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Fall 2009 Newsletter

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

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By: Bill Hendricks, Ph.D.

Dr. Hendricks speaks at department celebration
Well, this certainly is a treat. The first official newsletter of the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration (RPTA) DEPARTMENT! As you will read, in spite of the economy and strain on resources in California, we continue to move forward in a positive vein here at Cal Poly.

To start, the quality of students at our university continues to reach impressive heights. Cal Poly is now considered the third most selective public university in California behind only Cal and UCLA. There is approximately one spot available for every 10 students that apply to Cal Poly. Furthermore, the average freshman GPA for a student entering RPTA this fall was 3.72. This is the first time that we have reached the 3.7 threshold, and it is a testament to the successes and credentials of our alumni, students, staff and faculty.

As we speed down the road as a new department, I’d be remiss if I did not thank the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians for hosting a fantastic Department Status kick-off party in October that included a reception and Vince Gill concert. Special thanks to David Brents, former COO of Chumash Enterprises and Caitlin Lyon, Sales Manager at Hotel Corque (you'll read all about Caitlin and her success story below). Also, the event went off without a hitch due to the efforts of advisory council members Charlotte Gorton, Jim Battersby, and Tina Hoppe and faculty member Kendi Root. Finally, thank you to Edna Valley Winery and Dierberg and StarLane Vineyard for donating wine for the reception. Pourers Tina Hoppe, Rob Hoppe and Amanda Millholland (another RPTA alumnus) were fabulous!

There are other events scheduled after the first of the year designed to increase our department’s visibility, continue with our fundraising and advancement efforts and to just have a plain old good time. One of those events is scheduled for Wednesday, February 3 for Bay Area alumni. This special alumni networking event is entitled, "Sustainability in the Events and Recreation Industry" and will be hosted aboard Hornblower's new hybrid yacht thanks to a generous donation from advisory council member Terry MacRae. Save-the-Date and more information will be coming soon.

I hope to see many of you at one of our 2010 events and don’t forget as my dad always said, “keep those cards and letters (emails) comin’.”  

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Flyer for auction and dinner

On Saturday, February 27, we will hold our annual auction and dinner at the Pavilion on the Lake in Atascadero, CA with proceeds directly benefitting students, faculty, and staff through the REC Excellence Fund. This annual affair is a highlight of every year and sure to be spectacular this year with an amazing theme, fabulous venue, and talented student committee mentored as always by everyone's favorite event planner Kendi Root.

The Pavilion on the Lake (805.470.3178) is a fabulous venue owned and operated by our friends at City of Atascadero Community Services. The address is 9315 Pismo Ave., Atascadero, CA 93422. Hotel blocks have been reserved at Paso Robles Inn ($114 per, 800.676.1713) and Holiday Inn Express & Suites of Atascadero ($99 per, 805.462.0200).

RPTA senior Lynette Rowe won the flyer design contest with the entry that appears above. The student planning committee is led by chair Meagan Phibbs and includes Melissa Kleffman, Haley Yoder, Lindsay Campbell, Cristina de Ocampo, and Adrienne Brabant. Caitlin Mullinax is representing 2nd year students on the committee, and Ashley Brunello is representing first year students.

If you are interested in donating items for the auction and dinner, please contact Meagan, Kendi, or one of the commitee members and be sure to MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!

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By: Alex Biller (RPTA '11), Staff writer

Thirty-three years after becoming a program at Cal Poly, the Recreation, Parks & Tourism Administration major received department status. We celebrated with a reception at the Hotel Corque in Solvang followed by a Vince Gill concert at Chumash Casino. The event was held on October 8, 2009 and was attended by approximately 115 students, faculty, alumni and friends. The proceeds from the event went to the REC Excellence fund.

The event was organized by advisory council members Charlotte Gorton, Tina Hoppe and Jim Battersby. Caitlin Lyon led the planning for Chumash Enterprise and Hotel Corque, which included acquiring the tickets for the concert, gathering food donations and taking care of thChef preparing appetizers at Hotel Corquee reservations for the event. Chumash Casino provided a shuttle bus from campus to the hotel and casino, as well as $25 in free slot play to the event attendees.

