Winter 2010 Newsletter
Live It, Protect It, Explore It!
Welcome • A Better Place • Rho Phi Lambda • Advisory Council • CSU Hospitality • Sustainability Panel • Auction & Dinner • Research in Parks • Backpacking • Spotlight - Jessica Goto • CPR Certification •Alumni - Joni Parmer • Special Olympics • New Student - Daniel Brian • Transfer - Esther Neel
• Snowshoeing • New Staff • Donate
FROM MY LITTLE WOODEN DESK…
By: Dr. Bill Hendricks, Department Head
RPTA at Cal Poly has pretty much been life in the fast lane since our fall newsletter. In this issue, you’ll read about our Bay Area sustainability panel and tour of AT&T Park, our 10th annual auction and dinner fundraiser, and the unique talents and interests of just a few of our incredible students and alumni.
So, how are we keeping pace with fewer resources and budget reductions? It really comes down to the support of our advisory council, alumni, friends of the program and commitment of our faculty and staff to continue providing a comprehensive and cutting-edge learning environment for our students. Our reputation is growing as the demand for the RPTA major reaches new heights. Change of major applicants, those students already attending Cal Poly who want to switch majors to RPTA, is among the highest change of major rates in the entire university. Furthermore, we received 264 applications for RPTA for fall quarter 2010. This is an all-time high and places us among the five top growth majors in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) for an increase in student demand over the past decade. To place the demand for Cal Poly in perspective, CAFES received 1800 applications for all majors in 2000. This number has increased to 4200 applications for fall 2010.
The success of Cal Poly relies heavily on those individuals who interact with, challenge, mentor and teach students on a daily basis. I am extremely honored to be able to inform you that our very own, Dr. Jeff Jacobs is this year’s recipient of a CAFES outstanding teaching award. This is a fitting tribute to Dr. Jacobs, who maintains an incredible passion for teaching, a genuine interest in all students who come across his path, and an amazing array of creative teaching techniques that engage students in learning every day. Please join me in heartfelt congratulations to Dr. Jacobs!
Enjoy the spring weather, don’t forget your connections to Cal Poly and as my dad always said, “keep those cards and letters (emails) coming.”
LEADERSHIP "TO MAKE THE WORLD A BETTER PLACE!"
By Kerri Ramgren (RPTA '12), Staff Writer
Dr. Jeff Jacobs is truly passionate about the department and his students, second only to his wife and children. He believes that experiences, not just reading a text, are integral to student learning. Cal Poly’s “Learn By Doing” philosophy matches with Dr. Jacobs' philosophy of teaching.
In fall 2009 he guided his RPTA 205 (Leadership) class through a group project. The guidelines were simple and included the following: involve RPTA, be outside the four walls of the classroom, make the world a better place, and make the project almost impossible. That’s just what one of his students did in Fall 2009, when Dane Jacobs (no relation to Dr. Jacobs) led his peers in a project to make the world a better place.
Dane Jacobs chose a project near and dear to him. He brought together local artists, schools, and the community for an art show benefiting art education. He and his group members wanted to create awareness for art education. Due to budget cuts and the weak economy, some art programs around the country have been cut to save money. The group raised funds for the local elementary schools to have supplies available, to pay facilities, and to create awareness and inspiration. It was a community project, asking local and established artists as well as up and coming artists, to sell their pieces.
He and his group also visited Baywood Elementary in Los Osos. The children were inspired to create their own art pieces to sell for the program. With the contributions of several beautiful art pieces, they reached their goal: inspiring the children to reach for their dreams, for the community to realize the purpose of art in the long run and most importantly – to get the kids excited. One of the most unexpected results of the project was that the child artists ended up being inspirations to the adult artists.
Dane Jacobs’s piece of advice – “Do something close to home, something you feel strong and absolutely passionate about and that’s what makes life’s moments truly great."
Is it any wonder that Dr. Jacobs won a teaching award this year? Dr. Jacobs, through his teaching and inspiration of others, is truly fostering a spirit in his students of making the world a better place!
By Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff Writer
Rho Phi Lambda is the National Honorary Society for Parks, Recreation, and Leisure-oriented departments around the country. Cal Poly RPTA is a proud sponsor of the Alpha Mu chapter, which has been in existence for eight years and has initiated over 100 members. On January 25, 2010, the Alpha Mu chapter welcomed its newest members at an initiation celebration at the Inn at Morro Bay.
New members joined current and past members as well as RPTA faculty in this celebration. New members include: Teagan Lazzarotti, Jasmine Donnelly, Katie Moore, Lynn Hutchins, Kathy Nishimura, Courtney Winters, Mattie Allison, and Lindsey Walker.
Members of Rho Phi Lambda exemplify leadership, academics, and service. Membership requirements include:
• An overall GPA of at least 3.0
• A GPA of at least 3.2 for all RPTA classes
• Completion of at least 67 total units (at least 12 as RPTA units at Cal Poly)
• Evidence of leadership
• Evidence of service to the campus and/or community
Upcoming plans for Rho Phi Lambda include the RPTA/Rho Phi Lambda Career Fair in Spring 2010. Industry professionals from throughout California and from different fields will be attending with information about careers in their respective organizations. All students are invited to this annual event.
Alumni who represent companies interested in a booth at the fair are encouraged to contact Rho Phi Lambda president Meaghan Phibbs at email@example.com.
By Dani Correll (RPTA '11), Staff Writer
The Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration Department is pleased to announce the addition of nine new Advisory Council members since the Fall of 2008. The Advisory Council is comprised of professionals in the recreation, parks, and tourism community. The Advisory Council lends support and guidance to the RPTA department, faculty, and students in order to prepare students for their future in the industry.
The Advisory Council’s duties include the following: provide advice and counsel, aid in the formulation and promotion of the goals and objectives of the program, enhance the communication between the RPTA program and the outside world, and support the faculty in retaining and enhancing its unique role as a leader in providing education to the future leaders of recreation, parks, and tourism.
Membership to the Advisory Council comes through invitations made by Dean Wehner and President Baker, based on nominations from the RPTA department. Members serve for a three-year term and may be re-appointed.
The new Advisory Council members are as follows:
Mike Alamo - Lifestyle and Community Outreach Director, Kennedy Club Fitness
Ed Conn - Travel Brand Manager, National Geographic Global Media
Fred Ferrarini - Owner, ProCom Lodging Brokers, Inc.
John Flaherty - Owner, Central Coast Outdoors
Aaron George - Associate Director, Annual Fundraising, Haas School of Business, UC Berkeley
Kevin Gonzales - Senior Development Officer, McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific
Karen Knight - Owner, Blue Wolf Associates
John Summer - Executive Director, SLO County Visitors & Conference Bureau
Elisa Weaver - Director of Community & Personnel Services, City of Sierra Madre
CSU HOSPITALITY MANAGEMENT EDUCATION INITIATIVE (HMEI) LOOKS TO PROMOTE HOSPITALITY CAREERS ACROSS CALIFORNIA
By: Alex Biller (RPTA '11), Staff writer
As a mainstay of California’s economic engine, the demand for educated professionals in the hospitality industry is critical to the state’s economy and experiences of domestic and international tourists. To keep pace with these challenges and industry needs, the CSU Chancellor commissioned the CSU Hospitality Management Education Initiative to build relationships with educators and industry leaders, gain support for careers in hospitality and to inform prospective students about the CSU hospitality related degree programs. Key initiatives accomplished by HMEI have included establishing an industry advisory board (consisting of senior executives from leading organizations) to collaborate industry needs and opportunities annually between CSU schools and industry leaders and the creation of a CSU Hospitality Education Leadership committee with leaders from CSU hospitality programs that annually discuss curriculum, best practices and education opportunities for students, faculty and industry professionals. Moreover, the HEMI is utilizing social-media resources such as facebook and youtube to raise awareness about higher education opportunities and the CSU hospitality programs.
Cal Poly RPTA plays an active role in the CSU HEMI. Dr. Bill Hendricks serves as a member of the Hospitality Education Leadership Committee and RPTA Advisory Council member Caroline Beteta has been appointed to the CSU hospitality Advisory Board. Beteta is the President and CEO of the California Travel and Tourism Commission.
