2018 Board of Directors


Devyn C. Baker CTRS, CCLS, ATRIC

Central Michigan University- 1995

Michigan Medicine Comprehensive 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 Recreational Therapist with Home & Community Recreation Therapy. Jessica is also a Certified Dementia Practitioner. Her experience on the MTRA Board of Directors started back in 2010 as the Student Member At Large and she continues to serve on the board as Secretary,

When Jessica isn’t at work she enjoys spending time with her husband, 2 year old daughter, walking, and enjoying a glass of wine.


Jenny Baweja MS, CTRS

Grand Valley State University-2006 & California University of Pennsylvania

Grand Valley State University

Jenny served as a RT in both assisted living and inpatient rehab settings for 12 years.  Jenny has also served on the board of MTRA for nearly 10 years in various positions.  Jenny now works as a professor at GVSU, serving health professions students.  Jenny is passionate about research, leadership and ethics.

At home, Jenny has 4 boys who love to keep her busy! She enjoys fitness, family and spirituality.

Ron Coplin, MA. CTRS

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 RecreationRon 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. 

Courtney Remy MS, CTRS

Grand Valley State University- 2005

Special Tree Rehabilitation System

Courtney is excited to serve for a second year on the MTRA board this year to connect and advance Recreational Therapists throughout Michigan. She is employed by Special Tree Rehabilitation System as a contingent Rec Therapist. Her current full-time job is homeschooling her 3 children, ages 8,6 and 4. 

Courtney uses every-day and volunteer opportunities to stay especially connected to the adapted sports communities and educate her children about including people of various abilities in everything. Courtney also enjoys tennis and library programs. Her whole family is involved in serving their church as high school youth leaders, children’s teachers and musicians.

Courtney looks forward to serving and growing with you through MTRA!  This is Courtney's 4th year serving on the board!

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/Portland

Grand Valley State University

Susan is an Assistant Professor at GVSU in Therapeutic Recreation.  Susan's professional interests include pediatrics, families, Autism, and research relating to these topics.  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 family, boating, waterskiing, swimming, running, reading and socailizing.

Nick Wahl CTRS

Grand Valley State University- 2013

Brookcrest Rehabilitation and Life Center, Grandville, MI

Nick originally grew up in the Ann Arbor area, attending GVSU and graduating in 2013.  Nick specializes in working in Geriatrics & Sub Acute Rehab, with an emphasis in physical fitness and community reintegration.

In his leisure time, Nick enjoys The great outdoors (fishing, camping, hiking, canoeing) reading, drawing, playing sports (soccer, disc golf and golf), and spoiling his new born niece. 


Valerie Verbeek

Calvin College


Lexi Provo

Central Michigan University

Graduation August 2019

This is Lexi's first semester in the TR community at CMU.  She is currently working at Indian trails Camp in grand Rapids as a respite counselor.  Lexi feels the TR community is so wonderful and is excited for her future in this field.  

Lexi is also on E-Board for CMU's Recreation Therapy Club, as well as she plays rugby on the CMU club team.  In her little free time that she has, Lexi enjoys doing puzzles and drinking coffee. 

Ellie Komejan

Grand Valley State University

Graduation April 2019

Ellie is a Junior at GVSU and just finished up her first semester in the Therapeutic recreation Program.  Ellie feels she learned so much about the history and importance of TR in our society and is excited to be an advocate for TR.  Ellie is thrilled to be the GVSU rep for our program and cannot wait to learn more about this amazing profession. 

In her leisure time Ellie enjoys soccer, friends, beach volleyball and family

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