The appetizers at the reception were provided by celebrity chef, Bradley Ogden of the Hotel Corque’s new restaurant Root 246. The reception featured wine donated by Hoppe from Edna Valley Winery and from Cal Poly alumna Amanda Milholland of Dierberg Wines. The speakers at the reception included Charlotte Gorton, the chair of the advisory council, John Featherstone, the executive director of human resources for the Santa Ynez band of Chumash Indians and the RPTA department head, Dr. Hendricks. Another notable attendee and speaker at the event was Caroline Beteta, who works closely with Governor Schwarzenegger as the president and CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission (CTTC).

Thank you to all who attended and a special thanks to those who donated and planned the celebration, without whom the event would not have been possible.  

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By: Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Staff writer

Chris Stehula on the bikeMultitalented. A word to describe not only those who run long distances but also swim against the waves and bike the inclines, the embodiment of a triathlete.

Chris Stehula, an RPTA senior, has been competing in triathlons since the age of sixteen. His first major accomplishment was winning the 15-16 year old division for mountain biking in the well known Wildflower Triathlon. Today, he is a professional triathlete, competing in a wide range of triathlons in a variety of locations. At the age of 24, Stehula already has a number of stellar achievements under his belt, including U.S. selection to compete in the 2002 and 2003 World Championships followed by a Junior National Championship in 2003, where he was also named USA Junior Triathlete of the Year. He more recently defended his 2008 title as SLO Triathlon Champion finishing the half-mile swim, 15.3-mile bike ride and a 3.1-mile run in only 1:05:02.

Stehula now is focusing on competing in the 2010 National College Championships as part of the Cal Poly team. Motivated by his desire to win, love of competition and responsibility to his teammates, Stehula trains 3-4 hours a day to maintain peak performance. Despite the difficulties of balancing such high demands of class and competition, he manages to excel both academically and competitively. After his final year at Cal Poly, Stehula plans on becoming a full-time, professional triathlete and working on becoming a faster, stronger competitor.  

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By: Alex Biller (RPTA '11), Staff writerDr. Hendricks and his wife Maggie at the RPTA auction

In a recent meeting held in Salt Lake City, Utah, Dr. Bill Hendricks was inducted into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AAPRA). Dr. Hendricks is currently serving as the RPTA department head and has more than 25 years of experience in the park and recreation field.

The AAPRA was founded in 1980 as a non-profit organization committed to furthering an understanding of parks, recreation, and conservation through scholarship, research, service and advancing the field's body of knowledge. Members of the academy are recognized for their outstanding leadership and have at least 15 years of experience as an educator or a professional in the field. Membership is limited to 125 individuals with a maximum of 25% educators at one time.

Dr. Hendricks stated, “I am very humbled by this honor, particularly when considering the make-up of the Academy that has included four directors of the National Park Service, and pretty much every leading professional and academician in our profession over the past 75 years.”

Congratulations to Dr. Hendricks for a well-deserved honor! We would like to thank him for all of his amazing work on behalf of Cal Poly, RPTA, and the park and recreation field.  

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By: Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff writer

Social networking websites such as Facebook and Twitter are becoming quite popular among a variety of ages and personalities. During this age of technology, social networking is a fast way to keep connected with others. Dr. Jerusha Greenwood is currently serving as the department’s social networking liaison.

Social networking in RPTA is not only a source of alumni relations, but it serves as a method of sending information about job openings, events, and volunteer opportunities. Greenwood explained how keeping in contact with alumni is important because they can serve as a good source of information and jobs. Alumni can also serve as mentors to students to provide guidance.

However, there are issues regarding involvement in social networking. One issue is to be aware of what is posted publicly. Dr. Greenwood explained how one issue for members of RPTA being on social networking websites is that they need to be cautious of what they post and make public as their students, professors, and alumni may be able to see.
Screenshot of RPTA's Twitter site
Regardless of such issues, RPTA is thriving on Facebook and recently on Twitter. Twitter is a new development for RPTA in social networking. The number of followers continues to grow on these sites as people connect and re-connect with RPTA through the social networking medium. Both are excellent ways to keep up to date with RPTA and its members. Get connected with RPTA, and see all that we have to offer.  