On Friday, April 23, Bruce Baltin, a member of the CSU Advisory Board is coming to Cal Poly as part of HMEI’s “adopt a campus” program. Mr. Baltin is the Senior Vice President of PFK Consulting, which provides many services in the tourism, real estate and hospitality industry. Baltin will be visiting the RPTA Resort and Hotel Management class and meeting with faculty and students during his visit.
For more information on the HMEI and its implementation, visit: http://www.calstate.edu/hospitality/
RPTA HOLDS SUSTAINABILITY PANEL ABOARD HYBRID YACHT & VISITS AT&T PARK
By: Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff writer
On February 3, 2010, Cal Poly students and faculty joined forces with alumni, advisory council members, and industry professionals for a sustainability panel organized by RPTA Advisory Council Members and Bay Area alumni and hosted aboard the world's lone hybrid yacht owned by Hornblower Cruises & Events. The yacht was a fitting venue for the panel and the brainchild of Hornblower's chief executive officer and owner Terry MacRae, a Cal Poly alumnus and RPTA advisory council member.
The sustainability panel was moderated by advisory council member Rodrigo Espinosa, Managing Director for Groove 11, and panelists included: MacRae, Dr. Kelly Bricker (Associate Professor, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Department at the University of Utah; Chair, Executive Board - The International Ecotourism Society; Founder, Rivers Fiji), Ed Conn (Travel Brand Manager, National Geographic Global Media), Jennifer Jasper (Director, Latin America/Canada Marketing, California Travel and Tourism Commission), and Tom Michael (Communications Strategist, Jack Morton Worldwide).
For students and faculty, the day included more than the sustainability panel, as twenty-nine students joined Drs. Jacobs, Hendricks, and (Brian) Greenwood for a special outing at AT&T Park. AT&T Park intern Cassie Walitsch, an RPTA graduating senior, coordinated this outing. The three-hour affair included lunch on the club level, a question-and-answer session from AT&T Park and the San Francisco Giants management, and a guided behind-the-scenes tour. Students and faculty learned about the history and operations of the ballpark in addition to the thrill of gaining access to luxury boxes, the visitor's clubhouse, and the dugouts.
Following the panel, students were able to network and socialize as the yacht cruised the bay. Mattie Allison, president of the RPTA Club, explained that the trip was a great experience because it pertained specifically to RPTA. She admired the stature and credibility of those on the panel as well as those who attended and was able to gain new insight about sustainability in the field.
The department would like to thank RPTA advisory council members Amy Golladay, (Assistant Director of Marketing and Business Development, University of California at Berkeley Recreational Sports), Aaron George (Associate Director, Annual Giving, Haas School of Business, University of California at Berkeley) and Rodrigo Espinosa for their role in planning an incredible evening. In addition, a special thank you goes to Terry MacRae and his staff for serving as our gracious hosts.
For more information about the Hornblower Hybrid, visit: http://www.hornblower.com/port/yacht/sf+18
RPTA "INTO THE GREAT WIDE OPEN" AUCTION & DINNER
By: Kerri Ramgren (RPTA '12), Staff writer
The 2010 RPTA auction and dinner was the event of the season. This event was our first fundraiser as an official department, and it exceeded expectations thanks to dedicated students and faculty. This year's theme, “Into the Great Wide Open,” brought together over 150 people and raised approximately $13,500. The auction and dinner was held at the Pavilion at Lake Atascadero Park in Atascadero and included a silent and live auction, entertainment by Chase McBride, raffle prizes, and an alumni social hosted by Adelaida Cellars and alumnus Brandon Lyons.
Bidding paddles were flying during the live auction for 15 spectacular items. Everything from passes to Dodgers and Giants games to lift tickets at Mammoth to a Napa Valley getaway to two roundtrip airline tickets anywhere in the continental United States. Attendees also kept a close eye on bidding sheets for the silent auction baskets, which included limo & wine tasting packages, rounds of golf at Avila Beach, and amazing getaways at locations throughout California. This annual event just keeps getting better, and if you have never attended, you are missing out on a truly memorable occasion.
