RecSports Class of 2020 Spotlights

In celebration of the Class of 2020, we’ve compiled stories of some of our amazing graduates. There is no shortage of impressive achievements and inspiring stories among them. Read our latest story featuring 12 of Team RecSports’ impressive grads.

Alexis McDonald

At RecSports: TeXercise Instructor
Hometown: Cedar Hill, TX
Beyond Team RecSports: Resident Assistant, National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) and Fearless Leadership Institute (FLI), Longhorn Wellness Center Peer Educator
Life After the Forty Acres: Applying to pursue a graduate degree in psychology

Alexis believes teaching for the RecSports Fitness & Wellness program helped her connect fitness and mental health. She brought energy and passion to the program and created meaningful connections with participants. Alexis plans to continue as a fitness instructor once in graduate school because it fills her bucket and has been such a huge part of her life. In looking back at her time at UT , Alexis is most proud of being a mental health advocate and making sure everyone she came across on campus knew that they were not alone.

Gavin Martella

At RecSports: Climbing Wall Supervisor, Adventure Trip Leader, Program Assistant for Outdoor Recreation
Hometown: Kingwood, TX
Life After the Forty Acres: Working at Dell Technologies as a Financial Analyst in the Finance Development Program

Gavin has held nearly every position in the Outdoor Recreation program. As an Adventure Trip Leader, he led Adventure Trips to the Guadalupe Mountains and Hawaii. As a Program Assistant, he was instrumental in overhauling the program’s gear organization system and helped revamp the setting process at the Climbing Wall. When reflecting on his time on Team RecSports, Gavin highlights having learned the importance of creating a positive team culture and “working cohesively with others and maintaining an expectation of respect, made my job comfortable and enjoyable.”

Madeline Park

At RecSports: UT Sport Club Council and Texas Dance
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Beyond RecSports: The Texas Wesley
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to serve on the leadership team at T Bar M Camps in New Braunfels, TX then transition to work in youth ministry

During her time with Texas Dance, Madeline and her team made it to the Jazz Finals at the National Dance Association Nationals, which Madeline highlights as one of the proudest moments of her UT experience.

Kathryn Langlois

At RecSports: Outdoor Satellites Building Coordinator, Texas Women’s Rugby
Hometown: Montgomery, TX
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to work as a Labor and Delivery Nurse in the Houston area
Advice for UT24: Take a deep breath and take things as they come.

Whether it’s playing rugby or leading other student staff at the fields, Kathryn has been identified by her peers and supervisors as a proven leader and pillar of strength. Kathryn exemplified perseverance and resiliency throughout her UT experience battling cancer all while still engaged as a student, employee, and athlete. In spite of it all, when reflecting on her time at RecSports, Kathryn looks back with gratitude, noting that “[when I received my diagnosis] I didn’t know what to do or say at that point, but the love and support that my coworkers showed me was unmatched.”

Jordan Stroope

At RecSports: Personal Trainer, F45 Training Instructor, Building Coordinator, Longhorn Run
Hometown: Waco, TX
Beyond RecSports: Christian Students on Campus
Life After the Forty Acres: Working as a Personal Trainer at Driven Performance Training in Austin, TX

Jordan has been an integral part of the RecSports team across the department since his freshman year. He has contributed to Facility Operations and Fitness and Wellness as a stand-out leader.

David Fernandez

At RecSports: Lifeguard, Head Lifeguard
Hometown: Fort Worth, TX
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to work at Dell as a Software Engineer

David has used his engineering classroom experience to assist in developing step-by-step guides for RecSports staff and has even helped to perform maintenance in the Gregory Gym Aquatic Complex. In reflecting on his time on the team, David speaks to how RecSports has taught him the importance of cultivating relationships with coworkers. “It is because of my coworkers and supportive community that I always looked forward to coming into work at Gregory.”

Joshua Guenther

At RecSports: Lead Photographer
Hometown: Marble Falls, TX
Beyond RecSports: The Daily Texan, Freetail Hackers
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to move to College Station, TX, to apply for full-time programming positions, and continue to work freelance as a sports photographer

Josh has exemplified all of the qualities of a natural leader. His time with RecSports allowed him to shine as a photographer which led him to be promoted to Lead Photographer. Josh was always willing to lend a helping hand and mentor others on the Communications Student Staff team.

Michael Richardson

At RecSports: Texas THON Vice President for Recruitment
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Beyond RecSports: Texas Blazers
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to apply to medical schools and related jobs and volunteer in his community

Michael credits his experiences with RecSports through his role with Texas THON to have taught him how to be a better leader. He says, “None of my previous leadership positions compared to the levels of growth I received as Vice President for Texas THON. The mission, the people, and the work all tested me in ways I have never previously experienced and I can confidently say that I am a more compassionate and thoughtful leader,” Michael reflects.

Daniel Bacic

At RecSports: Program Assistant for Intramural Sports, Sport Manager, Intramural Supervisor, Intramural Official
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Beyond RecSports: Longhorn Band, Kappa Kappa Psi, Student Engineers Educating Kids
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to move to Dallas to work at Texas Instruments

Daniel started his career at RecSports as a Sport Coordinator for outdoor soccer in 2017, which he helped restart following the renovation of the Wright-Whitaker Sports Complex. In doing so, Daniel says “the program reached new heights and embraced a desire for excellence. I cherish the fact that I had an opportunity to make a lasting impact on such a remarkable program.” He has since had a tremendous impact on the Intramural Sports program and has become a source of guidance for other employees, especially during difficult situations.

Alden Marshall

At RecSports: Longhorn Run 2020 Director
Hometown: Mabank, TX
Beyond RecSports: Graduate Student Assembly Undergraduate Mentorship Agency, Student Government, Counseling and Mental Health Center Student Advisory Committee
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to work at the intersection of two of his greatest passions: technology and politics

“Having had the privilege of leading Longhorn Run has been a highlight of my UT experience. The level of impact this organization has still leaves me in awe and I’m so grateful I had the opportunity to bring this tradition to life,” Alden reflects when looking back at his proudest moments from his time at UT. When COVID-19 led to the cancellation of Longhorn Run 2020, Alden rose to the occasion to help reimagine the event and create a successful virtual race with over 1,000 participants, continuing to show his impressive leadership and passion for serving his peers and the campus.

Brianne Richardson

At RecSports: Program Assistant for Membership and Guest Services
Hometown: San Antonio, TX
Beyond RecSports: Texas Infinites
Life After the Forty Acres: Plans to apply to graduate programs in professional counseling

Brianne has worked at RecSports all of her UT career. She has been integral to assisting with training new clerical student employees in the Membership and Guest Services area. Brianne is most proud of being the first person on her mother’s side of the family to graduate from college. “Working with RecSports taught me everything I need to know about customer service and working as a team. Every person’s role at RecSports is so important and many programs and events could not be accomplished if we did not work as a team and communicate effectively.”

Therese Castro

At RecSports: Lifeguard, Program Assistant for the Instructional Program
Hometown: Grand Prairie, TX
Life After the Forty Acres: Job searching for a job she loves

Therese credits her time at RecSports as a Lifeguard and Program Assistant with helping her become an effective team leader. Therese has a passion for traveling and hopes to see more of the world upon graduation.