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Fall 2005 Newsletter

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Bill HendricksWelcome to the return of the REC program newsletter!  If you have not been in touch with us for sometime you will find wonderful updates, news of faculty, alumni and students and numerous changes that have taken place in recent years. Among those items that are newsworthy, are the incredible demand for our program, changes in the degree, new faculty, an awards program and the implementation of a graduate program.  You will read about these highlights and more in this issue of the newsletter.

Remember those small, comfortable classes when you knew everyone in the major?  Well, we now have more than 300 undergraduate REC students.  In order to help meet this incredible demand we hired three new faculty members.  Dr. Jeff Jacobs and Dr. Marni Goldenberg joined us Fall 2003 and Professor Kendi Root who has taught for us several years part-time, is now full-time at Cal Poly.  We are also currently recruiting a tourism faculty member to replace Dr. Teresa Love who relocated to Radford University in Virginia.

We implemented a graduate program during Summer 2003.  Students may choose a specialization in Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Management within the M.S. in Agriculture.  Three students, Ali (Rush) Carscaden, David Yosso, and Sandra Cade have already graduated and 10 students are currently enrolled in the program.  Give us a call if you want to come back to Cal Poly!

NRPA Booth in San Antonio,          TX in October 2005

REC also has a new name.  In November 2003, the California State University Chancellor’s office approved our request for a change in the name of the major from “Recreation Administration” to “Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration.”  The new name better reflects the academic preparation our students receive and the careers they pursue.

We are very proud of our students and alumni.  Several students have received awards.  Faculty have also been reaping honors.  Did you know that Cynthia Moyer was the Outstanding Advisor in the College of Agriculture for 2002 or that Carolyn Shank received the 2004 Outstanding Professional Award from the California Park & Recreation Society, District VIII?

Finally, just in case you are wondering about our status during the recent budget crisis, we are holding our own, but have had a significant reduction in state funds.  Please consider a donation to the REC program or even better, join us at our 5th Annual  Fundraiser and Auction on February 24, 2006. For more information, please contact Cynthia Moyer at or Kendi Root at

If you can’t make it to the Fundraiser and Auction in February, please drop us an email or let us know when you will be in town.  We’d love to see you!

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Rho Phi Lambda

RPL LogoThe Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration program is very proud to sponsor the Alpha Mu Chapter of the National Honorary Society for Parks, Recreation and Leisure, Rho Phi Lambda. Rho Phi Lambda is a national organization that recognizes students and honorary professionals in our field for their excellence in academics, co-curricular, volunteer activities, and contributions to our field. The Alpha Mu Chapter is four years young, and has initiated over 60 members. 

Rho Phi Lambda members are involved with community and campus service projects as well as academic and career enrichment events. Rho Phi involvement has included hosting a reception that took place after the 2004 Summer Camp and Resort Job Fair at Cal Poly, volunteering at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival, and organizing the Rho Phi Lambda Blood Drive on campus. To be a member of Rho Phi, students need an overall GPA of 3.0 or higher, GPA of 3.2 or higher for all REC classes, evidence of leadership, and evidence of service to the campus and/or community. New members were initiated on December 1st at The Inn at Morro Bay. For questions please contact one of the Rho Phi Lambda officers.

  • President: Kristin Palos Vice President: Monica Lambert
  • Treasurer: Brendan Gail Secretary: Amanda Ball
  • Alumni Chair: Katy Philippe Promotions Chair: Jessica Gates
  • Philanthropy Chair: Lindsay Simpson
  • Fundraising Chairs: Dayna Alvey and Matt Stephenson

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Senior Project Update

Senior projects continue to be a wonderful capstone opportunity for our students as they complete their degrees at Cal Poly. In the fall of 2005, 20 students were enrolled in REC 460 and the class will have 35 students in the winter of 2006. Students continue to choose projects that they are excited and passionate about. Some of the current senior projects include:

Jen Bradley: Factors that motivate individuals to volunteer for Gulf Coast Hurricane natural disasters.

Ashley Merolla: Research, implementation, and evaluation of a benefit concert for the San Luis Obispo County American Red Cross.

Ashley Richardson: Changes in American wedding trends compared to 10+ years prior.

In 2005-2006, 6 senior projects will be presented at professional conferences. In November, Amy Golladay, Michelle Curro, and Lindsey Johnson presented their senior projects at the CPRS District VIII conference in Buellton, CA. In January 2006, Dan Pronsolio will present his senior project research at the Coalition for Education in the Outdoors Research Symposium in Bradford Woods, IN. In March, Dan Pronsolio and Amy Cockerham will both be presenting their research at CPRS in Ontario.

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Alumni Bio

Michelle CurroIn June 2005, Michelle Curro graduated with a B.S. in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration with a concentration in Sports Event Planning. Throughout her studies, she worked for ASI’s Collegiate Sport Program.

Starting in August 2005, Michelle began working full-time for ASI as an Assistant Program Coordinator managing Cal Poly’s 218 clubs and the Collegiate Sport Program. She received a full graduate assistantship offer at Oregon State University but the opportunity to transition the Collegiate Sport Program at Cal Poly was an offer she could not pass up.

Every day, Michelle works with each sport club to ensure their success, safety, and future while supervising a staff of 11. She has established a sport club council, redefined inter-club council, administered $30,000 in grant funding, and coordinated a four-day leadership seminar for all ASI student managers.

Michelle plans to pursue her masters degree while working for Cal Poly.

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Internship Spotlight

The tradition of the senior internship learning experience is still going strong! Students continue to participate in a wide range of internship experiences to provide them with the “learn-by-doing” opportunity to apply academic knowledge in a practical setting. 