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By: Alex Biller (RPTA '11), Staff writer

According to RPTA assistant professor Brian Greenwood, the economic recession has taken its toll on youth sports. That message was delivered by Greenwood and others at a recent White House meeting entitled, “The Critical State of Youth Sports in America.” Greenwood was among an Dr. Greenwood (second from left) and Up2Us on the steps of the Old Executive Building on the White House groundsinfluential group of people representing organizations in the sports-based youth development field. The meeting was organized by Up2Us, a national coalition of practitioners and researchers dedicated to sports’ role in the lives of youth.

Up2Us strives to give all youth, regardless of background or history, the opportunity to engage in sport in an attempt to teach them qualities that will help better their lives. Up2Us aims to decrease childhood obesity, lower the drop-out rate for schools and decrease youth participation in gangs by increasing youth sport participation. The White House meeting coincided with the organization’s national conference held in Washington, DC from October 21-23, 2009.

In addition to Greenwood’s role as an RPTA professor focusing in sport management and community services management, he is also a member of Up2Us as part of the research team and helped write a section of the organization’s upcoming report on the state of youth sports. This work earned him a chance to speak at the White House and the Up2Us national conference. Dr. Greenwood said, "Youth sports is in serious decline in this country. We can't afford that potential negative impact. If a kid doesn't have somewhere to go, something to do to occupy their time, unfortunately what they do more often than not is they end up in trouble."

Congratulations to Dr. Greenwood for his success in the field, and we would like to thank him for his continued efforts to better the lives of youth across the nation.  

To read the official press release from Cal Poly News, click here

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By: Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff writerPhoto of Caitlin Lyon

If you attended the recent department celebration hosted by Chumash Enterprises and Hotel Corque, you know all about the professional capabilities of Caitlin Lyon. This Stampede Celebration that was held for the RPTA department was organized by Lyon, who is an RPTA alumna. Lyon graduated from Cal Poly in 2008 concentrating in Special Event Planning and now works with Hotel Corque in Solvang, CA. She served as a planning liaison between Chumash Enterprise and RPTA and contributed in many areas of the planning process including event design, coordinating transportation, concert ticket arrangements, and working with the Executive Chef on the menu for the night.

Lyon first got involved with Hotel Corque through Kendi Root. She began meeting with the different levels of management over the span of a couple months. Though it was a long journey, she says that it was well worth it and feels lucky to be part of the staff at Hotel Corque. Hotel Corque was formerly the Royal Scantinavian Inn, and the Chumash Enterprise recently remodeled the hotel and added a gourmet restaurant called Root 246.

According to Lyon, Cal Poly’s “Learn by Doing” philosophy provides students with real world experiences. Being able to work on events in classes and learning from professors with experience in their fields helped Lyon prepare for her current job. With insight and experience, Lyon offered these words, “Event planning is all about details, repetition, and experience - the more you plan, the more ‘plan B’s’ you are prepared with for future events when something goes wrong!” She also added that working in sales and event planning involves working with different types of personalities and that she enjoyed working with some of her favorite people for a cause she is very passionate about.

We would like to thank Caitlin for all her hard work for the department celebration! 

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By: Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff writer

RPTA students on the high ropes courseStudents taking RPTA 205 learn about the importance of leadership and communication. The class takes part in the Chumash Challenge Course run by Cal Poly’s Associated Students Incorporated. Dr. Marni Goldenberg explained that a reason why she has her students participate in this activity is because most jobs require employees to work in some form of a team. Not only does this experience create awareness of this amazing resource Cal Poly offers but also reinforces points taught in the class.

RPTA students engaged in a teambuilding exerciseThe Chumash Challenge Course experience in RPTA 205 consists of two parts: team building activities and a daring high ropes course. Students are divided into groups and take part in different activities that require them to work together and overcome obstacles to accomplish a task. The high ropes course is both a mental and physical challenge where participants are suspended in the air with the support of their classmates who belay (physical support to keep them in the air) and cheer them on below.

