By John Davis
OPC Community Relations Director
Watching The Singing Bee on Country Music Television became the doorway for Emily Keiser to change career paths and eventually become Oxford Park Commission’s special events coordinator.
Keiser, who was hired for the role in January, graduated from the University of Mississippi in December of 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration. Keiser earned a master’s degree in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, with a concentration in Recreational Therapy, from Clemson University this past August.
Neither of those degrees were on her horizon when she was a sophomore at Ole Miss.
“I actually changed my degree. I was watching the Singing Bee, and a girl on there was talking about her major, which was Recreational Therapy,” Keiser said. “I looked into it, and then changed my major at Ole Miss and then they canceled the major so that’s when I went to get my masters in it. I was interested in it because starting in elementary school, I have always helped out with the special needs population and have absolutely loved it.”
Keiser may have a new role at the OPC, but she’s not new to the organization, or to the community as a whole. She recorded 600 hours during an internship, serving the bulk of that time at the city pool under the guidance of aquatics director Kris Brasher.
“I love Oxford in general, it’s my favorite little town!” Keiser said. “I like working for the park commission because the people that work here are good people to work for and with. I also enjoy the people you meet from the community while doing events and sports for the kids. The adults are happy and enjoy the programs that are offered.”
As the weather gets warmer, and the days grow longer, Keiser will find herself getting busier. One of her duties is to help manage the various tournaments at FNC Tennis Center.
“I look forward to working with (OPC deputy director) Mike Young over the next year to get used to the tennis tournaments and to looking at what special events are already in play and coming up with more special events to add to our calendar,” Keiser said.
Keiser is a sports enthusiast. Growing up, her favorite sport to play was softball, something she did all the way through high school. Now, she likes to watch football, baseball and basketball when she can.
“I also like to attend as many Ole Miss sporting events as possible throughout the year,” Keiser said. “During the warmer weather, I like to take my dog to Sardis and let her run around and enjoy the outside.”