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Meet Our Staff

  • Free Group Fitness Classes: Aug. 20-24

    Get a taste of the Group Fitness Schedule for Fall with free classes during the 1st week of school (Mon-Fri). NO GF PASS NEEDED!

Department staff



​Assistant Director of Fitness & Wellness


Jake Minnis

Fitness and Wellness Coordinator


Abbey Roberts

Fitness Student Coordinator

Abbey is majoring in Nutritional Sciences - Dietetics with a minor in Biochemistry. She is a Certified Personal Trainer through ACE, is the Fitness Student Coordinator, and is passionate about health and fitness. Her main interests include specific sport training, mobility/flexibility, hypertrophy training, and gaining a healthy body image. Whatever your personal fitness level is, Abbey is confident and excited to work with you and help you achieve your goals. She recognizes that each individual is unique, and will provide you with all the right tools to help you succeed.


​Fitness Student Coordinator

Nathan is currently a Junior at the University of Arizona pursuing a degree in Mathematics. Nathan has a strong interest in fitness and sports, as some of his favorite hobbies include weightlifting, boxing and bowling. This is Nathan's second year working for Campus Recreation and teaches a wide variety of classes including Total Body Strength, Cycling and Boot Camp alongside with working with clients as a Personal Trainer. Outside of teaching classes and having personal training sessions, Nathan has also worked with athletes as a football coach. Whether you are a participant attending one of his Group Fitness classes or a client working with him one on one, Nathan has the passion, knowledge, and confidence to give you a tough and enjoyable workout.

Ariana olmos

My name is Ariana Olmos. I am currently a Sophomore at the University of Arizona. I hope to graduate in the year 2021 with a BA in Law and a minor in Psychology. I am an NASM certified personal trainer, and I hope to promote fit and healthy lifestyles to every client I come across. I have always been passionate about fitness, and I love meeting new people, which is why I find Personal Training so rewarding. I’m very excited to expand, and share my passion and knowledge of fitness with others. 

Carlos garcia

My name is Carlos Gracia, I am a sophomore at the University of Arizona. I am currently working at Campus Recreation as a personal trainer and as a Soldier with the Arizona Army National Guard. I am planning on graduating in 2022 with a Criminal Justice degree. I am an NASM certified trainer with a passion for helping people reach their fitness goals. I am always happy to share my knowledge and any advice and tips that I may have.

Catherine Bregendahl

Hello, I’m Cat. I’m a group fitness instructor certified in Les Mills Body Pump, Body Combat, Mixxedfit and Turbokick Live and am also an ACE certified Personal Trainer. I’ve been an active group fitness instructor for five years and currently teach at several different facilities around Tucson. Originally from Nottingham, England, UK - I have been living in Tucson, AZ for almost a decade with my husband and our young son who is on the autism spectrum - I’m a proud Autism Momma Bear and a passionate advocate for special needs individuals. I am also a former amateur Muay Thai fighter and Karate competitor, with a 1st Dan black belt in Shotokan Karate.  Since a young age, I have loved participating in combat sports, taking great interest in health and fitness, and over the years continued to devote and educate myself in these areas. I enjoy having the opportunity to share my enthusiasm for fitness, helping to motivate and inspire others to keep reaching for their goals.

denise jimenez

Denise is an AFFA certified personal trainer as well as a group fitness, TRX and Barre instructor.  She has worked with a diverse clientele in corporate, gym and rehabilitation settings.  Denise strives to connect with people in ways which will aid them to live a more healthy and balanced life.

Emily Bateman

Emily is a junior studying Public Health at the University of Arizona. After taking her mother’s group fitness classes for years, she decided she also wanted to help others achieve their fitness goals. Emily wanted to be a certified MixxedFit® Instructor because the format sparked her passion for dance again after being a competitive dancer in high school.

hannah gomez

Hannah is a PhD student at the U of A, studying children's and adolescent literature. She has been a fitness instructor since 2015 and has certifications and qualifications from Schwinn, Keiser, AFAA, Xtend Barre, TRX, and Fitness International, and she is working on her Pilates teacher training. A Tucson native, Hannah also got her BA at U of A in 2010! She spent two years in Boston and two years in the Bay Area before coming home to the desert. Hannah is the author of two sports novels for kids, is writing more, and spends any free time she has binge watching shows on Hulu or passing the hours on Twitter and Instagram.


Jake stapleton

My name is Jake Stapleton.  I am currently a Junior at the U of A and have an incredible passion for fitness and for people.  Fitness is the ideal area of life for me to be a part of because of what it entails.  My desire to be the healthiest person I can be, along with my love for people and developing relationships, make for an incredible combination.  I also love traveling and eating more than most people. 