What makes this event more special is the "learn-by-doing" approach, as students specializing in event planning and management plan and orchestrate the event from start to finish. This year's student co-chairs were Meagan Phibbs and Haley Yoder who with the assistance of faculty advisors Kendi Root and Cynthia Moyer led the student planning committee comprised of the following: Lindsey Campbell, Corbie Smith, Adrienne Brabant, Cera Singley, Cristina de Ocampo, Kelly Mangan, Kelly Vordale, Dana Matteson and Ashley Adams.
The group worked for almost a year organizing the auction. The committee, along with the RPTA 420 class, received donations for the entire event. A special thanks go to the following people who helped make the event special: Audrey Banks at The Pavilion on the Lake, Brandon Lyons and Adaleida Cellars, the Brunello Family, Dave Adams with Trader Joes, Dr. Carolyn Shank, RPTA Alumni, Guest House Grill, Dan Vordale, Marie Callenders, Got You Covered, and the RPTA Faculty.
CAL POLY RESEARCH HELPS POWER STATE PARKS PLAN
By: Kerri Ramgren (RPTA '12), Staff writer; Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Assistant Editor; & Cal Poly News
Californians love the outdoors, want to get out and walk and bicycle more -- and they like campgrounds with restrooms. They think parks and recreation programs help the economy and keep children and teens out of trouble. And they think being in harmony with nature is important.
Those are just some of the findings in a new report on park use in California that was powered by research by faculty in Cal Poly's Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration Department.
Professors Bill Hendricks, Jerusha Greenwood, Jeff Jacobs and Marni Goldenberg collaborated with other researchers to produce the report, titled “Opinions and Attitudes Survey on Outdoor Recreation in California.” The research will guide policy development and decision-making regarding accessibility to parks, future outdoor recreation programs, analysis of activity trends, and park management strategies by public recreation providers statewide for the next five years.
The study was the first of its kind to measure physical activity in parks on a statewide basis. It involved random surveys of nearly 2,800 California adults and approximately 400 youth. Grants awarded by the National Park Service, the CSU Agriculture Research Initiative and USDA, McIntire-Stennis funded the research.
Some findings from the report:
Californians love the outdoors and make frequent use of all kinds of parks and wilderness areas and think that's a healthy habit.
* More than 73.7 percent of those surveyed had visited a park within the last month
* 98 percent of the respondents said viewing scenic beauty is among their most favorite activities
* 93 percent said that feeling in harmony with nature was also important to their enjoyment of the outdoors
* More than 87 percent of the respondents agreed that recreation programs help improve people’s health
* 78.1 percent of respondents agreed that recreation programs help reduce crime and juvenile delinquency
* 74.9 percent agreed that recreation and park agencies create jobs and help the economy.
When asked which recreation activities they would like to participate in more often, Californians said:
1. Walking for fitness or pleasure (46 percent)
2. Camping in developed sites with facilities such as toilets and tables (45 percent)
3. Bicycling on paved surfaces (45 percent) and
4. Day hiking on trails (44 percent)
California’s park and recreation areas are getting heavy use:
* 88 percent of the telephone survey respondents had visited a park within the last six months
* On average, respondents visited parks approximately six days in their most recent month surveyed and spent 8.5 hours during their last visit
* The majority of these respondents reported visiting parks one or more times per week (35.5 percent) or once or twice a month (26.2 percent)
Other collaborators on the project included California State Parks, the University of Utah, Diagnostics Plus, Inc. and Devine Tarbell and Associates. For more information and to view the final report results, visit www.parks.ca.gov/planning_SPOA.
To view the press release through Cal Poly News, click here
"LEARN-BY-BACKPACKING" IN BIG SUR AND THE CHANNEL ISLANDS
By: Alex Biller (RPTA '11), Staff writer
On March 5-7, 2010, Dr. Marni Goldenberg and half of her RPTA 325 (Outdoor & Adventure Leadership) class traveled to Big Sur for a backpacking trip. The group consisted of eight students, Goldenberg, and Cuesta College instructor Angela Neary.
