Recreational Sports & Fitness Staff

Stephen J. Erickson

Stephen J. Erickson, MA CRSS, RCRSP

Director

Tel:  (406) 994-5000
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: sjerickson@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department: 
- Department Head
- Fiscal Management
- Direct oversight of all department staff

Education:
- Graduated from MSU - Bozeman; Physical Education/Recreation - 1982
- Graduated from The University of Iowa; Master's of Arts in Recreation Education-Administration - 1984

Experience:
Steve's first job out of graduate school was at Emory University in Atlanta as Assistant Facilities Coordinator. A year later was promoted to Recreation Coordinator/Instructor and ran the Recreation/Intramural programs for 9 years. Steve then took a job at Dartmouth College as coordinating Intramurals, Clubs, Fitness Center as well as teaching in the Physical Education program. After 23 years away from MSU, Steve came back to the same gym where he started his career as an Intramural Sports official in 1977.

Certifications:
- Certified Pool Operator
- Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor Trainer
- Red Cross CPR/AED Pro Instructor
- Red Cross Life Guard Instructor

Wellness Philosophy: "To Begin, Begin". There is no shame in beginning where you are. The hardest step is to start. Just start and a world of opportunities and good health are waiting for you!

Other Interests: Family, Basketball, Racquetball, Volleyball, Hiking, Skiing, Hunting, Camping, and Spartan Endurance Competitions.

Abbey Holm

Abbey Holm, CSCS

Assistant Director

Tel:  (406) 994-6278
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: abbey.holm@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Director of Activity Classes for Credit (ACT)
- Supervisor of Personal Fitness Services and Fitness Staff
- Serve as a Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer when needed
- Supervisor of the Climbing Wall and employees
- Manage and direct the Instructional Programs

Education:
- Master's Degree from Colorado State University in Health and Exercise Science, 2009
- Bachelor's Degree from Pacific Lutheran University in Business Administration and a Spanish minor, 2005

Experience
Abbey has been working at the Rec. Sports & Fitness Center since January 2010. She started as a personal trainer, then created the Instructional Program unit and is now in her current role as Assistant Director - adding Director of Personal Fitness, ACT courses, and Climbing Wall. Abbey loves working for the University and being able to collaborate with other campus departments - offering services/programs to all. In her free time, Abbey is very passionate about the outdoors and has worked for many outdoor adventure camps; well adept in guiding and leadership. Abbey is very involved in the soccer community and is the Strength and Conditioning Coach for the Bozeman Blitzz Soccer Club.

Certifications:
- NSCA Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist since 2006
- NIRSA Professional Member since 2011
- Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor
- USSF "E" Licensed Soccer Coach

Wellness Philosophy: "Movement is Life!"

Other Interests: 
Anything outdoors: especially skiing, backcountry skiing, hiking, and road/mountain biking. Abbey has played soccer all her life, including at the collegiate level. She currently plays in competitive soccer leagues.

James Shepherd

James W. Shepherd

Recreational Manager for Operations.

Tel:  (406) 994-3020
Tel:  (406) 570-3739
Fax: (406) 994-3739
Email: james.shepherd@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Maintains all equipment maintenance and preventive maintenance programs.
- Responsible for facility maintenance and upkeep.
- Leads 30+ student staff to include 1 professional assistant, 7 building supervisors, and 23 building attendants.
- Coordinates all scheduling of the facility and prepares set-up/tear-down for events.

Education:
- Masters in Science, Project Management – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, 2011.
- Bachelors of Applied Science (B.A.Sc) – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 2009.
        Major in Professional Aeronautics
        Minor in Safety and Management
- Associate in Applied Science, Instructor of Technology and Military Science, Community College of the Air Force 2010
- Associate in Science, Aerospace Ground Equipment Technology – Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University 2007

Experience:
James spent 14 years on active duty with the United States Air Forces as an operations manager. He has worked with a wide range of facility issues and has managed people for over 10 years. He has a passion for recreational sports & fitness on a personal level and believes that everyone should strive to be the most fit they can be. James is a mentor to his staff and devotes his time to helping his staff and others see that professionalism is built from character. James is a humble leader who believes in giving back. His faith caries him and he strives to make a difference in one person’s life each day.

