New recreation graduate Robert Howlett presented a remarkable gift to three School of Human Kinetics and Recreation (HKR) faculty recently. It was an engraved rock; one each for Drs. Anne-Marie Sullivan, TA Loeffler and Angela Loucks-Atkinson. They are engraved with the Memorial University logo and each of their names.
In a note to each one, Mr. Howlett wrote: “This rock represents the core that is recreation and has been split between the three of you. You have inspired me in so many ways and I am so grateful to have had the opportunity to learn from you.”
Mr. Howlett says the three individuals were the ones who inspired him most to pursue a career in recreation.
“They have all had an influence on my passion for recreation and every day their lessons sparked inspiration in my current and future work in the recreation and leisure field. These three professors work interdependently to create the best teachings possible so that we are prepared to enter the recreation field.”
Presenting a rock as a gift is not unusual for Mr. Howlett, however. His family owns Muir’s Marble Works. He wanted to acknowledge the three faculty and during a conversation with his dad they came up with the idea.
“My experience as an HKR student has been amazing. I have had so many experiences from co-op, to learning how to do program plans, to climbing cliffs in Flatrock along with so much more. The recreation program is so valuable at Memorial. I believe that my experience with the program is thanks to the inspiring professors that I have come in contact with throughout my university education.”
Dr. Loeffler says she was very touched by Robert’s gift.
“As an outdoor educator, I am quite fond of rocks and appreciate Robert’s sentiment that we three faculty are the rock, the foundation, the core and the solidity of the recreation program. As a small program, all three of us have to work very hard to keep the program growing, current and relevant to both the students and the profession. We pride ourselves on our deep connections with the students in the program and I think Robert was expressing his gratitude for providing him with that.”
Mr. Howlett has recently moved to Nova Scotia where he plans to apply to occupational therapy. He’s hoping his future will involve working with individuals with intellectual and physical disabilities.
His advice for students?
“I think that it’s important for students to take advantage of what they are being taught. Sometimes the simple lessons may be the most important in your life and I feel as though the recreation program’s professors strive to cover all the bases when sharing their knowledge of recreation.”