The 3-day backpacking trip took the group through the Vicente Flat trail in Los Padres National Forest and spanned roughly 14 miles total. The group camped along the way at Espinosa and Vicente Flat campgrounds before returning home. The students in the class planned all aspects of the experience prior to the trip including the route, equipment, meals, agenda, and risk management considerations.
While on the trip, Goldenberg and Neary remained as “informed participants,” yielding control of the group to the students. Students were designated as leaders for the day and were responsible for the decision-making, group dynamics, and most of the other aspects for that day. Some of the decisions they had to make included how to navigate treacherous parts of the trail, getting around fallen redwoods, and setting the time schedule for the day. On the trip, students also taught lessons useful to camping including cooking/stove use, Leave No Trace principles, how to navigate with a map and compass, and about the local Big Sur flora and fauna.
Goldenberg, two weeks prior to the Big Sur trip, took the other half of the class on a 3-day backpacking trip to the Channel Islands that was also planned by the students. Goldenberg remarked on the importance of the trips by saying, “Taking students out of their comfort zone challenges them to apply classroom learning into a learn-by-doing or real life situation, aiding them in becoming stronger outdoor leaders.”
When asked what the trip meant to her, Kristen McClay, an RPTA student on the Big Sur trip, simply replied, “It was the best experience I have ever had for a school-related activity!”
Thanks go to Angela Neary for donating her time to help with both RPTA 325 trips.
To find out more about the Vicente Flat Trail and Big Sur, visit: http://www.hikinginbigsur.com/hikes_vicente.html
INTERN/SENIOR SPOTLIGHT - JESSICA GOTO
By: Dani Correll (RPTA '11), Staff writer
In the middle of fall quarter 2009, Jessica Goto found herself with the daunting task of securing an internship. With a positive attitude and plenty of networking experience, Goto found not only an internship but one that many students would classify as a "dream job" with a company called Xtreme Tours. Xtreme Tours is the largest ski tour operator in Northern California. Goto’s main responsibilities are to promote and market the summer sports camps through Xtreme Tours, as well as manage the Rockstar Lodge at Kirkwood Ski Resort. Her internship requires networking, creativity, and organizational skills - all of which Goto (pictured below, left) was able to develop through RPTA courses.
Goto believes this internship to be perfectly directed to her personality and skill set. She has gained great experience with Xtreme Tours by constantly planning, promoting, and networking. Goto’s favorite part of the internship is the opportunity to snowboard for free, as well as being able to combine work and play in an adventurous, outdoor environment. She advises future interns to “take the time to talk to people and make good business relationships… Networking is key to finding an internship and job.”
After her internship, Goto plans to return to San Luis Obispo to graduate in June 2010. Between her internship and graduation, she wants to take time to travel. Goto values meeting new people and experiencing different cultures, fitting attributes for an RPTA major! She is passionate about travel, marketing, nature, and event planning. No matter where life takes her, you can bet Jessica will be loving life and spreading her passion around the world.
For more information about Xtreme Tours, please visit www.xtremetours.us
TWENTY-FIVE RPTA STUDENTS RECEIVE CPR CERTIFICATION
By: Alex Biller (RPTA '11), Staff writer
“Who is CPR certified?” It started as a simple question from Professor Kendi Root to her RPTA 317 Conventions and Meeting Management class, but Root was unsatisfied with the small number of hands that followed. She knew the importance of CPR for these students and had an opportunity available through the SLO Swim Center.
On Monday, January 25, 2010, Root and 25 RPTA students traveled to Sinsheimer Pool to get adult CPR certified. The class was $5 and lasted about 2 hours. Robin Perrin, a Cal Poly alumna (PE, 1979) taught the class. She has worked at the SLO Swim Center and has taught CPR through the American Red Cross for over 30 years.
“I think because we deal with the public so much in our field, whether it be outdoor recreation, sports management or special events, CPR is an important certification to have to further prepare us in our careers” said Renee Costamaillere, one of the RPTA students in attendance.
