The club continues to work hard to represent Texas A&M and the sport, while creating lasting friendships along the way. Thompson said, “This club has provided me with a family of people who love and support me in all of my endeavors while I’m here in College Station.” The Texas A&M Gymnastics Club has truly created a home for those who love the sport here in Aggieland.

Currently, the Texas A&M Gymnastics Club is over forty members strong. During this year’s competition season, the women’s team

get to know new staff

Meet our New Fitness Graduate Assistant, Shannen Miller



President’s Meritorious Service Award In May of 1998, Tawyna Moehlman began her career with Texas A&M University in the Department of Student Counseling Services. She soon found that she had a passion to get to know more students and began looking for opportunities to have a larger impact on campus. In February of 2002, Moehlman began working with the Department of Recreational Sports as the Facilities Reservation Coordinator. “I love the fun, family atmosphere here at Rec Sports,” said Moehlman. She currently serves various student organizations on campus to help reserve practice, banquet, and meeting spaces within the Student Recreation Center.

After thirteen outstanding years with the Department of Recreational Sports, Moehlman was presented the President’s Meritorious Service Award, honoring her service and support to the Division of Student Affairs as well as the Texas A&M community. This year the committee received over one-hundred sixty nominations for the award, and only fifteen winners were chosen from across Texas A&M University. How did Tawyna feel when learning she won this prestigious award? “This is by far the biggest honor I have ever received. I was excited and shocked to learn that I had won the award because I had no idea I was nominated.”


Q&A With Rec Sports Fish Camp Namesakes

How did you feel when you found out you were nominated to be a Fish Camp namesake?

What part of being a Fish Camp namesake are you most excited about?

How did you feel when you found out you were nominated to be a Fish Camp namesake?

“Being a Fish Camp namesake is such an honor. I’ve worked with so many students that have been involved in Fish Camp throughout my time at Texas A&M, and it’s an amazing impact that this organization has on students’ lives. I feel so humbled to be a part of this select group of individuals, and I am excited to have this opportunity.”

“I’m most excited to meet a brand new group of Aggies that are just starting their journey here at Texas A&M. I feel like I learned so many life lessons throughout my time in college, and I can’t wait to pass that on to the counselors and the freshmen. Overall, I’m excited to help welcome the freshmen to Aggieland.”

“I was shocked when I found out I was nominated. My world is small, so it’s humbling to know that I impacted someone enough to have received such a high honor.”

–Evelyn Dorsey

–Jason Kurten Outdoor adventures Director

Member Services Manager

“I would like to leave a legacy here at the Department of Recreational Sports, whether that is adding a new fitness program or increasing participation in our existing programs here at the Rec.” -Shannen Miller Fitness Graduate Assistant ‘14 5

–Sarah Schneider Outdoor Adventures Coordinator

Patsy Kott legacy Remembering the remarkable life and legacy of Rec Sports’ very own Patsy Kott.

her time as director of the Outdoor Adventures program. Jason Kurten began working with Patsy in 1999 as a student worker and later had the honor of working with her as a full-time staff member for the Outdoor Adventures program. “I still consider her to be the mother of our program. She started the Outdoor Adventures program, and she was my mentor for my entire career. Every week, something happened that I needed Patsy’s advice and guidance on,” said Kurten. Her kind spirit and calm demeanor made her the perfect mentor for many students throughout her career.

Selfless Service is a service which is performed without any expectation of result or award for the person performing it. It is one of our core values here in Aggieland, one of the small phrases we all, as Aggies, live by but there are those that take this value to heart more than others. Patsy Kott began her work with the Department of Recreational Sports in September of 1981 as a graduate student assistant. During her time with Rec Sports, she served in many different capacities. She was an intramural coordinator, helped with marketing, and was always of service to anyone that needed it. In 1985, Patsy established the TAMU Outdoors program, one of the country’s first university outdoor recreation programs, that would eventually be renamed Outdoor Adventures. Patsy shared her passion for the outdoors with Texas A&M students, faculty, and staff for over twenty-five years.

Patsy continued her service outside of the Department of Recreational Sports with the Eels on Wheels program, which is an organization that provides people the opportunity to SCUBA dive at their own skill level with certification through the Handicapped SCUBA Association. “She never talked about her service, using vacation time to go out and participate in Eels on Wheels,” said Welford. She impacted the lives of each person she met on these trips. Neil Peltier, an Eels on Wheels participant, said, “Patsy, as a diving aid, was part of a transformative experience for people that don’t think they have the ability to SCUBA dive. The experience is so life changing that her presence made our friendship a very special bond.”

Patsy’s legacy extends far beyond her creation of the Outdoor Adventures program at Texas A&M University. She made friends everywhere she went and spent much of her time volunteering, mentoring, and being of service to others. “She was always willing to help any time anyone needed anything,” said James Welford. Patsy was active in her church for many years and was known for giving back tremendously throughout her time as a member. Paula Opal said, “One Sunday after church, she overheard a family speaking to her pastor about their needs. They needed food to feed their children but had no funds. Patsy went out to her vehicle, found an H-E-B grocery store gift card, and gave it to the pastor for the family. She did not ask for recognition, she only said she knew they needed it.” Patsy’s service continually helped those throughout her community.

