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Winter 2014 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 pauses for a photo after surfingThe “off-season” normally brings back fond memories of my park ranger days on Mt. Tamalpais when the winter rains would bring a startling halt to the flow of visitors and a chance to complete the numerous projects that had backlogged over the busy summer and fall seasons.  However, similar to recreation, parks, and tourism professionals statewide we are facing the realities of California’s 2014 “Endless Summer.”  In other words, we find ourselves in a constant flow of waves to conquer and customers to serve.

It just so happens that our customers are you – students, alumni, parents, advisory council, colleagues, industry professionals, and friends of RPTA.  We (current and past faculty included) have developed a department that is now firmly recognized as one of the top programs in the country. Faculty expertise continues to reach monumental levels, the quality of our students is beyond comprehension, and the achievements of our alumni and the program are evolving exponentially. Read more.

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By: Anna Bach (RPTA ’17), Staff Writer

2014 RPTA Annual Auctoin and Dinner Fundraiser invite

The 12th annual RPTA Dinner and Auction Fundraiser is to be held on February 22, 2014 from 5:30-9:30pm at the Pismo Beach Golf Course. This year’s theme is Around the World with RPTA, and all current students, alumni, and friends of RPTA (e.g., parents/family, Advisory Council members, & industry partners) are invited and encouraged to attend. Guests can register (and find more information) online at Online registration does involve a small convenience fee. There will be a buffet style dinner with an "around the world" theme, followed by a spectacular dessert bar. Other event details appear above and on the next page. Read more.

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By: Heidi Reighard (RPTA ’14)

Schwan poses on a cross country ski trip in UtahWhen asked what her best advice to students would be, new hire Dr. Keri Schwab said, “Be open to your opportunities; don’t try to plan every aspect of your life.” Further inquiry showed that she has benefited from following her own advice. Dr. Schwab completed her undergraduate education at James Madison University was a degree in Media Arts/Journalism and minors in French and Art History. She worked on the two minors while studying abroad in both Paris, France and Florence, Italy, experiences she values for what she learned about and living in and working through new or uncomfortable situations. Read more.

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By: Heidi Reighard (RPTA ’14), Staff Writer

Ari KampAri Kamp, also a staff writer for The Report, is a third year transfer student from Bozeman, Montana. Growing up in Montana, Ari developed a love for nature, which in turn led to being more active and enjoying the outdoors. Kamp found the opportunity to go to school in a coastal community when she and her father took a trip to Santa Barbara to deliver a motorcycle to an individual on the Central Coast. While there, they took some time to visit schools, and it didn’t take long for Kamp to be sold on the idea of living and going to school in California. Prior to transferring to Cal Poly, she spent three years at Santa Barbara City College (SBCC). Kamp played volleyball for 2 years at SBCC, and the team made several visits to SLO for games. “It always reminded me of my hometown back in Montana…but with a beach,” Kamp said with her signature smile. She felt at home here in SLO, and her friends and teachers alike suggested she look into transferring to Cal Poly. Read more.

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By: Anna Bach (RPTA ’17), Staff Writer

Michele ReynoldsMichele Reynolds, an Agriculture Business graduate from Cal Poly, recently took over in the RPTA office as the new Administrative Support Coordinator. Also a graduate student in RPTA, Reynolds is studying Event Management and working with Visit San Luis Obispo to evaluate the benefits of Savor the Central Coast. A resident of San Luis Obispo, Reynolds enjoys going to the beach with her husband, her 3-year-old daughter, and her dog. She looks forward to traveling more and participating in other recreational experiences as her daughter grows up. When not working, Reynolds operates her own wedding planning business and enjoys planning events in the local area. Read more.

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By: Kevin Mould (RPTA ’14), Editor

The RPTA group poses after the Quiz Bowl

Every year, the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) holds its Annual Congress to bring together recreation professionals of various trades from all over the nation. Among the highlights of this annual gathering are a keynote presentation, numerous professional development sessions, and an expansive convention floor showcasing the latest in playgrounds, sports equipment, and so much more. This year, NRPA held its 47th Annual Congress in Houston, Texas from October 8-10, 2013. As with years past, Cal Poly RPTA sent a delegation to represent what has become one of the country’s premier undergraduate academic programs in recreation, parks, and tourism management. This year, the group consisted of four faculty members and six students: Dr. Bill Hendricks, Dr. Brian Greenwood, new professors Dr. Susan Mackenzie and Dr. Keri Schwab, and students Kevin Mould, Josh Pighetti, Emily Seropian, Taylor Matthews, Mike Higgins, and Jennifer Kiesewetter. Read more.

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By: Alyssa Beatton (RPTA ’16), Staff Writer

Editors note: In the Spring/Summer 2012 edition of "The Report," we featured Jess Dudek and her work with professional baseball in Australia ("Alumni Spotlight: Home Runs in Australia"). Her story intrigued us then, and it inspires us now...

