When Taya Leach graduates in May with a degree in Therapeutic Recreation, she’ll be ready, and so will her resumé: she already has experience working with special populations of a variety of ages and ability levels, thanks to a field day event that she and her classmates put on each semester at the Robert W. Plaster Center.

It has a lasting impact on the students and attendees, said Laura Covert-Miller, an associate professor in the Health, Human Performance, and Recreation Department who teaches in the TR program.

Her graduates work in diverse areas. One at a wellness center for people with physical disabilities, another in a retirement center, and still another with individuals with spinal cord injuries who are re-entering the community.

“This event has impacted me to think quickly on my feet in a real-world setting, to provide quick adaptions to activities so that everyone can participate and feel welcomed,” Leach said.

Staff from agencies and school special education programs said it gives their consumers a chance to be active and social.