Jen Patterson

Jen is a certified personal trainer and fitness instructor. She has been in the fitness industry for 17+ years and has been teaching at UA for 9 years. In her free time, Jen enjoys road biking, mountain biking and rock climbing. Although she works full-time in academia, she still loves teaching fitness courses, especially Spinning™.  During the summer, she teaches the Tour De France Spinning classes. This is a high energy class that gets your blood pumping and heart racing until the very end. She looks forward to seeing you in class!

Jenna Kaufman

Jenna is a third-year physiology major at the University of Arizona, as well as a certified Pilates and Zumba instructor. Jenna was first introduced to Pilates when she danced pre-professionally at the Colorado Ballet. Her interest in dance also inspired her to further her fitness platform and become a Zumba instructor. In addition to dance and exercise, Jenna enjoys snowboarding, photography, and helping others reach their fitness goals. She looks forward to sharing the benefits of group fitness!



Jordan moved to Tucson from Madison, WI  to pursue her job as a Certified Child Life Specialist. When she is not at work she loves being at the gym, spending time with family & friends, and being outdoors.  She began dancing at the age of 3 and hasn’t stopped since. She taught Zumba for five years until she found WERQ. WERQ is a fun cardio dance fitness class that is for all fitness levels! She can’t wait to see you in one of her classes. 

Julie frish

Julie is a certified Group Fitness Instructor through AFAA with additional certifications from Les Mills and Zumba Fitness. This summer she is teaching BodyPump, BodyCombat, and Barre. Currently, she is a 2nd year PhD student in Optical Sciences; utilizing time teaching at the Rec to take a break from the lab and give you an awesome workout!

Kate Chisholm

Kate is a doctoral student in public health, and loves sharing her passion for fitness at the rec! She is an AFAA-certified Group Fitness Instructor and ACE Certified Personal Trainer who specializes in long distance running, strength training, and injury prevention. She enjoys teaching many formats from Cycle to Pilates to TBB and Sports Conditioning. After overcoming the odds and turning from an injury-riddled runner to a Boston marathoner, she loves coaching small running groups and seeing people empower themselves by running longer and faster than they thought they were capable of.

Kelsi Harris

Kelsi Harris is a devoted yogi and avid cupcake eater. She has spent the last four years expanding her Hatha based practice with a Yoga Alliance RYT-200 Certification and is currently working towards her RYT-300 Certification. Kelsi enjoys empowering her students to push themselves to their own capacities while challenging them with a smile.

Keri Billings

Keri is a certified personal trainer through ACE. She graduated from the U of A in 2012 with a Bachelor's Degree in Public Health and recently completed the Fitness Professional Program at Pima Community College. She is very passionate about fitness and helping people become the healthiest they can be. ​

Lauren Phillips

Lauren Phillips

Lauren is a Tucson native and loves outdoor activities such as running, hiking, and biking. She is currently pursuing degrees in Biochemistry and Nutrition as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. She has a passion for health and wellness and holds group fitness, indoor cycling, and BodyPump certifications.  She began instructing as soon as she could drive herself to class!  Since then, she has continued to challenge participants through an array of different classes including Cycling, HIIT, BodyPump and Core. If you’re looking for a high-energy, strengthening, and motivating workout, come try a class with Lauren this semester!

Lindsay saavedra

Lindsay is a 200-hour RYT who has been practicing yoga since 2007. She completed her teacher training at Yoga Oasis in Tucson. Lindsay has began studying meditation under the direction of Puran and Susanna Bair, creators of Heart Rhythm Meditation, since August 2015, and became a certified Heart Rhythm Meditation instructor in July 2017. Her classes are both invigorating and accessible, with focus on alignment, mindful movements, and deep, steady breathing. Lindsay is a University of Arizona alumna who works in non-profit management.

Logan Johnson

Tucson born & east coast raised, Logan found himself back in the desert after a move from NY. With the desire to support clients in the goal of improving their quality of life, Logan holds certifications in TRX, Rowing and Resistance training in addition to being a certified personal trainer through the National Academy of Sports Medicine. Being a long time tennis player, his free time is spent on the court or in nature.

Logan Kasper

Logan is an undergraduate student here at the U of A pursuing a degree in Physiology. He aspires to be an orthopedic surgeon who specializes in sports related injuries, and there stems his passion for health and fitness. This has driven him to begin his career by obtaining his NASM Personal Trainer Certification. As a Trainer, Logan focuses primarily on strength and physique training, but aims towards bettering his client's overall health and fitness by encouraging habits they can utilize the rest of their lives. Personally, he has experienced the  difficulties that come with athletic injuries and it is these experiences that have given him insight into rehabilitative training. His distinct attention to detail allows him to design the ideal program for each client that is geared towards their unique goals. He feels thankful each day to have the opportunity to aid people in their individual fitness endeavors. 

