Grant Staff is composed of four graduate students from the University of Tennessee.
Camp Koinonia Director
Mindy is a native of Lakeland, Tennessee, but likes to tell people she is from Memphis. She won homecoming queen and often times wears her crown into the office. Often referred to as the “Camp Koinonia veteran,” Mindy snuck into the class her freshman year and will be doing camp for her sixth time this year. She graduated with an undergraduate degree in 2013 from the University of Tennessee in Therapeutic Recreation. Through the keen persuasion of Dr. Hayes he convinced her to stick around and write her Master’s thesis. Mindy is our most qualified Grant Staffer since she passed her CTRS exam in October 2013. She is also involved with Sport 4 Peace and contributes a therapeutic recreation adaptive sport perspective to the program. She is also the wittiest one of the group, so if you ever need a good Instagram caption, she’s your go-to girl.
Camp Koinonia Assistant Director
Heather, better known around the office as “Alpha Moolie”, is originally from Springboro, Ohio but something about Rocky Top just beckoned her to Knoxville, Tennessee. In all reality, she was looking to escape the fame bestowed upon her after winning the Warren County Fair pickle eating contest six years in a row! She completed her degree in Psychology (BA) at the University of Tennessee with a Cum Laude in 2012. She is currently a Master’s candidate in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of Tennessee and will finish in 2015. Heather did her undergraduate internship under a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at Norris Academy in Tennessee, where she gained experience in the field. She is also a member of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. Heather has an immense amount of great qualities about her, but the things we enjoy the most are her northern accent, funny jokes, and big heart.
Emily Elizabeth (pictured to the left with her Madre) has been everywhere, literally. She has lived in Pleasanton, California, Sandy, Utah, Chattanooga, Tennessee, and Knoxville. Some would like to refer to her as Bionic Woman because she has Titanium Alloy all throughout her back. That being said, Emmy graduated with her Bachelors in Biology from the University of Tennessee in 2012 (ask her about her lab coat). Lucky for us, she couldn’t stay away from Camp Koinonia and joined the Therapeutic Recreation Masters program in the spring of 2014. At Camp Koinonia 2014, she assisted in implementing a great new program for our awesome Peer Counselors, mentoring them throughout the week! Emmy enjoys a lot of things in life, but doing the “robot” dance, Chinese food, The Beatles, and Jimmy John’s are her favorite things. Another fun fact: Emmy went to the individual state tournament for bowling in high school!! Way to go, girl!
Ashlee Almaroad, CTRS
Ashlee is from the small town of Blountville, Tennessee in the heart of NASCAR country (go Dale – #3 on the track but #1 in our hearts). She graduated from the University of Tennessee with a Bachelors degree in Therapeutic Recreation in the spring of 2014, but decided to stick around to complete her Masters degree because five years as an undergraduate just wasn’t enough. She did her final internship in a behavioral health setting and thoroughly enjoys that aspect of our field. Ashlee loves putting party hats, clothes, and bandanas on her dogs almost as much as she loves various holidays… just wait until you see the office at Christmas. She tries her best to enjoy the little things in life, including: Sonic Happy Hour, The Bachelor/Bachelorette, mixed cheese bings, warm cookies, good music, and a good book.