Certifications:
- CFC/HCFC Refrigerants
- Hazardous Materials First Responders Awareness
- Instructor Level III
- CPR/AED

Wellness Philosophy: "See the Truth, Hold the Faith"

Other Interests: 
Spending Time with Wife and three Daughters; Billiards; Working on cars and with wood; Sports, especially football and basketball – GO BOBCATS!

Spencer

Spencer Sorensen

Manager for Clubs Sports,
Intramurals, Camps and Lifeguards

Tel:  (406) 994-6313
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: spencer.sorensen@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Manager of Club Sports, Intramurals, Camps and Lifeguards.

Education:
- Graduated from Idaho State University; Sports Management - 2008
- Graduated from Oregon State University; Masters of Science in Sports Psychology - 2010

Experience:
Spencer was born and raised in Boise, ID and attended Idaho State University where his love of university recreation and officiating began. Spencer went on to do a Graduate Assistantship at Oregon State University where he helped run the IMs and Sports Clubs there in Corvallis.
Spencer's first job out of graduate school was at Western Carolina University in Cullowhee, NC as Assistant Director of Intramurals. A year later he moved to Portland, Oregon to be Intramural Sports and Special Events Coordinator at Portland State University. After 5 years in the beautiful city of Portland the Mountain Northwest called Spencer back. Spencer loves working with students and being around sports and recreation all day.

Certifications:
- Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid&lt
- NIRSA Member

Wellness Philosophy: Go play! No matter how or what you do, just play for the health of it.

Other Interests: 
Hanging with my wife and three kids, Sports! (I'll watch or play anything), Camping and Hiking, Attending Concerts, eating delicious food and playing disc golf.

Sharon

Sharon Melniker

Business Manager Accounting III
Administrative Associate III

Tel:  (406) 994-6310
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: melniker@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Oversees HR and Payroll Transactions
- Supervises Program Coordinator and Student Accounting Assistants
- Assists in RSF budget planning and execution- Manages all RSF financial transactions including invoicing, PO's, BPA's, daily deposits and reconciliations.

Education:
- Graduated Bozeman Senior High School – 1970
- One Year MSU – Billings (Commerce Major)
- One Year MSU – Bozeman (Commerce Major)
- Graduated from Vo-Tech ; Legal Secretary – 1973

Experience:
Two years as Women’s Racquetball Pro at Universal Sports & Courts (sponsored pro by Head Racquetball Association)
Two years as Assistant Club Manager at Universal Sports & Courts
Five years with the MSU Earth Science Department, three years with the College of Business, and 23 years with Recreational Sports and Fitness.

Certifications:
- CPR/AED
- First Aid
- AFAA Group Fitness Instructor

Wellness Philosophy: What lies behind us and what lies before us are small matters compared to what lies within us.
Eat healthy, stay active and laugh a lot.

Other Interests: 
Raising and training quarter horses.
Attending as many colt starting, horsemanship and cow working clinics as possible. 
Spending time with hubby Pete, “super dog” Jake and many wonderful family and friends.

Kelsie

Kelsie Straub

Program Coordinator

Tel:  (406) 994-5000
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: kelsie.straub@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Manages all front office operations and associated customer service, including Fitness Center memberships, scheduling appointments and locker rentals.
- Trains and supervises student workers and provides administrative support to all other RSF staff positions.

Education:
- Bachelor of Science in Health Science and Chemistry from Quinnipiac University, 2012

Certifications:
- Red Cross CPR/AED

Wellness Philosophy: Health and wellness are not fads but a lifestyle that must be cultivated. Get outside and make the most of it!

Other Interests: 
Skiing, cooking, hunting, backpacking and hiking with my chocolate lab and friends.

Michele

Michele Cusack

Media Information Specialist

Tel:  (406) 994-5000
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: michele.cusack@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Web, print and direct marketing of the Marga Hosaeus Fitness Center and Outdoor Recreation programs, services and special events.
- Hire and supervise the student design team which includes a social media/PR representative, web editor, photographer and two graphics designers.
- Work in conjunction with the Program Coordinator to plan and implement RSF special events.