Mallory Page

Mallory is majoring in Nutritional Sciences and minor in Business Administration. She is an ACE Certified Personal Trainer and she is passionate about using health and fitness as a way to make people feel their best. She enjoys watching her clients grow both mentally and physically over their training journey. 

Maria Pasamante

Maria Pasamante works as a Budget Analyst at Davis-Monthan AFB.  She was certified in Spinning in 2006 and licensed in Zumba in 2008. Zumba is a "feel-good" experience that is great for both your body and soul! Her goal is to motivate and inspire you.  She'll be right there with you, getting sweaty and working it - dancing together! Keeping Fit is not a Fad - it's a way of life!!​

Molly latin

Molly Latin

Molly received her RYT from Session School of Yoga in 2017. She discovered her love of yoga while traveling overseas and exploring her purpose. Yoga brought ease of breath, strength of body and mind, and emotional intelligence into her active life. Molly is a Nutritional Sciences student with hopes to continue her education in the field of medicine. Body and breath became the keystones in her own quest towards holistic health and she revels in the opportunity to share these learnings with her students. She continues to find power in discovering softness and flow. Molly loves the opportunity to break the ego and explore the body with new poses, movement meditation and good beats. She feels blessed to create a space for you to move, breathe and find your flow. When she isn’t at the studio, she enjoys loving animals, eating plants and being outdoors.

Paula Arreola

Paula began working at Campus Recreation her freshman year as an undergraduate at the University of Arizona. She currently works in the weight room, represents Campus Rec as an ambassador, and is a cycling instructor, certified through Mad Dogg Athletics-Spinning. She can be found in the weight room or in the spin studio where she is devoted to encouraging both mental and physical growth - both inside and outside the gym. Paula is fluent in Spanish and grew up playing ice hockey in Michigan. Since moving to Tucson, she enjoys spending her time exploring outside with her dog, Lobo.

Sara amiot

After many years of practice, including receiving her RYT 200 certification in 2017, Sara hopes to share the benefits of yoga and overall mindfulness with her fellow yogis! An undergraduate pursuing a double degree in Conservation Biology and Environmental Studies, she loves combining moving meditation and an appreciation for the outdoors. She would always encourage anyone in her class to stay open and playful with their practice, and never forget to laugh at yourself.


Stephanie is a certified Zumba instructor and has been involved with the Zumba community for the past 9 years.  She also has a background in many types of dance including hip-hop and ballet.  Stephanie is a graduate student in Optical Sciences, focusing on development of photonic devices using novel materials.  When not at the gym or in the lab, she enjoys being outside hiking, running, and rock climbing.

Kael Williams

My name is Kael Williams. I’m from Sacramento, California and I am currently a Public Health major at the University of Arizona, while minoring in Sports Management. My fitness journey began when I was 12 years old playing multiple sports. I fell in love with strength and conditioning, and the all around positive impact exercise has on an individual’s life. Now, I’m a physique competitor, cofounder of a fitness and lifestyle brand, West Coast Muscle, and I get to help people reach their physical goals, as well as life goals. I believe exercise is the root to a happy and healthy lifestyle, and I want to impact as many people as I can in a positive way through fitness.


Marisa Lewon

Marisa is a graduate student at U of A in the School of Fine Arts, pursuing her MFA in visual art. She is an RYT200 certified yoga instructor through Yoga Alliance, as well as Sampoorna Yoga and Lagree Fitness certified. She enjoys helping others to feel good through the tools of yoga and meditation, while strengthening and relaxing the body. Marisa is also a lover of the outdoors, and can often be found hiking on her days off from school and work.​      

 Val al-ghaith


Hi, I'm Val and I am super excited to be part of the U of A Rec Team!! I am a Wildcat Alumni myself, with an undergraduate degree in Journalism from the U of A and a Masters in History from the American Public University online. My passion for Fitness & Wellness began when I was 3 years old on the basketball court with my dad in the San Fernando Valley in Southern California. So, I ultimately chose to create a career out of it. Along with being a mom of two middle school aged boys, I am well into my 12th year as an ACSM Personal Trainer, my eighth year as a Les Mills Group Fitness Instructor, and my fourth year as a Certified Nutrition Specialist. I teach BodyPump, BodyCombat and BodyAttack. My passion and mission in life is to create inspiration for people, through my drive and exuberant energy in my BodyPump, BodyAttack, HIIT, and Core classes. I love pushing participants to physically keep moving, so they recognize how good this will make them feel after working out.