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Fall 2011 Newsletter

Live It, Protect It, Explore It!

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

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By: Dr. Bill Hendricks, Department Head

Picture of Dr. Hendricks, Maggie, and SamFall quarter at Cal Poly is a whirlwind of activity each year highlighted by incoming students who embark upon one of the most significant of life's accomplishments - the pursuit of learning and higher education. The transformation of students who arrive their first quarter until they embark on their internship two to four years later reminds me of Henry Ford's comments about teamwork. Ford once said, "Coming together is a beginning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success. Read more.

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By Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Editor, The Report

Leaves and the words, "In appreciation"RPTA students, regardless of whether or not you take part in the holiday festivities here at the beginning of the winter season, it is the perfect time of year to reflect and give thanks. It is the time of year to appreciate your family, friends, and the fact that you attend one of the top universities in the nation. It is the time of year to enjoy and embrace that you have the opportunity to live in the "happiest place in the United States!" It is the time to appreciate the opportunity you have to study RPTA while being supported by faculty and staff that truly care about your success. It is the time of year to be thankful, in general, for everything you do have. Read more.

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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

Have you ever noticed a group of prospective students or alumni being led across campus by a student in a green shirt? Sure you have! But, did you know the title for those green-shirted students? They are Poly Reps, the official Cal Poly Campus Ambassadors and one of the most prestigious positions on campus. The Recreation Parks and Tourism Administration (RPTA) department is currently home to five Poly Reps. These students are: Alicia Carney ('11), Alexis Bradfield ('12), Nick Taylor ('13), Kelly Rowse ('13), and Kalli Sandberg ('13).

Picture of Alicia Carney serving as Poly Rep

The five students are proud to represent Cal Poly, which is no surprise given the orientation towards service and community-building exhibited by most RPTA students. The students who serve as Poly Reps attribute part of their success to the lessons and skills learned in RPTA. Read more.

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Join us for the RPTA annual auction benefit in celebration of 35 years at Cal Poly

By Eric Duarte (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

On February 25, 2012, students, faculty, alumni, family, and friends of the RPTA department are invited to the annual benefit, this year in celebration of our 35th anniversary at Cal Poly. Just two weeks removed from Valentine's Day, love will linger with this year's theme of "I Left My Heart in San Luis Obispo." The full event will run from 3:00-9:00pm in order to take advantage of the spectacular scenery provided by Windfall Farms, located in the heart of the Paso Robles wine country. The afternoon session will provide time to tour the grounds and soak in some winter sunshine, catch up with old friends, and enjoy what will hopefully be a fabulous sunset over the vineyard. The evening will feature a "Taste of SLO" with locally-based food and wine pairings and the annual silent and live auction. Benefit chair Kaitlyn Mullinax ('12) says, "The goal of the event is to support, show love, and give back to the best major at Cal Poly. The money raised through this event helps support professional development for students and faculty alike."

Flyer for 2012 RPTA auction benefit

The event is planned and managed by students while being led by faculty advisor Professor Kendi Root. There are almost 20 students working on this event and as always it's anticipated to bring out students, parents, faculty, and of course our proud alumni. Mullinax added, "We are really focusing on our alumni this year, we want them to come back and share the love! The venue is absolutely breathtaking." In addition to some extraordinary auction items, there will be t-shirts that commemorate the 35th anniversary celebration. For registration and pricing information, see the event flyer above. Register at: For further questions or if interested in hotel blocks in Paso Robles, contact Mullinax at or Root at

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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

Picture of Fowler at Pebble BeachEvery year the Cal Poly RPTA department says goodbye to fantastic seniors who embark on the next leg of their life journey. Well prepared by a dynamic major, students have the opportunity to experience internships that people would only dream of having. One such "dream internship" is with Pebble Beach Resorts, the crown jewel of the Central Coast of California. The RPTA department has forged a long and fruitful relationship with Pebble Beach. Tim Ryan, Vice President of Sales for Pebble Beach Resorts, serves on the RPTA advisory council and has helped to create opportunities for RPTA students. Approximately 24 interns have been placed at Pebble Beach in the last decade with more than half of those interns being hired as full-time employees. For the summer and fall season, three RPTA students earned internships with Pebble Beach: Phillip Stapp ('11), Jackie Lauver ('11) and Tiffany Fowler ('11).

Fowler and Lauver both raved about their internships with Pebble Beach. Fowler expressed how much the internship taught her, "Not only has this internship been an incredible opportunity for growth and professional networking but additionally, it has taught me invaluable lessons about the hospitality industry that I'm convinced can only be learned through firsthand experiences." Read more

Picture from Pebble Beach

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By Kevin Mould (RPTA '14), Staff Writer

Picture of lake at Camp HenrySummer camp is something that many people look back on with great fondness and take notice of how it helped them to grow as a person. At Camp Henry in Newaygo, Michigan, the hope is that its attendees will be able to do just that. A Christian camp, Camp Henry is open to children of many ages and backgrounds, and for fifteen years now RPTA's own Dr. Jeff Jacobs has been in charge of directing their summer camp programs. For those who know Jacobs, his stated goals for the camp programs fit his personality to a tee: "Have a ton of fun and try something new!" Further, activities are directed at helping campers to be the best that they can be.