Jess poses during the World Series parade

Most people working in the world of sports dream about landing a job working with their favorite team. A few of them, such as RPTA alumna Jess Dudek, get an opportunity that goes beyond dreams - working with her favorite team the year they bring home the World Series title.

After graduating from Cal Poly with a concentration in sport management in December 2009, Dudek worked hard at a number of jobs before taking on her current position with the Boston Red Sox. Her career path took her to several sports organizations, including Cal Poly Athletics and the San Luis Obispo Blues locally, and outside the area as well with the Sacramento River Cats Triple minor league affiliate and even marketing positions for professional baseball teams in Australia. Read more.

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By: Ari Kamp (RPTA ’15), Staff Writer

Dr. Mac river surfing

One of RPTA’s newest faculty additions is Dr. Susan Mackenzie, aka Dr. Mac. She is a self-described Kiwi (having spent almost 10 years in New Zealand), soccer player, tour guide, traveler, Spanish speaker, river surfer, researcher, sport psychology enthusiast, and proud new member of the RPTA family. Dr. Mackenzie has a wide range of talents and experiences that she is excited to bring to her classes and the department as a whole.

Dr. Mackenzie has been very busy living an adventurous life, so busy that it is a difficult task to compile her life accomplishments and experiences into a single introduction. Dr. Mac was born and raised in Minnesota before moving out west to attend Pomona College where she acquired her B.A. in psychology. As a psychology student, she was originally studying mental illnesses, but became more interested in positive psychology, or well-being and optimal functioning, which she explains as the study of what makes individuals and communities flourish. She felt compelled to find a way to combine her interest in psychology and passion for recreation and adventure. Ultimately, she aimed to facilitate optimal experiences in tourism and recreation settings that would be fun and healthy for participants. Read more.

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By: Alyssa Beatton (RPTA ’16), Staff Writer

Kyle pitches for the Canadians

Cal Poly baseball player Kyle Anderson returned from the minor leagues last fall to finish his degree in Recreation, Parks, and Tourism Administration.

Anderson came to Cal Poly in 2009 and was one of the baseball team’s pitchers for four seasons. His senior year was his best and most memorable to date, as he made all of his starts and finished the season with a 10-1 record. Following his senior season at Cal Poly, Anderson was disappointed when he was not drafted by a Major League team. But, opportunity presented itself when the Toronto Blue Jays invited Anderson to play for their minor league team. For the past two years, Anderson has been playing single A ball with the Vancouver Canadians, helping the team win the championship both years. Read more.

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By: Ari Kamp (RPTA ’15), Staff Writer

Katie mountain climbingKatie Draeger, an RPTA alumna from nearby Nipomo, grew up surfing the waters of the Central Coast and never wanting to leave. Little did she know that one day she would take that love of surfing to the Southern Hemisphere for a sea kayaking adventure off the coastline of Patagonia. Draeger’s route through school and work have thus far been anything but ordinary, and she has the attitude, experiences, and degree to show for it. When it was time to select a college, Draeger did not have to look far for a university that enabled her to earn a degree doing what she loved. After a friend suggested the RPTA major, Draeger did a little research of her own and knew without a doubt that this was the place for her. Read more.



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By: Kevin Mould (RPTA ’14), Editor

Rho Phi Lambda symbolRho Phi Lambda, the Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration (RPTA) major’s honors fraternity, is proud to present the 8th Annual Career Development Fair on March 14, 2014. The Career Fair will be held in the Performing Arts Center Pavilion or Recreation Center on Cal Poly’s campus from 10:00am to 1:00pm. Appetizers and refreshments will be served. There is no cost to attend or host a booth at this event.

For RPTA students as well as other majors who are encouraged to attend, this career fair provides an opportunity to connect with those in our field who are hiring or recruiting interns or employees.

The career fair provides industry partners with the opportunity to meet with talented and motivated students who are dedicated to the development of effective leadership and carry a Learn by Doing philosophy that translates well in the workplace. Read more.

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By: Kevin Mould (RPTA ’14), Editor

Each new school year brings with it a flurry of activity for RPTA’s two major student organizations; the RPTA club and the Rho Phi Lambda Honor Society. With new leadership, both clubs started the year off strong by volunteering at the Morro Bay Harbor Festival, an annual event on the city’s embarcadero that featured a sampling of the Central Coast’s seafood, beer, wine, arts, and entertainment. While RPTA club volunteers helped coordinate the volunteer tent under the supervision of club president Josh Pighetti, Rho Phi Lambda members and president Kevin Mould lead the charge to conduct a visitor survey to assist the festival with future marketing. 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.

Dr. Keri Schwab brings her journalism experience to the newsletter and will serve as the assistant faculty advisor for Academic Year 2013-2014.

The editor for 2013-2014 is Kevin Mould (RPTA '14). After several years as a staff writer, this is Kevin's first year as editor. Thanks for stepping up, Kevin!

The staff writers for "The Report" are all new members, including Heidi Reighard (RPTA '14), Ari Kamp (RPTA '15), Alyssa Beatton (RPTA '16), & Anna Bach (RPTA '17). Read more about the staff.

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