Like many in her field, Janet Bartnik stumbled onto her career path by chance. Now the director of parks and recreation in Liberty, Missouri, the Virginia native first fancied a career as a veterinarian. She enrolled at Virginia Tech with that goal in mind, but during the summer after her freshman year, Bartnik’s mother, who worked in campus recreation at the college, secured a spot for her daughter as an officiant for various intramural leagues and sports. “I loved the sounds that accompanied the games, being outdoors and the sense of community built around the programs. The campus recreation director suggested I stay in the field and offered me a graduate assistantship a couple of years later — I never looked back,” she recalls. Click here to learn more about Janet!