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Fall 2007 Newsletter

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

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From My Little Wooden Desk…

Dr. Bill Hendricks

Hendricks with Son in SnowAs we wrap up fall quarter 2007 the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration Program continues to expand and establish itself as a critical player within the industry statewide, regionally, and nationally. The staffing of seven full-time faculty members for the first time in the history of the program is showing its mark in terms of our visibility, ability to offer state-of-the art learning experiences for our students, and contributions to applied research in multiple arenas.

We are in the process of finalizing a capital campaign readiness assessment and hope to move forward in early 2008 with plans to raise funds for “The Endowment for Excellence in Tourism and Event Management.”  Netzel and Associates, a firm specializing in fundraising and organizational development for institutions and non-profit organizations is working with us to determine our ability to officially launch the capital campaign. 

Our focus on innovative offerings for our students is continuing this year.  Fall quarter Dr. Jerusha Greenwood taught “Wine Tourism” and Dr. Nancy McGehee will teach “Volunteer Tourism Event Management and Development” spring quarter 2008.  Dr. McGehee will be a visiting professor from Virginia Tech University with us for a short time during a sabbatical.  Furthermore, Tim Ryan, Vice President of Sales and Marketing at Pebble Beach Resorts, will serve as an Executive-in-Residence for a few days spring quarter.  Plans for Mr. Ryan’s visit include guest lectures in classes, providing guidance to faculty in the areas of resort marketing and management, meetings with students, and a keynote address.

We are also making a concerted effort to heighten our visibility through press releases and exhibiting our program booth at state conferences.  Look for our booth at the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) Annual Conference in February and at the CALTIA Conference on Tourism in June.

If you are anywhere near Long Beach on February 28th please join us for a social co-hosted with CPRS District VIII at the CPRS Conference.  The social will take place at a hotel adjacent to the Long Beach Convention Center.  You don’t have to be attending the conference to attend. We want a good turnout from alumni and industry professionals.

Thank you for your support and for assisting us in our mission “to provide a dynamic learning environment dedicated to leadership development and the advancement of knowledge in recreation, parks, and tourism beneficial to individuals, communities, and society.”

Enjoy the holidays, and as my dad says, “keep those cards and letters comin’.”

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REC Program Applies Learn-By-Doing in the Community

By Davia Montoya

Students at SARC

Cal Poly takes great pride in its “Learn-by-Doing” motto, and the Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration Program is no exception. Yet, unlike many programs of study where “learn by doing” is manifested in the laboratory, design studio, or field, Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration majors apply their skills in the community. Students have dedicated themselves to giving back to San Luis Obispo County in many significant ways.

The program coordinator Bill Hendricks stated, “Our laboratory is the community, so we partner with a large number of local organizations in recreation, parks, tourism, sports, and special events. SLO offers wonderful opportunities in these fields for our students, and many of our graduates are now the managers running these organizations.”

Students in the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration Program have served in a variety of capacities at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival for more than 15 years, and most recently coordinated all on-site volunteer services. These volunteers helped to raise $1,300.00.

Since 1993, students in REC 210: Introduction to Program Design have contributed over 18,000 hours of community service working with local agencies planning and implementing a variety of programs and services.

Between 1996 and 2001, more than 2,000 elementary and middle school students on the Central Coast have been exposed to wilderness by students in REC 302: Environmental and Wilderness Education who have taught environmental education in local schools.

In 2005, REC 420 Event Management raised $6,000 for EOC to benefit homeless services by planning and coordinating a silent auction, wine tasting and concert event. For the past seven years, students have worked at the Hospice du Rhone event in San Luis Obispo as a component of wine education on the Central Coast.

Students at HospiceIn 2007, Dr. Jeff Jacobs challenged his Leadership class to do something they felt like might be impossible. The students in the course proceeded to partner with Morro Bay Surf Company and raise money to sponsor two free surf camps for children with autism. These surf camps were featured in the San Luis Obispo Tribune in summer 2007 in an article entitled, “The Water Connection.”

REC 317 Convention and Meeting Management Class worked to help plan the CPRS District VIII Conference and the Central Coast Bridal Fair.