During the fall 2005 quarter, ten students are enrolled in the REC 465 Internship experience. Students are interning with public, non-profit, and commercial agencies. Just a sampling of the internships, include:

Nancy Geweke is interning with the City of Lodi Conference and Visitors Bureau. To develop her marketing skills, she has developed a Lodi tourism brochure, written newsletter articles, coordinated group tours to the area, and attended tourism and travel trade shows to promote the City. 

Michelle Barth traveled to Honolulu, Hawaii, to assist with the marketing efforts for the Hawaiian Fire Surf Company for her internship. When not out surfing, Michelle is busy promoting the company services to area hotels and their guests.

Amy Sprigg is now the 14th Cal Poly intern working for the Pebble Beach Company since 2003. A strong relationship has been developed between the Pebble Beach Company and the REC Program. Amy is working within the special events division planning the 2006 AT&T National Pro-Am Golf Tournament to be held February 2006.

If you have information about a possible internship opportunity, contact Cynthia Moyer, Internship Coordinator at or 805-756-2059.

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New Courses Offered This Year


The REC Program is excited to offer a new course this Winter – REC 412:  Adventure Travel and Tourism.  The class will include a 2-unit classroom based course during the Winter quarter, as well as a 2 unit practical field experience course that will consist of a 9 day Adventure Trip to Costa Rica.  The class will explore the rainforest and enjoy a safari boat tour in Tortuguero National Park - on the North Caribbean Coast.  Students will be able to view an Active Volcano while soaking and relaxing in a Hot Spring spa.  The trip will wrap up with the group relaxing on beautiful white sand beaches just outside of a national park where we will likely see sloths, monkeys, iguanas, and birds on guided nature tours.


REC 321, a 2 unit seminar, will be offered this winter. This class will focus on customer satisfication, service quality, customer service skills and procedures, and creating a customer organization.


In August 2005, Cal Poly REC and San Diego State University combined to offer a 2 week certification backpacking course to their students. This course included curriculum and certifications related to the Wilderness Education Association. A total of 7 student participated in this “learn by doing” opportunity. Here is a brief article from one of the Cal Poly students:

Backpacking Firsts

By Katie Lockhart

I signed up for the two week WEA Sierra Nevada Backpacking trip after hearing about it from a classmate. I had never heard of WEA or Leave No Trace and had only been backpacking for a weekend. I was looking only to meet exciting people, learn useful techniques, and have some new experiences. That’s exactly what I did! I wouldn’t trade the experience for anything and am definitely going again. The following is a list of things I did for the first time while on the trip:

Tree and hikersOn the Sierra Nevada Backpacking trip it was my first time:

  • Sleeping outside a tent
  • Using Gaiters
  • Using trekking poles
  • Seeing a moonrise
  • Taking a laxative
  • Baking with yeast in the wilderness
  • Taking a “wilderness” shower
  • Hanging a bear bag
  • Cooking a full meal outdoors
  • Using baby powder
  • Backpacking for over two nights
  • Using a Camelback
  • Climbing on rocks with a pack
  • Navigating off trail using a compass and topo map
  • Not showering for over 3 nights
  • Seeing a sunrise
  • Camping in a pristine area
  • Washing clothes in the wilderness
  • Cooking while it’s hailing
  • Getting “slightly” disoriented in the woods
  • Using a “pee rag”
  • Wearing liner socks
  • Wearing long johns
  • Using a headlamp
  • Teaching in the wilderness
  • Sitting in a 3 person Megamid with eight people while it’s raining
  • Smelling a tree
  • Leading in the wilderness
  • Learning about LNT
  • Learning about WEA
  • Licking my bowl clean
  • Seeing glacial polish in real life
  • Cleaning my face with a used tea bag

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The RPTA Club (formally RAM Club) is off to a great start this year. Things have changed a bit from the past; starting last year there is an annual fee and application that needs to be completed before becoming a member. This year we have seven officers and an advisor, Dr. Jeff Jacobs, who are all new to the position. The transition has been smooth, enrollment is up 150%, and we have a couple events under our belt. So far this year we have hosted a surf clinic, volunteered at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival, competed in intramural soccer and dodgeball, and went on a group camping trip with fishing and hiking clinics. We would love to hear how our alumni are doing, so feel free to write and let us know you would like to guest speak for us about the "real" world. Please contact the RPTA Club president, Ryan Baker at

New Faculty


Professor Kendi RootThe REC program’s newest full-time facility member is Kendi Root, CMP. Root has been teaching part-time at Cal Poly for 5 years and graduated from Cal Poly with a degree in Recreation Administration in 1983. She has spent the last 22 years in hospitality and event management.

Root received her CMP, Certified Meeting Planner, for having met high standards of proficiency in meeting management as demonstrated by substantial professional experience and superior examination performance. Her certification is important because it keeps her current with the ever changing trends in special events and creates a strong network for students in the meeting planning certification program.

She has always loved teaching; she taught at Sacramento State University for 10 years. She has "a new found enthusiasm for the special event students," at Cal Poly.

Root is teaching REC 420, Festival and Event Management, REC 317, Conventions and Meeting Management, REC 314, Travel and Tourism Planning, and REC 405, Recreation, Parks and Tourism Management. She will also teach a new course next quarter, REC 321 Hospitality and Customer Service.

Root is married to an executive chef and has a son Lawson, 12 and a daughter, Halle, 5.



Ryan Baker
Michelle Curro
Marni Goldenberg, Ph.D
Bill Hendricks, Ph.D.
Jeff Jacobs, Ph.D
Emily Kearns
Katie Lockhart
Cynthia Moyer, M.P.A
Kristin Palos
Kendi Root, CMP

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