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Winter 2006 Newsletter

The Report, a newsletter for Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration, alumni, students and friends

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Molly Morrison

Kendi Bill and Carolyn  at Polywood banquetBeth, Courtney and Alessandra

The Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration program's annual dinner and auction fundraiser was a huge success. Over 150 students, alumni, parents, and friends from the community contributed in raising an estimated $16,000 dollars to benefit the program. This year the student planning committee took a creative approach by implementing a "Polywood" theme that was apparent through out the festivities, from the décor to the attendees' costumes. The 1940's Hollywood era lent itself nicely to the event making it playful and elegant. (continued below)

Registration table at PolywoodNatalie, Ian and Guest

The REC 420 (event management) class played an instrumental role in laying the groundwork for the solicitation and procurement of the live and silent auction items. Based on a class assignment these students provided the leg work for the initial planning process of the fundraiser. From that point on, a student committee was appointed to continue procurement, expand the Polywood theme, and host the event. With the supervision of the Auction Advisors Kendi Root and Cynthia Moyer, weekly meetings were held to chart the planning progress and assist in the learning curve these students were undertaking.

Special thanks to the members of the student committee, professors involved, and all of the supporters, for making this year's event a memorable one.    

Students interested in joining next year's committee please contact Kendi Root at or 756-5113.

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Dr. Bill Hendricks

We are pleased to bring you the second edition of the Cal Poly REC electronic newsletter!   Editors of the newsletter are Dr. Marni Goldenberg and Tim Archie (REC B.S. 2003), one of our current grad students.  

Our highlights since the fall quarter are numerous topped off by the REC Auction and Dinner held on February 24 th at Dairy Creek Golf Course.   Due to the generosity of our friends, alumni, parents, donors and other supporters, we raised approximately $16,000 in support of the program.   When you get a chance thank Kendi Root, this year's event coordinator.   You'll read more in this newsletter about the incredible team of students and other faculty who helped with the event's success.

You'll also read about the tremendous "learn by doing" opportunities for our students both locally and abroad.   For example, in addition to the experiences highlighted in this newsletter, over spring break, Dr. Jacobs will be taking a group of students in our Adventure Travel and Tourism seminar course to Costa Rica.   If you are getting the itch to travel and learn, consider the TRAILS (Tourism, Recreation, Adventure, Interpretation, Leadership Semester) that we will be offering in the Rockies and Western United States fall quarter in cooperation with Wild-U.   Students will earn 22 units and will travel extensively through National Parks and to other tourism destinations for the entire quarter.

This newsletter also features the accomplishments of our alumni, faculty, and current students.   As always, we are extremely proud of our "family" and their distinguished career and professional successes that honor Cal Poly. In fact, just this week, Cynthia Moyer was recognized as an outstanding lecturer in the College of Agriculture, Angela Sweet received the Rain for Rent Staff Award for her commitment to our students, faculty and alumni, and our program was honored as the service program of the year by the Grover Beach Beautification and Recreation Commission.

Finally, it looks like Dr. Carolyn Shank will finally announce her swan song as an educator at Cal Poly.   Everyone she has touched over the past 30 years has been blessed by her enthusiasm, advise, knowledge, and passion for recreation, parks, and tourism.   Thank you Carolyn!   You are the heart and soul of the Cal Poly REC program.

Don't forget to drop by and say hello when you are in SLO town.   Happy trails!

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Dr. Carolyn Shank

Dr. Carolyn Shank with Pumpkins

History at Cal Poly

I was hired to teach PE activity classes, primarily aquatics, on a part-time basis in the fall of 1974 with only a Bachelors degree and a secondary teaching credential.   If I wanted to be retained, I had to get my masters so that year I also completed an MS degree.   Mind you, I also had two children under the age of 5 to take care of.   I finished my masters, was hired as a full time lecturer, and continued to teach PE.   In the fall of 1976, the Dean appointed me to head up the new Recreation Administration major and the rest is history.   I went on for my Doctoral degree, eventually said goodbye to PE teaching, and became a full time, tenured RECie.  

