Most editions of The Report, RPTA's quarterly newsletter, include spotlights on alumni. We encourage you to read The Report, but we also want to highlight our fabulous alumni even more with this dedicated space.
Erica Francis (RPTA '06)
Adapted from information provided by Francis
An office with a view is a life goal for many people in the business or corporate world. Yet, for many RPTA graduates, an "office with a view" is their first job. Take Erica Francis (RPTA '06), a Law Enforcement Park Ranger with the National Park Service (NPS). Her first job was in Glacier Bay, Alaska (pictured right), and she now works in the Lake Mead/Grand Canyon sectors of the NPS. Francis credits her study abroad experience in New Zealand and the preparation through RPTA for her early career success: "I tailored both my senior project and internship to pursue my interest in being a ranger. I found my RPTA professors to be more than knowledgable about my desired field having worked in park management themselves. From the combination of their contacts and advice and the experience I gained from my senior project and especially my internship, I was qualified for a job with the NPS, for whom I continue to work today."
Francis on The National Park Service (NPS):
NPS is tasked with a mission different than most; to protect wild and special places unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. National Park Rangers are called to provide that protection on a daily basis; this may be in the form of providing information and visitor services, or as a Law Enforcement Officer. This special cadre of individuals function as public safety officers, they fight fire, provide emergency medical services, do search and rescue missions. On top of that, Law Enforcement Officers for the National Park Service are asked to perform these duties in many different environments, from the streets of Philadelphia (Independence National Historical Park) to the cold waters of Glacier Bay, Alaska (Glacier Bay National Park & Preserve). They could be assigned to provide assistance to other agencies during times of national disaster or other large emergencies. The job is as varied as the units of the National Park Service.
On her experience gained through Cal Poly and RPTA:
My first experiences with rangers actually came about thanks to Cal Poly's outstanding exchange program. I applied and was accepted to attend the RPTA program at Lincoln University in New Zealand, where I studied their version of the NPS. The program was for one year and because it was an 'exchange' program, I paid Cal Poly tuition and all of my abroad courses counted towards my RPTA degree.
On the senior project and internship:
RPTA students get a head start on future jobs through the senior project and internship requirements.