The Power of Age

Hitzhusen receives the Missouri Older Worker Award

Hitzhusen and Dean Payne at award ceremony Hitzhusen and Dean Payne at award ceremony

Jerry Hitzhusen has shown his dedication to CAFNR by recently receiving the Missouri Older Worker Award.

Nominees must be 65 years of age or older, employed at a Missouri job site for an average of 20 or more hours per week, and a Missouri resident.

Hitzhusen, associate professor in the department of parks, recreation and tourism, School of Natural Resources, received the “Unleashing the Power of Age” 2013 Region 5 Winner in Recognition of Outstanding Contributions to the Missouri Workforce plaque at a ceremony Sept. 28.

The annual contest is sponsored by the Missouri Senior Employment Coordinating Committee, consisting of the AARP Foundation; Experience Works, Inc.; Catholic Charities of Kansas City-St. Joseph; MERS/Missouri Goodwill Industries; the Department of Economic Development/Division of Workforce Development; and the Department of Health and Senior Services/Division of Senior and Disability Services.

Some of the projects Hitzhusen has worked on include: Project LFFE(Leisure Is For Everyone),  a contract with the Missouri Department of Mental Health that produced over 30 publications and three educational games; Midwest Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation for over 40 years; International Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation for 12 years; held the position chair and co-chair of the Department of PRT; MU Ability Week Committee member; ADA Committee member on numerous MU Athletic Facilities; Boots on the Green Adapted Golf Program with St. Louis VA Medical Center; Advisory Board for the Paula J. Carter Center on Minority Health and Aging member; Board of Directors for the Missouri Amputee Golf Association member.

Hitzhusen accepts award from Gail Vasterling, director of the department Hitzhusen accepts award from Gail Vasterling, director of the department

The winners were invited to attend a two-day award ceremony Oct. 2-3 in Jefferson City, which includes a recognition lunch and a banquet.

“This contest serves as a thank you to those who dedicate their time and energy to better our community through their vocations, particularly older workers,” said Dr. Lewis Chartock, president and CEO of MERS/Goodwill , per “MERS/Goodwill is proud to cosponsor the contest again this year as a tribute to workers whose wisdom, punctuality and commitment to quality, set high standards in the work force.”