Southwestern Oklahoma State University
The Bark

SWOSU Parks and Recreation Management Students Serving Summer Internships

Southwestern Oklahoma State University parks and recreation management students in Weatherford are serving internships this summer at different locations in the United States.

Augustus Anderson, Morgan Lepke, Jordan Brashear, and Justin Smith

Four Southwestern Oklahoma State University parks and recreation management students in Weatherford are serving internships this summer at Yellowstone National Park. The four are Augustus Anderson of Skiatook, Morgan Jayne Leppke of Corn, Jordan Brashear of Bartlesville and Justin Smith of Decatur (TX).

Anderson has received an Associate’s degree in wildland fire management as well as a Bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation management. He is working on his Master’s degree in parks and recreation management. Anderson has the opportunity to work at Yellowstone National Park on the fire crew as a fire engine crew member. His job will consist of patrolling the park during times of severity, helping to assist park rangers with search and rescue, and helping assist different agencies with wildfires across the nation.

Leppke is currently a sophomore studying parks and recreation management. Last summer she lived in Zion National Park in Utah while interning with A Christian Ministries.  This summer she will serve again with A Christian Ministries, but this time she will be located at the Lake in Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming. She will also work at Lake Hotel.

Brashear graduated in May, receiving his Bachelor of Science in parks and recreation management and an Associate’s degree in wildland fire management. Brashear will be at Yellowstone National Park to be on the Helitack fire crew. As part of the helicopter crew, he will be available to fight wildfires across the country. He will aid in fire suppression, helping other crews in and out of America’s most intense terrain, as well as bringing in supplies to fellow firefighters on the fire line. This is Brashear’s second fire season as a wildland firefighter.

Smith is a senior and will be completing an internship at Yellowstone National Park this summer as a Back-Country Ranger in the Snake River District. Smith will assist Back-Country Rangers with day to day work activities, including clearing backcountry trails with chainsaws and hand tools, maintenance and upkeep of campsites, cabin maintenance and upkeep, and trail maintenance, such as brushing and cleaning water bars.

David Hewson and Nicholas Tate

Two Southwestern Oklahoma State University students—David Hewson of Beachwood (NJ) and Nicholas Tate of Sand Springs—will serve as interns this summer in Alaska at Kachemak Bay.

Both will serve on the trail crew and be camping in the backcountry of the park doing trail repairs, making contact with visitors and assisting rangers in any way needed. Kachemak Bay State Park is Alaska’s first and only state park, hosting various wildlife, as well as over 400,000 acres of mountains, forests and ocean.

Hewson obtained an Associate’s degree in 2016 and came to SWOSU in Weatherford specifically for the parks and wildlife law enforcement program.

Tate received an Associate’s degree in wildland firefighting and is currently finishing a Bachelor’s degree in parks and recreation, specializing in wildlife law enforcement, as well as a Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He will soon work on his Masters of Education in parks and recreation at SWOSU.

Cassy Hill

Senior Cassy Hill of Comanche will work as an intern with the National Park Service this summer. 

Hill will serve as a Student Biological Technician Trainee at Capulin Volcano National Monument, located in the northeastern corner of New Mexico. 

Hill is majoring in parks and recreation management at SWOSU.  She has been working as a seasonal employee for the National Park Service for the past three years through the student pathways program.  This summer she will be working on prairie restoration, exotic plant species management and research studies. She is particularly looking forward to participating in hummingbird monitoring, which will show how migration times are changing. 

Reece Fitchue

Senior Reece Fitchue of Fayetteville (AR) will be working as an intern this summer for the U.S. Natural Resources Conservation Service.

Fitchue will serve as a Student Soil Conservation Trainee in Ozark (AR).  He is a graduate of Northeastern Oklahoma A & M College, where he received an Associate of Science degree in natural resource ecology and management. At SWOSU, he is pursuing an Associate of Science in wildland firefighting and Bachelor of Science in parks and recreation management.

During his internship, Fitchue will help Arkansas farmers and ranchers with conservation planning involving a variety of soil and water practices such as diversions, waterways, terraces and farm drainage systems.

Beau Srader

Senior Beau Srader of Shattuck will be working as an intern this summer for the U.S. Forest Service. 

Srader will serve as a Wildland Firefighter/Engine Crew Member on the Black Kettle National Grasslands located near Cheyenne. Srader is a double major at SWOSU.  He is completing an Associate of Science degree in wildland firefighting and a Bachelor of Science degree in parks and recreation management. Srader served last year as a wildland firefighter for Grayback Forestry in Oregon.

For more information about degree programs offered by the SWOSU Department of Parks and Recreation Management, contact Chair Ryan Haggard at (580) 774-7191 or prm@swosu.edu.