Patsy was a traveler, making her way across six continents and hundreds of countries, and her love of adventure and people truly impacted everyone that came into contact with her. She taught people all over the world to be more supportive, caring, and loving toward others. The lessons she taught, the people she impacted, and the love of all things outdoors that she shared, are just a small fraction of the legacy that Patsy left here in Aggieland and around the world. The Rec Sports family will never forget Patsy Kott and her contribution to make this small area of the world a much better place.

Though she had no children, it is said that Patsy had hundreds of children. She was a mentor to hundreds of Texas A&M students during


“Patsy gave me a love of the outdoors. I get to share the love of nature she shared with me with my students now. I love to watch the clear lineage from her being passed down.” -Jason Kurten

“I continually see her influence on the students I work with everyday. When they hear stories about Patsy, they are inspired to live bold and hungry for adventure in the same way that she did. They’re never afraid to travel internationally, spend time exploring the outdoors, or just get out there and live life. I see our students living in the spirit of Patsy Kott. She believed in living a life full of passion and adventure. The world is a big and beautiful place that she wanted everyone to have the opportunity to experience. This is the legacy I believe she left.” -Jason Kurten


Expansion Update As the student body continues to grow, so does the Student Recreation Center and the Department of Recreational Sports. The rainy winter season this year caused a few minor setbacks on the Rec Sports expansion, but the project is moving along. Currently, on the south side of the building, structural steel for the new gymnasium is being laid. During the next step, after the completed structural installation, we’ll begin to see a roof and walls to enclose the new gym. The weight room expansion and the construction on the additional indoor lap pool were especially affected by the rainy winter we experienced here in College Station. After a significant number of rain days, the weight room expansion is finally beginning to take shape at ground level. Stay tuned for updates on the Rec Sports expansion in future editions of RecLIFE, or visit for more information.

Where are they now

Looking Back at Former Employees and Their New Success The Department of Recreational Sports employs over one-thousand students each year. The opportunity to work for Rec Sports offers students excellent experience in many fields, including marketing, facilities management, and sponsorship development. These students leave the Department feeling a sense of accomplishment and knowing that they can truly take on any challenges they may come across in the real world.

their gifts transform from words on a sheet of paper to personally engraved bricks in the ground.” Barbay said that working for the Department gave her great experience managing responsibilities and showed her the benefits of working with a team. She currently works remotely as a Legal/Human Resources Consultant for a large-scale veterinary clinic in Texas but spends her time with her three children supporting the University of Florida football program, where her husband serves as an Associate Director of Player Personnel.

Jake Cotten served as the Marketing Graduate Assistant from January of 2011 to August of 2012. He is currently a Media Planner with McGarrah Jessee, an advertising agency located in Austin, Texas. When asked how working with the Department of Recreational Sports has helped him in the professional world, Cotten said, “There are so many moving pieces and elements within Rec Sports. Working with the Department taught me how to better manage my time and gave me wonderful organizational skills.” Jake’s favorite part of working in the Rec Sports marketing area was having the opportunity to work on the video shown at Fish Camp each year.

Jessica Menton was the RecLIFE Magazine Coordinator during the spring of 2011. She currently serves as a Business Reporter for the International Business Times in New York City. Menton expressed that she gained independence and time management skills, and learned to network during her time with the Department of Recreational Sports. Each of these are skills that have helped her in her position as a reporter. When asked what her favorite part of working for the Department was, Menton said, “I loved the family atmosphere that working with James, Kelly, and Michelle gave me. I learned so much during my time with Rec Sports that I still use today.”

Kacie (Wilcox) Barbay had the opportunity to serve as the Development Student Assistant from the spring of her freshman year until she graduated in May of 2004. Barbay’s favorite part of working for Development Director, James Welford, was coordinating the Walk of Champions Brick Campaign. She said, “It was so special to see the generosity of so many former Aggies and even more exciting to watch

Jake Cotten

Though these three former students worked in different areas of the Department, it’s easy to say the benefits they received from working for Rec Sports have multiplied more than just a few times. The opportunities provided to these former Aggies, and current Aggies alike, are ones that will forever aid them in the professional world.

Kacie Barbay 8

Jessica Menton

Scholarships & Awards Rec Sports Employees Recognized for Success

Chris Stewart

Evan Webb

Kate Tucker

Rec Sports Graduate Scholarship

Patsy Kott Outdoor Adventures Scholarship

David & Mary Chovanec Facility Scholarship

Carolina pereira

Cameron Dodd

eduardo duran

congratulations to all of our 2015 scholarship winners!

alexa Faraimo

DSA Award Winners Texas A&M Rec Sports is excited and proud to congratulate two of our amazing staff members for winning two of the Division of Student Affairs’ most prestigious awards this year. Ashley Donaldson was presented with the Randy Matson ’67 Association of Former Students award, and Keith Joseph was honored with the Award of Distinction. In order to win the Randy Matson award, one must have made a significant contribution to enhance the mission of the Division of Student Affairs at Texas A&M. When asked how she felt when she realized she was being presented with the award, Donaldson said, “I was immediately overcome with emotion; I even began tearing up. The feeling of gratitude for receiving this award is overwhelming.”

