Work and Play

PROVO, Utah – Sep 28, 2018 – Many outdoor enthusiasts dream of making a career out of their passion, and Crishelle Stegelmeier has done just that. After graduating from the therapeutic recreation major in 2017 at the BYU Marriott School of Business, Stegelmeier took a job where she combines her love of the outdoors with her interest in helping people.

As the director of recreation therapy at Acqua Recovery, Stegelmeier spends her work day introducing addiction recovery patients to recreational activities such as canoeing, mountain biking, and rock climbing. “I’m passionate about helping people grow and change,” she says. “That’s what drives all of my choices in my education and now in my career.”

Following high school graduation, Stegelmeier attended BYU-Idaho until she served a mission in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. When she returned from her mission, she decided to transfer to BYU for the TR program offered at BYU Marriott. “I loved that I could have a business emphasis in combination with learning about TR, and that’s why I transferred,” she says.

Her decision to enter into the TR world evolved during the summers while she looked for jobs. Stegelmeier spent her summers working for outdoor organizations including working as a river guide and a climbing instructor. She noticed the pattern in her jobs and believed that she would succeed in this career field. “I found that my favorite thing to do is to change and grow through recreation,” she says. “There’s a lot of therapeutic value in recreation not only for myself but also for other people.”

Now as director of the recreation therapy department at Acqua Recovery, Stegelmeier plans interventions and activities based on the needs of her current patients. She also implements the core-end balance leisure model that she first learned about at BYU Marriott.

“From my education and interaction with Dr. Ramon Zabriskie and Dr. Neil Lundberg, I was able to write a whole plan of operations and design my program to be what it is now,” she says.

She teaches her patients how to develop leisure-time skills to improve how they spend their free time. Her patients also learn to implement principles taught in other departments at Acqua Recovery through the hands-on experiences that Stegelmeier provides them. 

Participating in these experiences with the patients is Stegelmeier’s favorite part of the job because she has the opportunity to help them grow by having fun. “I love sharing my favorite activities with them such as canoeing and mountain biking,” she says. “Having them express how fun the activities are is music to my ears.”

Stegelmeier attributes the attainment of her position as director of recreation therapy to the education she received at BYU Marriott. Her path to success began through her love of recreation, and she plans to help Acqua Recovery patients open up their personal doors to success through the same means.

Chrishelle Stegelmeier
Crishelle Stegelmeier

Media Contact: Chad Little (801) 422-1512
Writer: Sydney Zenger