2019 MTRA Board of Directors
Devyn C. Baker, CTRS, CCLS, ATRIC
Central Michigan University- 1995
Michigan Medicine Rogel Cancer Center
In Devyn's professional life he has worked in various settings with a wide range of populations. Devyn started off with his degree in Therapeutic Recreation and went on to become a Certified Child Life Specialist and then a Certified Aquatic Therapist. Devyn is very happy serving as the President of MTRA and it's members.
In his leisure time he enjoys time with his family (both biological and non-biological) enjoys cuddling and snuggling with his 4 cats, and tinkering and puttering on many hobbies- just depends on the moment as to what you would find him doing.
Melissa VanderLaan, CTRS
Grand Valley State University- 2006
Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services
Melissa is currently employed at Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services where she works Adult psychiatric inpatient services and partial hospitalization program working with pregnant and postpartum women dealing with perinatal mood disorders such as postpartum depression and anxiety.
Melissa enjoys most anything, but would consider herself a "foodie"- you know...try new restaurants and recipes. She can get lost in a new craft or anything creative (Hello Pinterest)! Time with family, friends & enjoyable people is always leisure to her!
Jessica Spooner, CTRS, CDP
Grand Valley State University- 2011
Home & Community Recreation Therapy
Jessica works as a Contracted Recreational Therapist with Home & Community Recreation Therapy. Jessica is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner. During her time as a professional she has worked in sub acute rehabilitation, assisted living, and currently in the community setting. Her experience on the MTRA Board of Directors started in 2010 as the Student Member At Large and she continues to serve on the board as Secretary.
Jessica enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, blogging on her personal blog A Spoonful of Delight as well as Mid Michigan Moms Blog, walking, and enjoying a glass of sweet wine.
MEMBERS AT LARGE
Jen Baweja, MS, CTRS
Grand Valley State University
Grand Valley State University Educator
Jenny currently works as an educator for Grand Valley State University. She enjoys teaching and mentoring students, as well as supporting the Recreation Therapy profession. Jenny has worked in both physical medicine and rehabilitation, wellness, and long term care. As a Recreation Therapist Jenny loves assisting patients in living the best quality of life, and inspiring professionals in leadership, ethics, and research.
Jenny's leisure interests include baking, sports, exercise, and reading.
Ron Coplin, CTRS
Central Michigan University
Recreational Therapist at Pine Rest Mental Health Services, Activity Therapy Chairperson, Coordinator of the Adult Partial Hospitalization Program
Ron received his Bachelors and Masters degrees from Central Michigan University in Recreation and Parks Administration with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. Ron has worked as a Recreational Therapist for over 37 years. Ron is currently on the Advisory Boards for Central Michigan University and Grand Valley State University. Ron was awarded the Distinguished Alumni Award from Central Michigan University. At Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services Ron serves as Activity Therapy Chairperson, and Coordinator of Mercy Health Adult Partial Hospitalization Program. Ron has many years of experience and is very interested in serving on the board of MTRA and giving back to our profession.
Chelsea M. Jacobs, CTRS
Eastern Michigan University
State of Michigan- Walter Reuther Psychiatric Hospital
Chelsea works as a Recreational Therapist with the State of Michigan. Chelsea has several years of experience in working with a variety of populations including geriatrics, traumatic brain injury, acute rehabilitation, and currently in long-term psychiatric care.
During Chelsea's free time she enjoys traveling with her husband, gardening, baking, and cooking.
Courtney Remy, CTRS
Grand Valley State University
Special Tree Rehabilitation System
Courtney loves being on the MTRA board to stay connected with people and the profession of Recreational Therapy and she enjoys helping plan conferences for MTRA so their members can do the same. At Special Tree Rehabilitation Courtney covers clients in PM&R on a contingent basis, but her current full-time job is homeschooling her 5 children, including 2 foster sons who were adopted in November 2018. Courtney enjoys bringing her children to adaptive sports events, volunteering in therapy settings to continue promoting the profession and educating young members of the community.
In her free time, Courtney loves to watch her kids play soccer, baseball, gymnastics, karate and more. She enjoys biking Midland's awesome rail trail with her family, picnics at the park, Dow Gardens, the new canopy walk, camping and travel to visit family. Courtney is also on a tennis league, in a book club, and loves planning fun things for the kids to learn with other homeschooling moms.
Susan Sunden, M. Ed., CTRS
BS in TR- GVSU 1988, M.Ed. in Biology/Health Science GVSU 2001 and currently a Doctoral Student at Concordia University in Portland Oregon
Grand Valley State University Educator
Susan is an Assistant Professor at GVSU in Therapeutic Recreation. Susan's professional interests include pediatrics, families, Autism, and research relating to these topics. Currently she is working on a Doctorate in Higher Education through Concordia University in Portland Oregon. Susan is thrilled to be on the MTRA board and is happy to serve in whatever capacity she can.
In her leisure time Susan enjoys being with her son, boating, waterskiing, swimming, reading, and socializing.
Nicholas Wahl, CTRS
Grand Valley State University- 2013
Brookcrest Rehabilitation and Life Center
Nick practices in sub-acute rehab for geriatrics. His special interests for practicing are community reintegration, adaptive cooking, and high intensity exercise for seniors. Nick has been practicing for 6 years, the last 3 in his current position. He has served on the MTRA board for 3 years and is the membership liaison.
Nick's leisure interests include spending time in the great outdoors camping, fishing, and hiking, reading, coaching soccer, and disc golf. He loves to spoil his 1 year old niece and going on adventures with his girlfriend.
STUDENT MEMBERS AT LARGE
Grand Valley State University- anticipated graduate in 2020
Maggie is a junior at GVSU currently majoring in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology.She is the fundraising chair for the Therapeutic Recreation Student Association at GVSU and is interested in working in behavioral health.
Maggie enjoys spending time with friends, going to hockey games, playing with her mini schnauzer, Chloey, working out, and swimming.
Calvin College - anticipated graduate in 2021
Currently double majoring in Therapeutic Recreation and Psychology
Kelli is a sophomore at Calvin College studying Psychology and Therapeutic Recreation. She is a student mentor for the Ready for Life program at Calvin. Currently, she is a kindergarten assistant at Holland Christian for their new forest school program.
Kelli enjoys playing soccer, running track at Calvin, going for hikes, and being in the great outdoors. To relax she plays guitar, piano, and sings by herself as well as with friends.
Eastern Michigan University- Anticipated graduate in December 2019
Natalie is a senior at EMU majoring in Therapeutic Recreation with a minor in Psychology. She is very interested in the fields of behavioral heath and rehabilitation. Natalie currently works as an Assistant teacher at IXL learning center.
She enjoys kayaking, spending time with friends, playing the violin, playing with her dog and traveling around the country to attend different music festivals. She hopes to, one day, visit all 50 states!
Central Michigan University- Anticipated graduate in 2020
Sara is a junior at CMU studying Therapeutic Recreation. She is a Registered Behavior Technician and works with a company providing behavior therapy in client's homes.
Sara and her fiance have two extra large dogs- Sydney is a Newfoundland/Great Pyrenees mix and Secord is a mutt weighing in at over 110 pounds. In her free time she loves to paint, cook, go hiking, and of course play with her dogs.