Education:
- Three years post-secondary education.

Wellness Philosophy: Fitness comes in every shape and size.

Other Interests: 
People, writing, travel, life long learning, and a desire to live long - but not get old - with Mark and my family.

Jocelyn Larson

Jocelyn Larson

Coordinator for Personal Fitness Services,
ACT Courses,
Massage and Climbing Wall

Tel:  (406) 994-6278
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: jocelyn.larson@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Assistant Director of Activity Classes for Credit (ACT)
- Assistant Supervisor of Personal Fitness Services and Fitness Staff
- Serve as a Fitness Consultant and Personal Trainer when needed
- Assistant Supervisor of the Climbing Wall and employees
- Assist in managing and directing Instructional Programs

Education:
- Master's Degree from University of New Hampshire-Education 2007
- Bachelor's Degree from University of New Hampshire Human Development, Psychology minor, 2006

Experience
I started out at MSU Recreational Sports and Fitness as a Certified Personal Trainer in August 2011, assisting patrons to meet their fitness goals. I then had to opportunity to become more involved with activity classes for credit, climbing wall, instructional programs and personal fitness services in my current role as Assistant Director of Personal Fitness Services July 2012. This position enables me to teach students about fitness, incorporating two things that I love, education and fitness. Working at MSU challenges me every day and encourage the next challenge to come my way!

Certifications:
- ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
- AFAA Group Fitness Instructor
- Yoga Tune-Up Certified Instructor
- Red Cross CPR/AED
- Red Cross First Aid

Wellness Philosophy: "Physical fitness is a lifestyle"

Other Interests: 
I love incorporating the outdoors and fitness. I enjoy skiing, mountain biking, backpacking, fishing, day hikes, running, and any excuse to get my two black labs out!

Whitney

Whitney Hinshaw

Coordinator for Group Exercise and
Health and Safety Instruction

Tel:  (406) 994-6316
Fax: (406) 994-6564
Email: whitney.hinshaw@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Director of Group Fitness
- Director of Instructional Programs

Education:
- Master of Education (M.Ed) from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Educational Administration, 2014
- Bachelor of Science from University of Nebraska-Lincoln in Dietetics, 2011

Experience
Whitney was born and raised in Nebraska and grew up loving anything sports-related, especially soccer and softball. In order to stay active and to pursue goals similar to athletics at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, fitness was the natural spin-off. She began training for half-marathons which led to involvement in other diverse fitness formats. Being a coach and a motivator, she worked as a personal trainer and fitness instructor at UNL Campus Rec until she graduated. Whitney then discovered the world of NIRSA and collegiate recreation when she began a graduate assistantship at UNL teaching and administering recreational activity courses for credit. She has loved every day of her work in the collegiate recreation setting with her passions for wellness, student development, mentorship, motivation and leadership.

Certifications:
- ACSM Health/Fitness Specialist
- AFAA Primary Group Exercise Instructor
- ACSM Certified Personal Trainer
- NIRSA Member
- Red Cross CPR/AED/First Aid Instructor

Wellness Philosophy: Our successes and struggles are always the same; they just wear different clothes. Pursuing wellness behaviors allows us to cultivate transferrable heart skills, such as perseverance, endurance, tolerance for discomfort, confidence and so forth, that not only make us in better shape for fitness, but also in better shape for life.

Other Interests: 
Cooking, hiking, reading, quality time with family and friends, traveling, soccer, Husker football and Husker volleyball.

Alexander Irick

Alexander Irick

Operations Assistant

Tel:  (303) 552-1984
Email: alexander.irick@montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Front Staff Management
- Assist with Fitness Center Operations Management

Education:
- B.A, Business Management from Montana State University 2015.
        Small Business Management and Entrepreneurship Minor

Experience
Alex first attended Montana State University as a freshman in 2010 and played 4 years on the MSU Club Hockey team. During that time he founded and at the same time was the acting president of the MSU Fitpit club sports team.
His Recreational Sports and Fitness employment began as a building attendant and moved to Personal Training until graduating in 2014. After spending a year working in Gunnison Colorado as an EMT and the Head Personal Trainer at Wester State Colorado University, Alex took advantage of an opportunity to move back to the great city of Bozeman, Montana.