Over the past five years, students in REC 252 Special Populations have contributed more than 8000 hours to agencies serving individuals with special needs.

The list of organizations and events in which recreation students have donated their time as volunteers continues to grow each year, always including new organizations and events. Some organizations include: Special Olympics, the Downtown Association, EcoSLO, City of San Luis Obispo Parks and Recreation, YMCA, SAFER and SARRP, Woods Humane Society, Edna Valley Vineyard, Los Osos Little League, Sea Fare and the Avila Beach Marine Institute, Concours d'Elegance, Atascadero Parks & Recreation, and Baywood Elementary School, and the SLO Home Show.

Dr. Brian Greenwood added that, “Our field was founded upon the ethic of community service. In the chaotic times in which we live the appreciation of recreation and the support of local organizations is critical to the sustainability of our local and global societies. Our students understand that mission and vision of giving back to the community.”

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RPTA Club: I'm a Total REC!

By Katie Kretzinger

Students at Harbor Festival

This year, Professor Root, along with the new RPTA Club officers: Beth Lane (President), Dana Matteson (Vice President), Kasey Gillmore (Treasurer), Tessa Bunge (Secretary), Kelly Higginbotham (Membership), Sara Zelman (Promotions), and Heidi Diestel (Social Chair and Ag Council Rep), decided to reevaluate the club’s goals and objectives, make it more appealing to members, and get more REC and other majors involved. 

They started working in the summer to plan what to do with RPTA Club this year. They knew it was important to have social events so students could get to know each other, but they also knew students liked to have networking opportunities such as guest speakers as well volunteer opportunities to interact with the community. A mix of all these, they thought, would attract the greatest number of students to the RPTA Club.

The first RPTA Club meeting on October 2nd proved to be a success, with a huge turnout of over 70 new and returning members present. The officers welcomed everyone and explained the new format of RPTA Club. Together with the members, they brainstormed some ideas for fun social events. The most popular choices included: BBQ, surf lessons, camping, intramural sports teams, cook-off, and a textbook exchange. Officers also introduced the idea of having “Professional Growth Options”, 15-20 minutes at the beginning of a meeting where a professional would come and address the group.

With the motto of “I’m a total REC”, the RPTA Club currently has around 125 members and is still growing. The meetings are interactive and included some fun activities. RPTA Club’s first event, Rec-O-Fest, was a fall BBQ for members to get to know each other and tocelebrate the season. Rec-O-Fest was a huge success, with great food, decorations, pumpkin-carving, and tons of fun people! RPTA Club has also already raised $1500 by volunteering at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival and Scott Tinley Events.

Upcoming RPTA Club events include a Hip-Hop class taught by RPTA Club member Heather Ferrai (date TBA). Thanks to the hard work of Professor Root and the officers, and the involvement of RPTA Club members, RPTA Club is off to a great start this quarter. Come join the fun as RPTA Club is open to everyone!

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REC 205: Southern California Fire Relief

Davia Montoya

REC 205 Fire ProjectMany classes and clubs are working to help with the recovery efforts for the Southern California Fires, Dr. Marni Goldenberg’s REC 205 (Leadership in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism) has added to the list. After much discussion about ways to help Kelly Thurow suggested the perfect opportunity for the class. The class was asked to volunteer their time during their class’s scheduled activity time on Friday, October 26. Students partnered with Cal Poly Community Center to sort non-perishable foods that were transported to San Diego to aid in recovery efforts. A second project that this class did was a fundraising event at California Pizza Kitchen on Marsh Street all day December 3rd. 20% of the purchase were donated directly to the victims of the Southern California Fires.

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REC Student Mentoring Program

By Dr. Jeff Jacobs

The #1 reason for students to leave college prior to graduation is a weak sense of belonging. The Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration program at Cal Poly has worked hard to foster a supportive and collegial atmosphere, where faculty members genuinely care about students and value the opportunity to welcome students to Cal Poly and into the profession.

