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Spring/Summer 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

Dr. Hendricks poses with Disney character GoofyAs summer quarter commences, while a few RPTA students have remained in San Luis Obispo to take classes, most students have scattered around the country and internationally as they pursue internships, summer jobs, careers, and travel around the globe. This issue of “The Report” recaps the experiences of many of these students who continue to amaze me with their zest for a career in our industry, passion for life, and exploration of other cultures and regions of the world. Read more.

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

Picture of graduation capAnother year has passed and Cal Poly RPTA is happy to send its newly graduated seniors into the real world. In the RPTA department, students are given the tools and skills needed to succeed in their future endeavors. Many of them have successful internships and jobs lined up, some have plans for graduate school, and others have dreams of traveling and experiencing the world. So while other graduates are desperately trying to find a job that interests them, RPTA students are getting exciting jobs with wineries, resorts, event planning companies, professional sports teams, national parks, and leadership camps, just to name a few. And one thing can be said for all of them: They will be true to the “Reccie” nature and have fun while doing it! Why are Cal Poly RPTA students so successful, happy, and hard working? They do what they love and live their passion every day. To all the Cal Poly RPTA recent graduates, we at “The Report” wish you big and loud Congratulations! We've given you top billing and highlighted a few outstanding graduates below, but you are all special in your own right.

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By Kevin Mould (RPTA '14), Staff Writer

Picture of McClay while hikingOne of the greatest things that can happen to any college student is that when they graduate, they can look back on the time they put into their major with fond memories and a true appreciation for all the experiences along the way. One recent RPTA ('11) graduate who can certainly do this is Kristen McClay (RPTA '11), the co-winner of the Oustanding RPTA senior award (along with Nika Jalali). One particular experience that sticks out to McClay is the opportunity to compete and win the Academic Quiz Bowl with Cal Poly’s team at the 2010 NRPA Annual Congress in Minneapolis, MN. Another such experience was her chance to assist Dr. Goldenberg in teaching and implementing the two camping trips that go along with RPTA 325, one that pushed her and proved her abilities as an outdoor leader. Read more.

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By Kim Saavedra (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

Although the University may regard Robert Cooper as a "super senior" (i.e., taking a longer route to graduation), his tenure in the Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration department at Cal Poly has led his peers and the faculty to consider him as a "super Reccie!" In fact, RPTA faculty believed that so much that they created an award simply to honor him at the 2011 banquet, the RPTA Ambassador Award. Cooper with Dr. Hendricks at AT&T ParkWith wild flowing reddish hair, and his overwhelmingly friendly and helpful personality, "Coop" is easily recognizable. Yet, more importantly, he became a role model for current and future RPTA majors at Cal Poly by being so involved with the major. Dr. Hendricks stated, "Sure, Robert is charismatic and has a memorable look and personality, but when it came time to needing someone to do something, we could always count on him to be there." Read more.

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By Kim Saavedra (RPTA '13), Staff Writer
Picture of Winters

Courtney Winters has event planning undergraduates everywhere fawning over her spring quarter internship. From Late March until the end of June, Winters (RPTA ’11) took on the pressure of becoming Cal Travel’s first ever intern. As the Cal Travel Assistant Conference Coordinator for the 29th Annual California Travel Summit, Winters had the incredible task of coordinating and assisting with every aspect of the two-day conference.

Winters spent the past few months living in Pasadena and working hands on in managing guests, speakers, auction details, social media and even assisting with the future Board of Directors for the upcoming year. While undertaking such an assignment can be daunting, RPTA internship coordinator Cynthia Moyer recommended Winters for the position due to her confidence that Winters would rise to the challenge. Read more.

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By Kevin Mould (RPTA '14), Staff Writer

Picture of MilichAs RPTA students, we all recognize the importance of being able to gain practical field experience while working with organizations that promote our interests and share our common goals. For recent RPTA ('11) graduate Lindsay Milich, this opportunity came while completing an internship with The International Ecotourism Society (TIES) as a Research and Communications intern during spring quarter. Her position involved assisting with various programs that help to increase awareness of sustainable travel and tourism opportunities throughout the world. Read more



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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '13),Staff Writer

Picture of ArmstrongRecent RPTA ('11) graduate Jillian Armstrong spent the last quarter as an intern for the San Luis Obispo Visitors and Conference Bureau (SLOVCB). Armstrong says that her interest in the SLOVCB was sparked by Molly Cano, the director of Sales and Marketing who was a guest speaker in Kendi Root's RPTA 317 class. “She talked about her job, and everything she said made me excited about the prospect of working there. I felt like Molly would be a great person to work for and so I really wanted to work for her too. Both of those things led me to get involved with the VCB as soon and as much as possible.” Read more.




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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '14), Staff Writer

The Picture of RPTA faculty at banquet dressed in "Brady Bunch" attire2010-2011 academic year ended with a bang thanks to everyone who planned and participated in Cal Poly RPTA’s “The Reccie Bunch” End of the Year Banquet. The night was full of laughs, tears, and "old school" music and dancing, as RPTA students and faculty embraced the 1970's "Brady Bunch" theme. The night was not only a farewell to all of the graduating seniors, but a time to award outstanding RPTA students on their accomplishments.