Joseph was presented the Award of Distinction because of his contributions to excellence within the Division of Student Affairs. He said, “I’m so appreciative of the amazing staff I work with, the students and club members, and the Department of Recreational Sports for giving me the opportunities, support, and trusting my abilities to lead and oversee the Sport Clubs program.” The Department of Recreational Sports thanks Ashley Donaldson and Keith Joseph for their positive impact on the Division of Student Affairs as well as Rec Sports.

congratulations to our 2015 dsa aWARD winners!


20 years of group fitness Building a Program From the Ground Up

In the summer of 1995, after a rigorous application, audition, and interview process, DeAun Woosley received a call asking her if she’d be interested in starting a group fitness program for the Department of Recreational Sports by September 1st. Woosley jumped at the opportunity. Prior to opening the current Rec Center building, group fitness classes were held after 5:00 p.m. in G. Rollie White and the Reed building. Woosley had owned her own business in Corpus Christi for fifteen years before coming to College Station to work for the Department of Health and Kinesiology as an instructor. She also taught group fitness classes for Rec Sports during the evening. When planning for the first semester of group fitness classes at the new Rec Center, Woosley knew of a few things that she had in mind for the program. “I wanted to offer everything that was out there in fitness to appeal to all students,” said Woosley. She wanted to give options that would satisfy men and women, as well as students of all cultures. She also wanted to make sure the classes being offered were safe and effective. Over the last twenty years, the group fitness program has grown more than Woosley ever imagined. Her first revenue goal has been doubled within the time the program has been serving the Aggie community. During the first year of the program, sixty classes were offered per week, and these were nowhere near capacity. The most popular class at the time was Cardio Step. Rec Sports now offers up to ninety-five group fitness classes per week, which are almost all full. The most popular classes now are Body Blaster, Yoga, and Zumba.

Deaun Woosley Woosley is continually teaching and learning in the realm of group fitness. She attends and presents at numerous fitness conferences each year, including representing Rec Sports at TEXFIT every February. This year, Woosley attended TEXFIT at Texas State University with forty-two of our Rec Sports group fitness instructors. She has also had the opportunity to serve as an officer and chair for NIRSA fitness and wellness. “Group fitness is continually reinventing itself,” said Woosley. She sees the future of the program as ever-changing and growing, as students are being exposed to group fitness before ever setting foot on campus. New trends will come along, and the fitness program will grow and adapt as needed. DeAun Woosley has not only established a quality program at Texas A&M, but she has made a lasting impact on her instructors and the group fitness world.



fall 2014

fall 1995 10

Sport clubs Achievements 2014 - 2015 Achievements Powerlifting

Water Ski

• USAPL Men’s Team National Championship Individual Titles:

• Jade Hanson – NCWSA – 1st place overall Women’s D2 Wakeboarding • Overall Team National Championship Collegiate Wake Series

• Ashleigh Andrews – W 84+ kg • Blake Lehew – M 74 kg

Gymnastics • Andrew Archer – NAIGC – 1st place Man’s Vault

• Nathan Westbrook – M 105 kg • Scott Dobbins – M 120 kg

Judo • Mike Berry – USA Judo 1st place Novice (male)

Trap & Skeet

• Rachel Vaughn – 1st place Novice (female)

• ACUI DII Overall Team National Champions • Brandy Drozd – 2014 World Champion in Women’s International Skeet

Handball • Overall Combined Team DII Champions • Macie Morris – USHA D1 C – 1st place Women’s

Pistol • NRA Intercollegiate Championships

National Runner-ups:

• Jason Mathis – Standard Pistol National Champion

• NCVF Women’s Volleyball 2nd place

• Payton Duvall – 2nd place Aggregate Women’s

• US Polo Association Men’s Team 2nd place • Paintball 2nd place NCPA


• Payton Duvall – Pistol 2nd place Aggregate Women’s

• Grant Koontz – USA Collegiate Cycling Men’s Individual Time Trial National Championship

• Handball Division II Men’s & Women’s Team 2nd place

loyalty Leave Your Mark

Kristyn Kempf WALK OF CHAMPIONS CONSTRUCTION UPDATE: Construction is ongoing and the Walk of Champions Bricks have been moved into storage. Bricks will stay in storage until they are all placed back into the Walk of Champions after construction is complete in 2016. Bricks ordered between now and the completion of the Rec construction will be displayed the weekend of graduation inside the lobby to the Student Rec Center. After graduation, all bricks will be safely stored until construction is finalized, at which time they will be placed into the ground. To learn more about getting your own brick in the Walk of Champions, contact James Welford at 11

Department of Recreational Sports Texas A&M University 4250 TAMU College Station, TX 77843-4250


Don’t forget about the Rec Sports Reunion ON October 17, 2015!

RecLIFE | Spring 2015  

Find out what's happening at Texas A&M Rec Sports in this issue of RecLIFE Magazine.

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