This year, REC students have taken on the task of fostering a sense of community and belonging by launching the REC Mentoring Program. This program, coordinated by Rho Phi Lambda, our major's honors fraternity, matches incoming REC students with returning REC students that serve as Mentors. All of the mentors received some initial training and guidelines on serving as mentors. Sixty REC students are participating in the REC Mentoring Program this fall - with 30 new students matched up with 30 mentors.

Dr. Mary Pedersen, the Associate Dean for the College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences, attended training sessions with the mentors and is a strong advocate for this program. The REC program is the first academic program or department on campus to have a Mentoring program. Dr. Pedersen hopes to see the Mentoring program expand to the entire college as soon as possible and eventually to the entire Cal Poly campus.

The REC Mentoring program is being viewed as a model for the rest of the university to follow.

For more information on the mentoring program, contact Dr. Jeff Jacobs at

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Meeting Matrix Partnership

By Katie Kretzinger

Professor Root has many ties to the hospitality and commercial recreation industry. Root planned special events under two different California governors in her time as an industry professional. For her course, REC 317: Meetings and Conventions Management, Professor Root utilized those contacts to benefit Cal Poly students by forming a partnership with Meeting Matrix International for a state of the art, learn by doing experience.Meeting Matrix

Meeting Matrix is the most widely used meeting and planning floor plan and rendering program on the market today. Meeting Matrix programs are used by over 18,000 people in 83 countries worldwide.  The software is a floor plan, layout, and rendering device created by videogame programmers. Meeting Matrix provides both suppliers and planners with a means of visual communication to seamlessly setup a function space. Meeting Matrix also allows users to download any of the prefabricated room layouts; these room measurements are guaranteed within a quarter of an inch of accuracy.

For a standard business to purchase Meeting Matrix software, the cost is $1,500 per person. The fifty-seven REC 317 students have received all information necessary to access the program online and free of charge. Root estimated the in-kind donation by Meeting Matrix to be over $75,000.

On Tuesday, October 9, 2007 the class received an online training session live from Arizona via podcast. Sheila Bradshaw, regional sales manager for Meeting Matrix International, conducted this training. The version of Meeting Matrix that students have access to is a BETA version of the software not yet finalized for market release.

Professor Root is particularly proud of this partnership because it supports Cal Poly’s principle of “learn by doing.”  The experience with Meeting Matrix software provides students with a resume builder as well as applicable real world training.

For more information on the Meeting Matrix software, please visit

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Dr. Goldenberg Publishes Multiple Teaching Aides

By Davia Montoya

Goldenberg Book Teaching with MoviesDr. Marni Goldenberg has been working over the past few years to publish two books. Both books began over two years ago when Human Kinetics, who is a leading publisher of textbooks and resources related to physical education, recreation, parks, and tourism.

Her first book was a research project collaboration with Dr. Teresa O’Bannon that turned itself into a published teaching aide for the recreation, sports, tourism, and physical education field. Dr. Goldenberg received a grant through Cal Poly’s Center for Teaching and Learning in 2005 to help with the research efforts involved in completing their book, Teaching With Movies: Recreation, Sports, Tourism, and Physical Education.

After initial funding was secured for the project, Dr. Goldenberg and Dr. O’Bannon conducted survey research by contacting professors throughout the country. Questions centered upon the use of popular culture movies as teaching tools in college classrooms. The study evolved into a book detailing 77 popular culture and documentary films and their respective application in recreation, sports, tourism, and physical education classrooms. Dr. Goldenberg and Dr. O’Bannon point out many important elements of each movie. These points include the core concepts of the movie, a few selected scenes, along with discussion questions. The goal of this teaching guide is to help encourage the use of movies into the classroom as teaching tools and aides for instructors. Teaching With Movies: Recreation, Sports, Tourism, and Physical Education emphasizes how movies can be used, justifiably, in the classroom to enhance learning for students.

