Employee of the Month

Campus Recreation relies on a staff of over 150, most of whom are University of Montana students, to provide excellent customer service to our community. We recognize those who go above and beyond their job description in the areas of reliability, quality of work, initiative, leadership and community service. Thanks to all of our employees for making Campus Recreation a place to thrive!

September 2019

Lili Pongracz-BarthaLili Pongracz-Bartha

From Bellingham, Washington, Lili is a junior. She is working on a bachelor’s in biology and a minor in wilderness studies.

Lili has worked at the Outdoor Program since January of 2019. After taking the American Mountain Guide Association Climbing Wall Instructor Course, she hit the ground running as part of our team.

We quickly realized that she has many more skills than we realized. Lili is a natural teacher, loves to backpack, enjoys trail running, is efficient at fixing bikes and stoves, and is exploring mountain biking and whitewater rafting as well. We recently discovered she is also good at making friendship bracelets. On top of all this, she is extremely humble. Students and staff alike love being in her company and working with her.

Last spring Lili started out working shifts and women’s climbing nights at the climbing wall and teaching the weekly indoor rock climbing class for credit. This summer she worked a lot at the ODP in a myriad of areas: the rentals desk, the climbing wall, and guiding other trips and classes in the height of the summer.

Recently, Lili helped develop and hone the climbing curriculum for Youth Camps and assisted with the Outdoor Youth Camp weeks both in climbing instruction and raft guiding. She took our raft guide training and began raft guiding, she was a primary instructor for F.W.E. (the Freshman Wilderness Experience) and this fall she’s guiding about any type of trip you can imagine.

Lili is a hardworking, reliable, kind, smart, fun, creative, positive, organized, timely and all-round awesome employee, student and person. When she is not working, outside playing or studying, she can be found listening to music, painting or knitting.

We all so appreciate her work and the energy she puts into the Outdoor Program. We are so lucky to have her as an integral part of our team and glad that she chose to join us!

October 2019

Theresa Kelly-MitchellTheresa Kelly-Mitchell

Theresa received her 200-hour Vinyasa Yoga certification in 2010 and her 300-hour in 2012 in Oakland, California, and has accumulated close to 4,500 hours of instruction for all levels and abilities. She always opens her classes with requests from the students because it helps people feel included and heard. It also helps keep her on her toes for coming up with creative, engaging and fun classes. 

Theresa is on her way to completing her doctorate of physical therapy and master's in public health. She is excited to graduate in May 2020! She loves music, yoga (of course), riding her bike and spending time in the cuddle nook, lovingly called the "snuggle bus," of her couch with her husband, chihuahua and pit bull.

Theresa was nominated because of her joyous attitude, attention to detail and ability to be adaptable. Whenever you see Theresa, you expect to smile and feel welcome. Not only is Theresa joyful and kind, she is also great at her work. She thinks on her feet in classes, pays attention to the needs of her students and also helps our team as a whole to stay on track. We’re so lucky to have Theresa as a yoga instructor and a member of our front desk staff!

November 2019

Nathan FugeNathan Fuge

Nathan Fuge started working at the University of Montana Golf Course in the spring of 2016, just after he graduated from high school. He started on the day we aerated greens and was tasked with the responsibility of shoveling the cores off the greens. After four full seasons he says it was the hardest thing he has done on the golf course. Nathan has proven to be extremely reliable and dedicated. He shows up every morning on time and ready for work. He has worked up to be our fairway mower, which is the hardest part of the course to mow. Very few employees have advanced to that position. Nathan will be back as a student employee at the golf course again next spring and then will graduate in May.