The RPTA faculty was proud to present the following awards:
Thom Group Award - Amy Lepp
Outstanding Contribution - Charlotte Gorton, Dani Correll
Outstanding Senior - Nika Jalali, Kristen McClay
Outstanding Graduate Student - Ryan Soares
Honored Alumnus - Elisa Weaver
Senior Project Award (sponsored by Pismo Coast RV Village) - Ben Turley, Lindsey Milich
Pismo Coast RV Village Scholarship - Kelly Mangan
RPTA Ambassador Award - Robert Cooper

Congratulations to all of the award winners!

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Adapted from Cal Poly News - Press Release Archives (May 2011)

Picture of Saavedra posing at NASCAR race

Cal Poly students are known for taking their hands-on learning experience and parlaying it into exciting real-world jobs. One career-minded student, Kimberly Saavedra (RPTA '14), stepped up to the podium when she turned her selection to NASCAR's prestigious mentoring program into a full-time seasonal position with the stock car auto racing sanctioning body's main racing series this summer.

Saavedra was one of four students selected to participate in NASCAR’s Nationwide Diversity Mentorship program at the Auto Club Speedway in Fontana, CA. Through the mentor experience, Saavedra met Dan Patin, NASCAR's Broadcast Communications Director. After exchanging several phone calls and emails, Patin offered Saavedra a full-time seasonal position with his department for this summer. Although 8 states in 10 weeks was admittedly rather daunting, the opportunity was a "dream come true" for Saavedra in being able to put her sport management and event planning skills in action. Read the official press release.

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

RPTA students form a "love" symbol on the beach in FijiWhile many of us returned to our hometowns to relax or spent countless hours sunbathing at the beach or the pool during spring break, Dr. Jacobs' RPTA 412 class was learning all about adventure travel and tourism by exploring and enjoying the wonders of Fiji. The class spent the week learning about the culture through meeting and listening to the Fijian locals. And yes, they also got a chance to enjoy the clear blue waters of this beautiful island paradise!

The students who were able to experience this amazing opportunity were able to learn outside of a classroom and truly appreciate both the beauty around them and the importance of ecotourism to Fiji’s economy and way of life. Kaci Knighton (RPTA '12) said, “Being in Fiji was an eye-opening experience. I learned so much more than I ever could have from a class lecture or textbook. It was so awesome to be able to experience their culture and be able to exchange stories with the local Fijians. The experiences I gained on this trip will forever be a part of my memory, and I would encourage everyone to take the Adventure Travel and Tourism course!” Read more.

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By Kim Saavedra (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

Rho Phi leaders pose with Dr. Hendricks at career fairFor several years now, Rho Phi Lambda, the RPTA department’s professional honorary society, has hosted an industry career fair for those interested in opportunities with an RPTA-related organization. While past career fairs have been moderately successful and well organized, Dr. Hendricks asked leaders to place special emphasis on the fair this year. He did so for several reasons. One, he felt it was important to send a message to RPTA students that the industry had rebounded from the economic recession. And two, he knew that organizations in a post-recession economy were concerned about efficiency and wanted career fairs to be worth their while. In true RPTA fashion, the Rho Phi leaders who comprised the career fair planning and coordination committee stepped up to the challenge set forth by Dr. Hendricks and delivered the most successful career fair to date. The career fair was held on campus on May 18 in the lobby of the Performing Arts Center with a record 31 companies and nearly double the number of student attendees from previous years. Read more.

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By Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '14), Staff writer

Root's class poses with Jason AlexanderDuring spring quarter, Professor Kendi Root taught RPTA 412: Hotel and Resort Management, a 10-week seminar, teaching students the ins and outs of the hotel business. One of the highlights of the class was meeting Jason Alexander, the General Manager of The Grand Californian Hotel at Disney’s California Adventure. Alexander has a wealth of experience in the industry with over 15 years at Disney alone. The ability to hear from top executives in the field has become a hallmark of classes taught by Root, and one of the many reasons her classes are some of the most popular ones in the major. Read more.

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By Kim Saavedra (RPTA '13), Staff Writer

As the school year came to a close, the RPTA Club was ready to embrace the warm California sunshine! Club officers Kelsey Pavao (RPTA ’11) and Kimberly Saavedra (RPTA ’13) stepped up in the absence of other officers who were away on internships and worked to create a fun last few weeks to finish out the year. In April, the club participated in Cal Poly’s 18th Annual Open House. Current club members were able to mingle and talk over cold, refreshing Sno-Cones with visitors, students, and most importantly future RPTA majors. Read more.

Club members pose at Open House booth

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Compiled by Brian Greenwood, Faculty Advisor for "The Report"

Have you ever wondered what RPTA faculty do over the summer? We thought you might, so we've decided to open up a bit and share some tidbits from our summer. We wanted RPTA students, alumni, parents, and friends to get a brief glimpse into our lives. No, we're not all out playing golf or lounging by the pool all summer! Yes, we are a bit busier than you may have imagined! Read more.

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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) and Kim Saavedra (RPTA '13) and Kalli Sandberg (RPTA '13). Read more about the staff.

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