Her second book of 2007, Hiking and Backpacking, involved being a Goldenberg Book Hiking and  Backpackingcollaboration with Bruce Martin, faculty at Ohio University. Both Goldenberg and Martin are members of Wilderness Education Association, an association dedicated to promoting professionalism in outdoor leadership and improving the safety of outdoor excursions and the conservation of wilderness areas. The book is intended both as a resource for first time hikers/backpackers or as a textbook for outdoor recreation courses in higher education. The Wilderness Education Association is also planning to promote the new book as a reference for introductory college courses and workshops offered by the association.

Hiking and Backpacking is split into two distinct parts.  The first part details preparations for the trail including fitness essentials, background knowledge, introduction to gear, basic safety, nutrition on the trail, and skills for survival. In part two technical skills and techniques on the trail including campsite selection, back country cooking, and seasonal considerations.

According to Dr. Goldenberg, Human Kinetics is creating a series of books similar in layout and style to this book. In addition to targeting university outdoor recreation programs, the book is being marketed to outdoor retailers and enthusiasts.

For more information, go to: or

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Incoming Student Spotlight: From Marching To Following Your Passion

By Jason CunninghamJason Cunningham

I graduated from high school in the year 2000 with no real intentions of ever going to college. I was working at a skateboard shop and was making some great connections in the skateboard industry. I thought for sure that I was going to get a job as a sales rep for one of the major companies. That didn't really happen, and the shop I was working for was sold to a large company that hired new staff. 

From there I made an impulsive decision one day. I joined the Army. I signed up to be a track vehicle mechanic. I wanted to work on tanks and that is what I did. I enlisted for three years and was sent to Germany when I was nineteen. After being in Germany for about a year and a half, our unit was called upon to go to Iraq. It was unreal, and I had a really hard time grasping the reality of it. While there I had various jobs from patrolling neighborhood to being a .50 cal gunner on my commanders HumVee to being a mechanic. It wasn't until a few months into my tour in Iraq that I started to think about college. I learned that the Army was not for me. I spent fifteen months in the hot Iraq sun, and I knew that I needed to do something else with my life. It came time to reenlist and I said no thank you. I left the Army in 2004 at the rank of sergeant. 

I moved back to San Diego, where I became a roofer.I enrolled at a community college in San Marcos, CA called Palomar College. To get my military benefits, I was forced to choose a major right away. I still had no real idea of what I wanted to do. I chose liberal studies, thinking I would like to be a teacher. That idea was scrapped quickly, and I started exploring other options. 

I realized that recreation would be perfect when I was on a surf trip to Costa Rica. My friend and I were trying to figure out a way that we could stay in Costa Rica forever. We didn't come up with any real solid ideas. With the idea of living abroad in mind, I chose to study Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration at Cal Poly. 

I chose Cal Poly because a friend of mine went here and always talked about how much fun the classes in the major are. I visited him a few times while he was in school and agreed that Cal Poly would be a great college to attend. I applied to Poly, Long Beach, and San Diego State University. SDSU was out because I was done living in San Diego and Long Beach was no good because it is way too similar to San Diego. So, I chose Poly. I like the landscape, the people, and the more relaxed approach to life. 

Besides all of that, Cal Poly approaches this major in a way that I think is most suitable for the accomplishment of my goals. I am about to finish my first quarter here, and I am impressed so far.

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Senior Spotlight: Dancing Her Way To The Top

By Katie Kretzinger

As a graduating senior, Heather Ferrai has spent the last four and a half years involving Heather Ferraiherself in a wide variety of recreation related experiences.  Heather has taken full advantage of the opportunities that the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administation program has provided and will now leave Cal Poly with a loaded resume and the work experience to back it up.

Originally from Belmont, CA, Heather began her time at Cal Poly as a Business major.  She switched to Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administation during her sophomore year, and since that time she has wholeheartedly embraced the “learn by doing” motto.  Heather has continued to be an exemplary student by repeatedly earning her place on the Dean's list.  Among her many achievements Heather served as the Co-Chair for the program's Dinner and Auction in Spring 2007 to help create the 6th annual Roman-themed event that raised over $24,000.  Heather continues her community service as a member of Rho Phi Lambda, the national recreation major honors fraternity. She is also currently the chair of the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administation College-Based Fee Committee.