For RPTA students, experiential learning with their classmates is an invaluable resource. Dr. Goldenberg said that some of the initial reactions of students upon hearing about the Chumash Challenge Course range from pure excitement to utter fear to a feeling of uncertainty. Through this experience students learn about working in teams, communicating, facilitating, as well as becoming closer as a class.  

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By: Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff writerPhoto of Jodi Fisher

If you find yourself driving on Highway 1 between San Luis Obispo and Morro Bay, consider taking a quick detour to visit one of our alumni, Jodi Fisher.

After graduating from RPTA in Outdoor Recreation in 1994, Fisher began working for the San Luis Obispo County Office of Education at Rancho el Chorro Outdoor School as a Naturalist. Fisher stated, “I graduated and got married the same year, a few years later had two awesome nature loving kids, fought cancer, and have been fortunate enough to realize what is really important to me in my life!”

In her capacity as a naturalist, she strives to teach her students about environmental stewardship and etiquette. Her goal is for students to walk away with an appreciation for and understanding of nature. She was introduced to Rancho el Chorro through volunteer work she did there. At that moment, she knew it was what she wanted to do. She advises students to volunteer for as many different types of activities as possible because there is no way of knowing what might strike your interest. Different experiences may open your eyes to something you had never considered.

Through her studies at Cal Poly, Jodi learned that there is always a solution to any problem, however large or small. The team building skills acquired from RPTA have also helped in her daily life. Her main inspiration through all her experiences was from her professors. She feels so lucky to know professors who are so giving, hard working, and are passionate about what they love and teach.  

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By: Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Staff writer

On October 30th and 31st, Cal Poly got its HANDS on Health. The entire community of San Luis Obispo was invited to this free event hosted by STRIDE (formerly COPE) and the Cal Poly Kinesiology Department, with researchers and educators speaking and demonstrating ways to become fit and healthier.
Logo for HANDS on Health
Through two days of workshops and demonstrations, students, faculty and staff, and the public were educated about ground breaking technology, research, and discoveries that are happening today in the world of health and wellness. The program provided health and dental screenings, fitness and cooking demonstrations, music, entertainment, and a 5K fun run. Riley Kilpatrick, a freshman RPTA major, felt the conference “was interesting, informative, and fun to attend.”

The RPTA department was highly involved in sponsoring and running the event, with independent study students (RPTA 400) setting up and managing the 5K Fun Run, students from RPTA 112 and Dr. Goldenberg leading hikes to the Poly Canyon Architecture Village, and Dr. Brian Greenwood serving as co-chair of the physical activity committee. With the success of this first special event, Cal Poly will be looking to get its HANDS on Health for years to come.  

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By: Brian Greenwood, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor

As faculty, we've heard this line a time or two, "What else do you have to do besides teach classes?" Besides our passion of teaching, we are also highly involved with service to our department, college, university, discipline, and community. Each of us contribute in our own unique way, whether it is Professor Moyer as advisor extraordinnaire and internship coordinator or Professor Root being the ultimate special event planner or tenure-track faculty who contribute research through presentations and publications in our discipline and sub-disciplines.

RPTA faculty plus Evie posing at the 2009 Faculty Retreat

Along those lines, we've decided to periodically highlight our research contributions. We also want to stress to you, our constituents, the importance of research and furthering knowledge in our applied field. Give us a call or send us an email if you have a research project that we, or a student, might partner with you to complete.

Here's a snapshot of faculty presentations and publications from summer and fall of 2009 (our faculty are in bold and RPTA students who were research partners are in italics).

