Meet Our Happy Staff
Dr. Christopher Edginton
Christopher R. Edginton is the R.J. McElroy Professor of Youth Leadership Studies in the School of Health, Physical Education and Leisure Studies at the University of Northern Iowa. From 2004-2014 he served as the Secretary General of the World Leisure Organization. Dr. Edginton is the founder of Camp Adventure Child and Youth Services, an award winning services learning program operating in over 20 countries and serving 500,000 children and youth on an average basis. He is a member of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration, the American Leisure Academy, North American Society of Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance and The World Leisure Academy.
Some of his awards include: Distinguished Service Award & Order of the Eagle Exemplar, United States Sports Academy; Distinguished Service Award, World Leisure Organization; Legend in Parks and Recreation, American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration; Regents Award for Faculty Excellence, State of Iowa Board of Regents; Charles K. Brightbill Alumnus Award, University of Illinois; R. Tait McKinzie Award, American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; Distinguished Scholar Award, International Council for Health, Physical Education, Recreation, Sport and Dance; Honor Award, American Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance; National Literary Award, National Recreation and Park Association; J.B. Nash Scholar Award, American Association for Leisure and Recreation; Honor Award, American Association for Leisure and Recreation; Distinguished Fellow Award, Society of Park and Recreation Educators.
Abubakarr Jalloh is Research Associate in the Institute for Youth Leaders at the University of Northern Iowa. Also, he serves as the United Nations (UN) Representative for the World Leisure Organization. Previously, he worked in the Office of Rule of Law and Security Institutions, Department of Peacekeeping Operations, United Nations. He was also previously associated with the Waterloo (Iowa) Neighborhood Economic Development Corporation and with the American University in Cairo, Egypt. Mr. Jalloh’s responsibilities with the Institute for Youth Leaders involve conducting research focused on youth work, youth development, and youth services as well as crafting programs for youth development and empowerment.
Additionally, his responsibilities with the World Leisure Organization (WLO) involve representing the organization at the UN as well as crafting policy initiatives to advance leisure concerns to that body and on a worldwide basis. Currently, he is developing an initiative for WLO to address leisure and sustainable development. His relevant publications have appeared in the World Leisure Journal; Hong Kong Recreation Review; African Journal of Physical, Health Education, Recreation and Dance; and International Leisure Review. He is a native of Sierra Leone, although currently resides in the United States.
Theodora Jn Baptiste
Theodora Jn Baptiste is a doctoral student in the University of Northern Iowa’s Leisure, Youth, and Human Services (LYHS) program in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services (HPELS). Jn Baptiste currently serves as a Research Associate in the Institute for Youth Leaders (IYL) under the directorship of Dr. Christopher R. Edginton, R. J. McElroy Professor. Part of her duties at IYL include assisting in organizing and implementing youth Institute activities such as securing extramural funding, developing and initiating programs, and conducting research.
Originally from the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, Jn Baptiste has spent most of her career working with youth across cultures and ethnicities, from various walks of life. Her educational background includes a B.A. from the University of the West Indies and a M.Ed. from York University in Toronto, Canada. Jn Baptiste has many years of teaching experience, nationally and internationally, at both the high school and college levels. Additionally, Jn Baptiste has served as board member and youth leader for her local church and received an Outstanding Youth Ministry Award from the Central States Conference for her work organizing and implementing youth programs.
Jn Baptiste has also functioned in various other capacities in her work with youth. These include: World Food Prize Youth Institute Teacher Mentor; Student Key Club Advisor; DMEA Representative to Minority Leadership Training Seminar; ISEA Delegate to Midwest Regional Conference; NEA Delegate to Representative Assemble; ISEA Delegate to Representative Assembly; and ACE Mentor Program School Liaison Officer. Needless to say, Jn Baptiste has a passion for supporting work that elevates and empowers youth to maximize their potential to be engaged, productive, and informed 21st century citizens.
Kristina Kofoot is a graduate student at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa in the Leisure, Youth and Human Services program. She is also an editing assistant for Dr. Christopher Edington in the school of HPELS. Kofoot has received her Associate of Arts degree from North Iowa Area Community College in May of 2011. She received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Secondary English Education from the University of Northern Iowa in December of 2013.
Kofoot has a passion for working with middle and high school aged youth in many different facets. She has worked with youth through her experiences with student teaching as well as with substituting. Kofoot has also volunteered much of her free time to work with youth in various programs through the Episcopal Diocese of Iowa. Kofoot has worked as a youth leader at the Diocese annual convention, as a dean in charge of planning and programming for middle school aged youth at summer camp, and as a coordinator for high school youth events in the diocese. Along with these duties, she has also served as chaperone for many school related as well as church related trips and events.
As a part of her graduate program, Kofoot is currently pursuing her Certified Nonprofit Professional accreditation through an active member ship in the National Student Leadership Association. Kofoot will be attending classes and working to help fundraise money for the group throughout the year. As a part of this association, Kofoot will be gaining valuable skills in the fundraising and grant writing sectors.
Jennifer Stevens is a graduate student in the Leisure, Youth, and Human Services program at the University of Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa. She is also a Graduate Assistant for Institute for Youth Leaders and Camp Adventure in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services. Stevens received her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from Louisiana State University (LSU) in 2011.
During her senior year at LSU, Stevens joined Team In Training, an organization that raises money for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society (LLS) while training together as a team to accomplish running/walking a half or full marathon. During this time, she raised $1,500 for LLS by sending out letters to businesses in the area, contacting family and friends, and creating fundraisers.
Since graduation, Stevens has worked with several national and international organizations in a variety of different fields. In 2011, she worked for the U.S. Forest Service in Nachitoches, Louisiana as an Archaeological Aid searching for archaeological sites in the area. In 2012, she moved to China to teach English for Expertise Education where she lesson planned and taught for children ages one and a half to seven years old. She was a member of the inaugural class of AmeriCorps NCCC FEMA Corps where she served in New York City in Community Relations for the Federal Emergency Management Agency during Superstorm Sandy. This past year, Jennifer served as an intern and site lead for Camp Adventure in both Hawaii and Germany, working with children ages six weeks to eight years old.
Stevens has recently received her Certified Non-profit Professional, CNP credentials. After graduation, she plans to enter the non- profit sector after graduating and wants to work internationally with children and women’s advocacy.