Although Heather is working towards a double concentration in Special Events Management and Travel and Tourism Planning, her experience goes far beyond either of these aspects of the industry.  As a member of the Cal Poly Dance Team, Heather has managed to incorporate her passion for dance into her work experience, as she currently teaches a Hip-Hop dance class at the Recreation Center.  By taking advantage of courses like REC 414 and REC 360, Heather has managed to find some spare time to create her own business, Vogue Vantage, a company with a goal to make fashion accessible by reconstructing the client’s closet and then helping to identify a sense of personal style.

Heather’s drive to succeed is evident through her multiple accomplishments.  She has served as an ideal representative of the major program during her years here, and for this reason we are proud to showcase Heather Ferrai as the fall quarter Senior Spotlight.

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Faculty Spotlight: Dr. Brian Greenwood Starts Cal Poly Adventure

By: Davia Montoya

Dr. Brian GreenwoodDr. Brian Greenwood came to Cal Poly along with his wife Dr. Jerusha Greenwood in the fall of 2006. Brian served as a part-time lecturer for the program during 2006-2007 before joining the faculty full-time as an Assistant Professor in fall 2007.

Dr. Brian Greenwood graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts in psychology in 1996. Following stints in coaching, marketing, and restaurant management, Brian matriculated to North Carolina State University and completed a Masters of Science in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management in 2001. After serving as an Assistant Director of Campus Recreation in charge of the Club Sports program, Dr. Greenwood started in the doctoral program in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University in 2003.

In addition to teaching classes at North Carolina State University and serving as the assistant internship coordinator for the department during his doctoral tenure, Dr. Greenwood served as the inaugural executive director of The First Tee of Wake County and led the chapter founding and first year of this youth development program designed to teach life skills through the game of golf.

Dr. Greenwood’s research centers on youth development through sport with his dissertation focused on the relationship between achievement goal theory and positive youth development in the context of American football. He is also interested in psychological, social, and management issues associated with youth, interscholastic, intercollegiate, and professional sports.

In his first full-time year here at Cal Poly, Dr. Greenwood is working on collaborative research and student-focused team projects with local youth sport organizations in an effort to promote positive youth development and Cal Poly’s “Learn-By-Doing” approach.

Dr. Greenwood enjoys Americana music, hiking, snow boarding, nature photography, and fantasy sports. He and Jerusha have two dogs, Zoe and Bella, and many nights/weekends are spent cheering for the Tar Heels, Steelers, Phillies, and Carolina Hurricanes.

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Alumni Spotlight: From Sea To Shining Sea

By Daniel Hanks

Daniel HanksHeavily influenced by adventure either real, filmed, or penned, I live today my childhood fantasies, or as close to them as I have been able to construct.  Since the spring graaduation ceremony in 2003, I have become a vagabond, or actually reaffirmed that I always was one. Two treks to the Middle East, one in 2003 and the latter in 2005, saw me working with the Morale, Welfare, and Recreation Division for two branches of our armed services.  The first was with the Navy’s teen and youth program on the NSA base in Bahrain; I spent my time keeping teenagers entertained with camping trips, lock-ins, and after school activities.   Fast forward two years to the country of Kuwait, and this time my duties were to our Army’s servicemen and women. I facilitated the necessary morale activities such as sporting leagues and special events including a five-day Mardi Gras celebrations and a host of other activities and tournaments.  Peppered between those years came seasonal work as a vacation planner for ski parks, and as a recreational programmer for the concessionary employees at our national parks and recreation areas. 

All in all, since leaving Cal Poly’s REC Program, I have seen the wilds of the American west, the deserts of Arabia, and now, finally, after countless tries, I stand on the ice of the Antarctic.  My childhood aspiration finally fulfilled, my amazement resonating.  From sports leagues to beard-growing contests to bowling allies to the creation of a casino, here among the never-ending days and lonely penguins, here at the foot of our world, I am engaged in what I love to do, what I was taught to play.