Certifications:
- EMT - Basic, National Registry of Emergency Medical Technicians, 2015
- NETA NCCA Certified Personal Trainer, 2014
- USA Weightlifting Sports Performance Coach, 2014
- CPR/AED

Wellness Philosophy: Success stems from mindset, and I've found fitness can be an incredibly positive influence on not only physical health but mental health as well.
"All that is necessary for triumph of evil is good men do nothing" - Edmund Burke

Other Interests: 
Olympic weightlifting, hockey and anything outdoors.

Ty Atwater

Ty Atwater

Director of Outdoor Recreation Programs

Tel:  (541) 554-8793
Email: ty.atwater@montana.edu

Education:
- M.S. in Education
- B.S. in Zoology

Experience
Ty grew up in the pacific northwest spending as much of his time as possible outside on the river or exploring local climbing areas. After completing his undergraduate studies at Oregon State University where he worked as a student trip leader and member of the climbing gym staff, he left to pursue a career in fisheries and wildlife biology. Quickly realizing that his time spent mentoring and teaching others about various outdoor recreation activities was his true calling, he turned down further work as a fish biologist and moved into his Subaru Loyale wagon at Smith Rock State Park in Oregon. After spending time as a climbing guide, lift operator, wilderness medicine instructor, and exploring Patagonia he returned to Oregon State University where he worked in a variety of roles for the Adventure Leadership Institute. His time in Corvallis was spent refining his outdoor education, student and leadership development skills. He and his wife and their son are excited to join the outdoor recreation community in Bozeman and at MSU and are all looking forward to winters with snow on the ground and ice to climb. If he’s not in the office you’re likely to find Ty exploring the local trails and crags with his family or out on a long run.

Dan

Dan Sandberg

Assistant Director

Tel:  (207) 240-5544
Email: daniel.sandberg@montana.edu

Education:
- M.S. Recreation Studies
- B.A. in Global Studies

Experience
Dan grew up in the great state of Maine, before moving to Vermont to pursue cross-country ski racing as a student at Saint Michael’s College.  During his first year Dan got involved with the college outdoor program, eventually leaving competitive skiing behind to focus on working as a trip leader.  After graduation, Dan decided to pursue outdoor recreation as a career.  He has worked as a guide and instructor throughout the Northeast U.S., Colorado and Utah, as well as internationally in Bolivia.  Dan began his role at Montana State University in July, 2017 and is thrilled to be in Bozeman and to join the team at the Outdoor Recreation Programs (ORP).  Right now his obsessions are backcountry skiing, mountain biking, and whitewater travel of any sort, but climbing has always been a passion, and he is excited to take advantage of all the great local climbing options Bozeman has to offer. After work, you’re most likely to find him exploring the local crags, trails, and rivers, or at a local coffee shop.

Sam

Samantha Garcia

Tel:  (406) 539-8449
Email: samantha.garcia2@msu.montana.edu

Responsibilities with the Recreational Sports & Fitness Department:
- Graduate Assistant for Club Sports, Intramurals, Lifeguards and Camps

Education:
- Pursuing Masters in Higher Education Student Affairs option at Montana State University
- Bachelors of Science in Elementary Education with a Concentration in Early Childhood from Montana State University

Experience
Sam has been with the Rec. Sports & Fitness department since August of 2014. She began as a lifeguard, progressed towards a supervisor position, and eventually went on to become the first Graduate Assistant for the department. Coming from a large family with five younger siblings, Sam has always been passionate about teaching in any capacity and working with students of all ages. She is very committed to this department and the programming it provides to the campus community.

Certifications:
- Licensed K-8 Teacher with the State of Montana
- Class B CDL holder
- Red Cross Lifeguard Instructor
- Red Cross CPR/AED Instructor

Wellness Philosophy: Being physically active is the best therapist out there.

Other Interests: 
Sam loves running, attending all home Bobcat football games, and spending quality time with family and friends.