Now more than ever, careers in the recreation industry have a need for leaders that are prepared. A crucial aspect of that preparation is being CPR certified. When asked about the importance of learning CPR, Perrin responded by saying, “Why learn CPR? Simply put, a rescuer's actions can mean the difference in life or death to the victim… does it get any more important than that?”
Thanks to Robin Perrin for her time and for providing these students with an extremely valuable lesson.
ALUMNI SPOTLIGHT - JONI PARMER
By: Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Assistant Editor
Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration alumna Joni Parmer ('07) has found her true passion in combining both event planning and marketing to create her perfect job. Parmer used her experiences with RPTA, a graphic communications minor, and networking from her internship with Rusty surf brand to culminate in her first job with Billabong. That opportunity has opened more exciting doors for Parmer (pictured, far right).
Currently she works as a marketing coordinator for L* Space, a contemporary swimwear line based out of Orange County. Her main roles at the company include the following: spreading the word about the company through events (mainly fashion shows), writing copy and press releases for products, social media/viral marketing, line showings to editors for product placement in fashion magazines, coordinating promotions with retail stores like contests or 'gift with purchase' events, designing and sourcing point of purchase displays and promotional material to ad layouts, and hangtag design and event invitations. Her favorite part of the job is traveling and working with a great group of people who are outgoing and tons of fun.
What is Parmer's recipe for success? Networking, developing contacts, being outgoing, and cherishing and enjoying life. She credits the faculty of the RPTA department with having a large influence on her success, "I believe we have the best, most personable professors that were and still are mentors in my life.” Overall she feels that no other major could have prepared her for her position as well as Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration and truly cherishes the time she spent at Cal Poly as a “Stang!”
MIDNIGHT FUN RUN CONTINUES PARTNERSHIP BETWEEN RPTA AND SPECIAL OLYMPICS OF SLO
By Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff writer
As part of the Cal Poly motto of “Learn by Doing,” RPTA students work with community groups on various projects. One group that RPTA works closely with is Special Olympics of San Luis Obispo County. Jody Watty is the Regional Director for Special Olympics and explained her experiences working with RPTA students. “I have found RPTA students to be some of the best and the brightest! They come with creative and fun ideas, a strong work ethic while also having a great flair for play!”
Special Olympics works closely with the RPTA 210 (Program Planning) and RPTA 252 (Special Populations) classes. This past fall, students in RPTA 210 were partnered directly with the Special Olympics of SLO to host a midnight fun run on campus. Proceeds for the event were donated to Special Olympics.
The partnership includes numerous other opportunities for RPTA students to get involved, as Special Olympics of SLO also allow students to complete direct field experiences (RPTA 330) and internships (RPTA 465). In addition, RPTA students have volunteered with Special Olympics and some remain as on-going volunteers. Stephanie Hennessey, the special events assistant for Special Olympics of SLO, is an RPTA alumna who works with the organization.
Watty believes that community service is important for all students and more so for RPTA students because it gives a chance to see what recreational opportunities are like in the real world. It also gives them the opportunity to give back to the same community that strongly supports Cal Poly. Watty stated, “I also think the students learn a lot about what is needed in the community and can gain a real sense of how what they are learning applies.”
The staff at Special Olympics really enjoys working with RPTA students and is always open to more opportunities to work with them. They provide a great opportunity for students who want to learn more about special populations and those who are interested in special events.
For more information about Special Olympics of SLO, visit: http://www.sosc.org/San_Luis_Obispo_Main.htm
NEW STUDENT SPOTLIGHT: DANIEL BRIAN
By Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11), Staff Writer
Every student has their story as to why they chose Cal Poly, why they chose RPTA, and where they hope to be in the future. Daniel Brian, from Woodland, California is currently a first year RPTA student with just such a story to tell.
Brian was drawn to Cal Poly because of its welcoming environment. He felt at home here. He had also heard good things about the sport management concentration. Brian has always had an interest in sports. During high school, he played both basketball and golf. His reasoning for pursuing a degree in sport management was to “do you what you love.” As a first year, he is unsure of his future but hopeful and excited about the opportunities the department provides. He is an active member of intramurals at Cal Poly, playing beach volleyball and basketball, and also attends athletic games of all sorts.