Greenwood, B., & Greenwood, J. (2009). Pigskin and black belts: Can martial arts provide insight for competitive and aggressive sports like American football? Journal of Unconventional Parks, Tourism & Recreation Research

Greenwood, B., & Kanters. (2009). Highly talented male athletes: Exemplary character or questionable characters? Journal of Sport Behavior

Hill, Goldenberg, & Freidt. (2009, July). Benefits of Hiking: A Means-end Approach on the Appalachian Trail. Journal of Unconventional Parks, Tourism & Recreation Research

Walker, Mowen, Hendricks, Kruger, Morrow & Bricker. (2009). Physical Activity in the Park Setting (PA-PS) Questionnaire: Reliability in a California Sample. Journal of Physical Activity and Health

Allman, Mittelstaedt, Martin, & Goldenberg. (2009, Nov.). Exploring the Motivations of BASE Jumpers: Extreme Sport Enthusiasts. Association of Outdoor Recreation & Education Conference, Minneapolis, MN.

Burkhardt, Lindberg, & Goldenberg. (2009, Oct.). Beyond the Dog Park: Providing Community Benefits Via Innovative Off-leash Recreation. NRPA Educational Session, Salt Lake City, UT.

Correll & Greenwood, B. (2009, Oct.). Parent interest level in alternative fitness programs for their children. [Poster] HANDS on Health symposium. San Luis Obispo, CA.

Greenwood, B. (2009, Nov.). Fireplace chats: Faculty learning communities and Cal-SPRE. California Society of Park & Recreation Educators Annual Conference. Pacific Grove, CA.

Greenwood, B. (2009, Oct.). An examination of team sports, forced exertion, and lifelong fitness. HANDS on Health symposium. San Luis Obispo, CA.

Greenwood, B., Lewis, Woodcock, Humphries, Ruseski, & Wolff (Moderator). (2009, Oct.). Research: The Impact of Sports-Based Youth Development. Up2Us Annual Conference. Washington, DC.

Greenwood, J., Goldenberg, Jacobs, Hendricks, Bricker, Gordon, & Voorhees. (2009, Oct.).  California Youth and the Outdoors:  The Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights. HANDS on Health symposium, San Luis Obispo, CA.

Greenwood, J., Hendricks, Bricker, K., Goldenberg, Jacobs, & Voorhees. (2009, Oct.). Ethnicity, physical activity levels, and use of parks and other outdoor spaces: Evidence from California. National Recreation and Park Association Annual Congress, Leisure Research Symposium, Salt Lake City, UT.

Greenwood, J., Hendricks, Goldenberg, Jacobs, Bricker, & Voorhees. (2009, Nov.).  The California Children’s Outdoor Bill of Rights:  Results from the California Comprehensive Outdoor Recreation Survey.  California Society of Park and Recreation Educators Annual Conference, Pacific Grove, California.

Jacobs, Schmillen, Greenwood, J., Goldenberg, Hendricks, Bricker, Gordon, & Voorhees. (2009, Oct-Nov.) Getting Youth Outdoors, The Chances and Challenges. Annual International Conference of the Association for Experiential Education. Montreal, Quebec, Canada.

Montoya & Greenwood, B. (2009, Oct.). The relationship between physical activity, self-esteem, and childhood obesity. [Poster] HANDS on Health symposium. San Luis Obispo, CA

Nourbakhsh, Hendricks, & O'Bryant. (2009, Oct.). Female Surfer Perspectives on Recreation Specialization and Leisure Experiences. National Recreation and Park Association Congress Leisure Research Symposium, Salt Lake City, UT.

If you are interested in reading an article or receiving a copy of a presentation, please feel free to email the first faculty member listed for the respective publication or presentation. 

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By: Brian Greenwood, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor

Long-time readers of The Report may have noticed a slight change with this issue. We are proud to announce that we now have a newsletter staff. In September, we placed a call to all RPTA faculty to identify and nominate excellent writers from the major. The following students were nominated and accepted positions as staff writers:

Alex Biller (RPTA '11)
Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12)
Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11)

These three students joined editor Anna Dickson (RPTA '10) to form the fall 2009 staff. Thanks for your dedication and service! We currently have one opening that we will fill in the winter quarter through faculty nominations. We'll begin to highlight these students and tell you a little about them in coming issues.

If you have ideas for stories, ideas about how to improve The Report, and/or feedback about the current or past issues, please feel free to email editor Anna Dickson at

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