Post Cal Poly Life

I officially retired from Cal Poly in fall of 03 but continue on with a very part-time teaching position.   So in preparation to sever my "lifeline" with Cal Poly, I took up golf.   I bought clubs, attend clinics, watch the Golf Channel, and play 9 once a week.   I also travel the state visiting daughters and family in Santa Cruz and Torrance.


In the early 80's I wrote "A Child's Way to Water Play," a book for parents who are interested in water orientation for their children.   That publication inspired an invitation to Australia and New Zealand where I worked for 6 weeks as a consultant in Infant/Preschool Aquatic programming.   That led to a position on the American Red Cross committee that developed the Infant/Preschool Aquatic program and teacher training materials.   Ultimately, I was the Outstanding Alumni in 1992 at Cal Poly for recognition of these accomplishments.

Along with my colleagues, I saw the program through many ups and downs - one down being Cal Poly Administration's two attempts to eliminate our program from this University. We successfully fought those battles, earned accreditation through NRPA, and now find ourselves a highly respected and in demand program.

In 1994, I coordinated efforts to build the Pocket of Paradise, a park to memorialize Dr. Bob Meyers, a retired REC faculty member.   Six different majors joined together to plan, build, and dedicate this unique space located in the heart of the campus.   In addition, I directed the California Transplant Games here on the central coast where people with liver, kidney, lung, heart and pancreas transplants competed in 9 different sporting events.

Last Spring, along with Kendi Root and a class of great REC 420 students, we planned and conducted a Concert/Auction that raised $6,000 for Homeless Services of SLO.

Greatest achievements

I am a breast cancer survivor - YEA!; raised two children as a single parent - HOO-AH!; paid off my mortgage - CHA-CHING!; completed three passes on my bike at the Markleeville Death Ride - PHEW!; and received a teaching award in the College of Agriculture - EE-HA!

Memorable time/experience at Cal Poly

By far - the best memories I have are the student teams I would put together to run events such as the Poly Royal swim shows and the Recreation Administration Relaxation Station (a massage parlor), the San Luis Obispo Criterium races, and the Morro Bay Harbor Festival.   We also attended conferences, planned banquets, did bike rides, and made presentations.   I have long lasting relationships with alumni who still write to reminisce those great times.

Interesting Facts

I sport 8 tattoos, have a passion for Broadway musicals, own a nail belt and electric screwdriver, take pilates classes, enjoy waltzing, mastered my MAC, don't need an alarm clock, failed my new years resolution to be more flamboyant, watch Formula 1 racing, frost my hair, have an 8 year old granddaughter, admire my husband, and love my family.

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Monica Hite

Monica HiteI have been working as the Conference Center Coordinator for the Manchester Executive Conference Center on the University of San Diego campus for about 8 months and so far it's been a great opportunity! I jumped right in to "Summer Conferencing" when I began in June and what a way to start! I definitely put Cal Poly's motto "learn by doing" into direct action!

My position is housed under the Office of Corporate and Professional Programs, so while I am selling the conference center to off-campus clients and providing customer service, I also get to be involved in some of the other programs that our department offers. I am excited to say that one of those programs is a Certificate in Event Management- what a perfect fit for me! Currently, I am taking the courses for this certification and as I learn more about the program and it's inner workings, it is looking as though I may take over the coordination of the program within the next year or so (as the current coordinator will be leaving).

In other news, I have decided to apply for the M.A. in Leadership Studies Graduate Program at USD. This program helps to further develop one's understanding of leadership by studying current leadership theories, research, ethics, organizational change, and examine best practices. I am very excited about it and feel that it will be a good fit for me no matter what path I find myself taking! I plan to continue working at my current job, full-time, and begin this program in the Fall. As far as rec actvities go I'm in a running group and like to participate in road races and triathalons. I also surf, golf, play in a basketball league at the YMCA and just played in a flag football tournament last weekend (now,that was a good time!).