Balancing on a high ropes courseJacobs also points to the diversity of the programs, which range from day camps and three-day mini camps for younger kids, to specialty camps that include such activities as sailing, music, wake boarding, and rock climbing. Over the past 6 years, 15 RPTA students have made the journey to Michigan to join Jacobs and his family on staff at Camp Henry. Jacobs strongly encourages anyone who is interested to contact him. Summer camps are a great way to get hands-on experience with leadership and facilitation while getting the opportunity to enjoy the great outdoors. So, if you are interested in outdoor recreation and leadership or just have a passion for working with children, give camps a consideration when thinking about a summer job, an official internship, or even a career.



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By Eric Duarte (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

RPTA students are constantly working cooperatively with businesses, companies, and organizations in the community. The exceptional work done by our students and the mentoring gained from professionals already working in the field creates a mutually beneficial partnership and an experience to grow and learn from each other. This past spring quarter, the students enrolled in Dr. Brian Greenwood's Recreational Sports Programming course (RPTA 260) received a chance to engage in one of those unique partnerships through the FUNdamentals Sports Clinic for children ages five to twelve.

Kids kick a soccer ball at FUNdamentals clinic

Roughly 20 RPTA students had an opportunity to partner with San Luis Obispo (SLO) Parks & Recreation and the San Luis Coastal Unified School District to aid in the development and very first implementation of this inclusive sports skills clinic program for children with developmental delays/disabilities. RPTA students served as facilitators of the clinic and developed program plans for future clinics. Students also received training in Applied Behavioral Analysis from an area expert and inclusive training working with children with disabilities from RPTA adjunct faculty member Rene Van Hoorn. Read more.

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By Eric Duarte (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

Kim Saavedra riding a camelIt's no mystery Cal Poly RPTA students are notorious for seeking new and adventurous opportunities. For Kimberly Saavedra ('13), her adventure came to fruition when she decided to study abroad with the Cal Poly In Spain Valladolid Program.

Saavedra knew that she wanted to study abroad when she was still in high school. When Saavedra arrived at Cal Poly, she had a difficult time deciding between studying in Italy or Spain. Remembering that she always wanted to learn Spanish, and because of her Spanish surname, she was inspired to learn more about her heritage, and it made the decision a little bit easier. Read more.

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By: Kevin Mould (RPTA '14), Staff Writer

One of the greatest aspects of being an RPTA student is the multitude of chances that are provided for hands-on learning. One such opportunity is the Adventure Travel and Tourism course taught by Dr. Jeff Jacobs. The class travels each spring break to a different international location to explore and learn about the various sustainability and hospitality practices employed in the region. This year, the destination is Costa Rica. Read more.

RPTA water bottle with a Costa Rican sunset backdrop

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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '13), Staff WriterPicture of Cynthia Moyer

Cal Poly's College of Agriculture, Food, and Environmental Sciences (CAFES) has changed its advising model, and the RPTA department is leading the charge. Cynthia Moyer, RPTA faculty member and past recipient of Cal Poly's Outstanding Faculty Advisor award, has accepted a dual position as head of advising for all of CAFES. According to Moyer, the new model is not eliminating the traditional faculty-based advising that many of us have become familiar with, but rather re-focusing it. Read more.

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By: Amy Lepp (RPTA '11), Guest Writer

Picture of team members outside Georgia AquariumLast year I had the amazing opportunity to attend the National Recreation and Park Association's (NRPA) Annual Congress in Minneapolis and compete in (and win) the first annual academic Quiz Bowl competition. This year I was fortunate enough to attend again, with a new team (Ali Bickel, Jamie Dehn, & Lauren Maston), in Atlanta, Georgia. We ended up having a great time, and I can speak for all of us when saying that we are so thankful the department gave us this opportunity. It was incredible to attend a national conference where we got to meet and network with people from all over the country. The educational sessions included talks on many interesting subjects, and the exhibit hall was the team's favorite place due to hundreds of businesses with different products and services (as well as our favorite - lots of new playgrounds and equipment to test out). NRPA also planned networking events that we attended with great food and entertainment. The opening party was our favorite because it was at the Georgia Aquarium, and we got to see beluga whales, dolphins, whale sharks, and even touch the sting rays! Read more.

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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '14), Staff writer

The RPTA Club's mission is "to inform and unite all grade levels by providing professional and social opportunities while representing the RPTA department in a positive light." The RPTA club is growing stronger every year with great events, speakers, and of course those eye-catching and creative t-shirts. With a stellar group of officers leading the club, 2011-2012 looks to be a great year. Kaci Knighton and Nikki Harth are leading the club this year as Co-Presidents. Grace Bowermaster is Vice President; Kaya Rader is Treasurer, and Dr. Jeff Jacobs returns as the Faculty Advisor. Read more.

Picture of the RPTA Club caving group

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By Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12), Editor

This quarter, the RPTA department would like to welcome five new members to the RPTA Advisory Council:

  • Barb Newton, President of Sunset Publishing Corporation
  • Bob Roberts, Executive Director of the California Ski Industry Association
  • Cathy Backus, Global Director for CSA Travel Protection/Europ-Assistance
  • Michael Maher, Global Accounts Manager with Travelocity
  • Jason Alexander, General Manager of Disney's Paradise Pier Hotel


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Staff for "The Report" are nominated by RPTA faculty for demonstrating excellent writing skills in RPTA classes. Student writers then coordinate with the editor and faculty advisor Dr. Brian Greenwood to develop and write articles.

The editor for 2010-2011 is Anthonia Edgren (RPTA '12). The staff is comprised of Kevin Mould (RPTA '14), Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '13), and our newest member Eric Duarte (RPTA '13). Read more about the staff.

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