Indiana State University Newsroom

University recognizes Shakamak State Park and the Friends of Shakamak

May 1, 2015

Indiana State University has recognized Shakamak State Park and the Friends of Shakamak with the “2014-2015 Recreation and Sport Management - Partner in Excellence Award” for supporting experiential learning opportunities that offer students professional work experience.

The students are part of the university’s recreation management and youth leadership major and the Nonprofit Leadership Alliance Certification Program. Many will end up working for public park and recreation agencies or nonprofit groups, according to associate professor Nathan Schaumleffel.

The partnership has existed since about 2012. Roughly 150 students have volunteered hundreds of hours at the park and with the nonprofit Friends of Shakamak through course-based service-learning, practicum hours, internships and student organization involvement. In return, the students receive resume-building work experiences and can network with professionals.

Students have helped with maintenance, have assisted in running events and environmental education programs, and have consulted with the Friends group on IRS tax document preparation, strategic planning, fundraising plans and board member job descriptions.

The partnership is an example of State’s emphasis on education through community engagement and experiential learning, Schaumleffel said.

“The property manager, assistant property manager and friends group members are always willing to engage students,” Schaumleffel said. “They’re good mentors, practitioners, co-educators, and colleagues.”

Schaumleffel credited a former student, Lynda Ellington, a 2006 Indiana State graduate, for helping start, maintain and improve the partnership. Ellington was assistant property manager at Shakamak and staff liaison to the Friends of Shakamak until transferring this year to the same position at McCormick’s Creek State Park.

Indiana State maintains a similar partnership to a smaller degree with the Turkey Run and Shades state parks and the Friends group at those parks, Schaumleffel said. 


Photo: (ISU Photography Services)

Contact: Nathan Schaumleffel, associate professor, Indiana State University,

Story Highlights

The University has recognized Shakamak State Park and the Friends of Shakamak with the 2014-2015 Recreation and Sport Management - Partner in Excellence Award for supporting experiential learning opportunities with professional work experience.

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