Brian is also testament that first-year students should not be shy about getting involved early with their major and interests. In February of this year, the Big West Conference came calling, recruiting him to help organize the Big West Shootout. The Big West Shootout is a shooting contest where students at member schools compete against each other for the right to win a trip to the annual conference conference tournament and a chance at the grand prize of $5,000.
He is very much enjoying his time here at Cal Poly and especially in RPTA. Brian is enjoying his major, which he described as being such a friendly and socially active one, looking forward to what is to come, and “enjoying every minute of it.”
TRANSFER SPOTLIGHT: ESTHER NEEL
By Dani Correll (RPTA '11), Staff Writer
Everyone comes into college with a different dream. Esther Neel wanted to attend a school in which she could continue her education, while being able to grow in her passion: soccer. After 15 years of practice, 2 years of school at Cuesta College, and an ongoing dream, Esther Neel has made it to the "Big West" stage as part of the Cal Poly Women’s Soccer Team.
Neel is a 3rd year transfer student in RPTA and is pursuing a sport management concentration. She chose to major in RPTA because of the unique, hands-on educational opportunity it provided. As Neel says, “Why spend my college career inside, in books… when I can educate my mind in the fun field of RPTA, learning what I love to do, and being outside with outgoing classmates!” Neel has found that RPTA perfectly fits her personality and is very thankful of the support and encouragement that comes from the entire department.
As if being a student-athlete wasn’t demanding enough, Neel also has a full-time job. She is the head coach of the San Luis Obispo High girl’s freshman soccer team. Neel coaches and travels with the girls 5 days a week, continuously sharing her passion and knowledge.
The demands of school, soccer, and work keep Neel very busy. She says that although it’s hard to balance everything, it’s not impossible. She just reminds herself to stay passionate and focused. For Neel, soccer is her motivation, and school backs up her future. After college, Neel plans to move back to her hometown of Santa Cruz and work as a Head Athletic Director at one of the schools in the community. For now, Neel is enjoying the direction her life has taken her and is glad she has the opportunity to represent Cal Poly on the women’s soccer team.
BONDING THROUGH SNOWSHOEING FOR RPTA CLUB
By Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Assistant Editor
Adventure, fun, and excitement: The RPTA Club is at it again! The club’s most recent excursion, a two-day snowshoeing trip to Dewey Point in Yosemite National Park was an immediate hit with participating club members. The trip was so popular that a lottery system was utilized to determine the members who would join the club officers on the trip. The trip attendees included: Mattie Allison, Evie Ewers, Sarah Cerullo, Katie Nice, Robert Cooper, Riley Kilpatrick, Liz Allison and Jessica Schoen. Four Poly Escapes leaders who guided the adventure accompanied the group.
The group of eight made a seven-mile trek from the outskirts of Yosemite National Park to Dewey Point in the midst of a snowstorm, testing their resilience, patience, and energy. The snowfall was incredibly heavy and visibility was virtually nonexistent upon arriving at base camp. Exhausted from the day’s adventures, the group pitched tents, unrolled sleeping bags, and fell sound asleep after a quick dinner. The next morning, however, was well worth the treacherous journey. Cerullo summed up the group sentiment, “My favorite part of the trip was waking up to an amazing view Sunday morning...beautiful!”
The RPTA Club looks forward to more exciting events coming up in the spring quarter when the beautiful weather gives way to hikes, camping trips, and the Wildflower Triathlon. The RPTA Club welcomes members all year; don’t hesitate to come out and enjoy the fun while meeting even more awesome individuals from RPTA!
NEW STAFF FOR THE REPORT
By: Brian Greenwood, Ph.D., Faculty Advisor
Two new RPTA students were nominated and accepted positions as staff writers in Winter 2010: Dani Correll (RPTA '11) & Kerri Ramgren (RPTA '12). These two students joined editor Anna Dickson (RPTA '10) and newly appointed assistant editor Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12) along with writers Kathy Nishimura (RPTA '11) and Alex Biller (RPTA '11) to form the Winter 2010 staff.
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 us at firstname.lastname@example.org.