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Student Bio

Russell Thomas

Russell Thimas I'm a Senior, and graduating this June. I am a member of the RPTA Club (former scribe officer) and in the Special Events concentration. I'm an avid golfer...try to play at least once a week and score in the low 90's/High 80's. I'm a frequent fisherman...largemouth bass at Lake Lopez & Rockcod,lingcod,halibut out of Morro Bay & Port San Luis in my boat or Pablo's (fellow Rec. Major) boat. Married for 8 years to my wife Heather, and are expecting our first baby March 4 (so that means any day now). I currently work at Chow Novo Restaurant (next to Palm Theatre) as the Pastry Chef. I plan to be the Pastry Chef when Novo (Higuera Street location) is finished being retrofitted, and will supply both restaurants with pastries. My future plans are to stay in the hospitality industry; help develop Novo's restaurant events and parties (10-200 people is my comfort level to have maximum control of quality), begin planning a 5-star gourmet catering business, sell the condo and move into SLO, and raise kids with wife, retire, golf, fish, eat good food, drink good wine, live the SLO life.

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Krista Scypher

Krista in New ZealandStudying in New Zealand was the time of my life! I would do it all over again in a heart beat. This is a picture I took with a few friends when we took an 8 day road trip around the south island. We took a hike to see The Fox Glacier. I was there 2 semesters so I had the opportunity to travel all over the beautiful country and to make some great kiwi friends. I miss the sheep, monteiths beer, and hokey pokey ice cream (a NZ specialty!).

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

For the winter 2006 quarter, thirteen students are enrolled in the REC 465 Internship experience. Students are interning with public, non-profit, and commercial agencies.   Just a sampling of the internship experience, include:

The relationship between Cal Poly and the Pebble Beach Company is continuing with two more student interns.   Kelly Regan is working within the special events special division assisting to plan the AT&T National Pro-Am Golf Tournament to be held February 2006.   Jamie Hudgins has joined the Human Resource Management Department in its effort to hire and train the hundreds of extra staff and volunteers necessary for the Pro-Am.

AmyJo Nazarenus   is interning as a sales and creative assistant in the Baseball Division for IMG , the leading sports marketing, entertainment and media company.   She is using her research and sales skills by developing promotional and endorsement opportunities for IMG's baseball clients.

Tara Murphy headed to the other side of the world for her internship.   She is interning in New Zealand with Pacific Challenge leading adventure travel opportunities which includes hiking, kayaking, sailing, swimming with dolphins, ropes courses, glacier cruises, and heli-mounatineering. Tara says her experience is "experiential education in action".

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

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As students complete their degree at Cal Poly, their senior project continues to be the capstone experience.   In the winter of 2006, 35 students were enrolled in REC 460 and 20 students in REC 461.   Students have the opportunity to choose their topic.   Some of the current senior projects include:

Miles Floyd:   Assessing the impact Geocaching has on tourism in San Luis Obispo.

Natalie Olsen:   Assessing student participation at the CALTIA conference.

Alessandra Billante: Determining of motivation and loyalty factors of fans attending San Francisco Giants baseball games.

In March, Dan Pronsolio and Amy Cockerham will both be presenting their senior project research at CPRS in Ontario, CA.  

The impact that senior projects have on businesses, organizations, and programs is incredible as students write business and marketing plans or evaluate and create programs.

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REC 325

Kenzie Carson

Rec 325 Backpacking trip

This quarter I had the privilege of taking REC 325 which is an Outdoor and Adventure Leadership course. The course is open to majors and non-majors alike and focuses mainly on leadership in the outdoors. The goal or project for the class is to organize and execute a weekend backpacking trip.

The class was split into two groups, trip A and trip B. Trip A decided to go up the Big Sur Coast to the Salmon Creek Trail. It's a beautiful area with great views, a redwood or two, and lots of poison oak. Each member of the trip was assigned a lesson plan to teach during the excursion. We had some great presentations that were very informative and some were quite entertaining. There's nothing like teaching a group of college kids how to poop in the woods! We also had lessons in maps and compasses, how to prep and use different backpacking stoves, camp site selection, and leave no trace principles.

On top of all the things we learned on the trip, we had a great opportunity to really get to know everyone we hiked with. By the end of the trip a certain camaraderie formed and we were all laughing and joking together about dodging poison oak and how tempting the stream looked after a long days hike. There is something to be said for the bonds that are formed over shouldering a heavy pack in the wilderness.

The trip also gave us a good taste of what it is like to lead in the outdoors. It can be an exciting and challenging endeavor, and the principles you use as a leader in the backcountry can apply to every aspect of life.

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