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Personal Interests

I have many personal interests that occupy my free time… more interests that I actually have time! Below are just a few of the activities and interests that I enjoy outside of the University:

  • Cycling, backpacking and hiking – especially out West!
  • Skiing (backcountry, XC, downhill, telemark) and snowshoeing
  • Gardening and cooking ethnic foods.
  • Travel and adventure – trying new things and seeing new places.
  • Training and working my K-9 partners in search and rescue.

One of my most involved and passionate activities is volunteering as a Search and Rescue K-9 Handler.  I am currently the Sergeant of the K9 Operations Team with McLean County Emergency Management Agency, and have been an active and operational member with teams in Montana, and Utah prior to moving back to the Midwest.  I worked with my first partner “Chief” (a Redbone Coonhound/Lab cross) for 12 years until he retired in 2009. I began working with my second partner “Sula” (female Redbone Coonhound) in trailing, land and water cadaver in 2005 and in 2011 I began to train my third partner, “Buzz” (male Golden Retriever) in area search and disaster. It is a truly rewarding experience and community service.  Click here for more information on my ‘other’ job as a K-9 search and rescue volunteer.‚Äč

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