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REC Program Goes To Sea

By Katie Kretzinger

REC Quarter at SeaCal Poly’s annual Cal Poly at Sea partnership with the California Maritime Academy will be offering REC classes this Spring for the first time.  Each year students seeking a Cal Poly-compatible study abroad experience board the Golden Bear ship to travel to multiple locations over the course of spring quarter.  Typically the voyages rotate between three standardized courses: South America, the Pacific, and Asia.  Students are expected to act in accordance with the Maritime Academy’s cadet expectations.  Students wear the same uniforms as cadets while taking classes from Cal Poly professors.  The 2008 voyage will travel to the Pacific region and will make stops in Papeete, Tahiti; Auckland, New Zealand; Suva, Fiji; Maui, Hawaii; and Honolulu, Hawaii.  The 2008 voyage will set off on April 23 and is due to return on June 19. 

To get REC involved with this well established program, Dr. Marni Goldenberg contacted Program Director Dr. Richie LeRoy and expressed interest in the trip.  Goldenberg had considered this alternative in previous years, but it was not until this year’s voyage that her schedule was a good fit.  Goldenberg strongly believes that these eight weeks are a great opportunity to “work with students in a very unique setting.”  Typically the Golden Bear plays host to 100 Cal Poly students in addition to the California Maritime Academy’s crew.  This year five Cal Poly staff members will also be on board the ship.  REC will offer REC 325 Outdoor and Adventure Leadership and REC 400 Special Topics & Projects, which are four unit classes, while there are a wide variety of General Education courses that will also be available through the following majors: anthropology, psychology, physics, chemistry, biology, and astronomy.

LeRoy believes Cal Poly at Sea has many benefits to offer participants.  These opportunities living at sea and a chance to travel and experience some amazing ports of call.  Goldenberg is personally excited to note the differences in outdoor leadership in other countries. Previous participant Catherine Melton, a Cal Poly alumnus who traveled the South American route 2 years ago, says her favorite part was, “Peru! The coastline was beautiful, not to mention the food was amazing and the people were really friendly.  Getting to experience all that with your two best friends by your side, it just doesn’t get much better!”  Needless to say this trip is bound to be an adventure!

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Spring Break In Costa Rica

By Katie KretzingerSunset REC 412:  Adventure Travel and Tourism students will be headed to Costa Rica this coming March.  Students enrolled in the winter quarter REC 412 course will have the option to extend their learning with a 9 day field course in Costa Rica over Spring Break. The group will travel to San Jose, Costa Rica and take nine days to sample the best of Costa Rica.  Students will have the opportunity to interact with local adventure tour operators and get a first-hand view of Costa Rica 's adventure travel industry.  Costa Rica is one of the world's most popular destinations for adventure and eco-tourism.  Students in REC 412 will visit both the Pacific and Caribbean coast, zipping through tree-top canopies, soaking in volcanic hot springs, viewing monkeys and crocodiles in the jungle, and white water rafting down the Pacurre River.  The trip will also include an educational overnight stay and tour at EARTH University, one of the leading tropical and sustainable agricultural universities in the world. For more information contact Dr. Jeff Jacobs at

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Save The Date

Young at Heart PosterThe Annual REC Dinner and Auction is off to a great planning start with a creative committee for Fall quarter. The first phase invovles a planning committee that focuses on theme development, venue choice, sponsorship, and auction procurement and have been meeting weekly this quarter to prepare for the March 1st, 2008 fundraising event at Sea Pine's Golf Course. The student planning committee includes: Heidi Diestel, Dana Matteson, Kelly Higginbotham, Lara Choma, Cheree Martindale, Caitlin Lyon, Nicki Passeggi, Ashley Antonino, Janel Barnes, Jen Rigler, and Tatiana Beale. The committee reviewed over 20 themes develped by the REC 420 class, and they picked, "Young At Heart," a Frank Sinatra-inspired theme designed by Ms. Mary Galas.

Save the date for Saturday, March 1st for you, your parents, friends, and family to help raise money for the Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration program. Details are forthcoming! Last year the event raised over $24,000 for the program. You can help make a difference by donating an auction item. Every little bit helps. For donation forms, more information about the event, or if you would like to volunteer your time next quarter implementing the event, please contact Professor Root at

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