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Summer 2018 Newsletter

Live. Protect. Explore.

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

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Dr. Bill Hendricks, Department Head

Dr. Bill Hendricks welcome for newsletter

As we wrap up the 2017-18 academic year, it is clearer than ever that our faculty is on the right track in developing a contemporary academic program that emphasizes conceptual, theoretical and Learn by Doing applications based on structured experiences, experience design and the experience economy. While we are seeing steady enrollment growth in our major at Cal Poly -- which can be attributed, in part, to our willingness to never be satisfied with the status quo -- other hospitality and recreation, parks and tourism programs are seeing a decline in enrollment or a significant shift in student interests and demand. We are ahead of the curve, and our student, faculty and program activities since winter quarter demonstrate the successful approach in our transition in curriculum development and student learning.

Three of the alumni and intern articles that you will read in this edition of the newsletter highlight this shift. First, Chloe Gable’s successful internship with Wasserman Media Group’s Action-Sports Division led to a full-time offer of employment with the agency that was influenced by courses she took, including Experiential Marketing and Experience Program Design. Secondly, Kat Porter, a full-time experience coordinator, was hired directly out of an internship with Blueboard, a company that provides experiential employee rewards for its clients. Finally, Maddy Gaddy is applying her experiential marketing and event planning skills at Bloguettes, a marketing and branding company.

Also in this newsletter, don’t miss reading about new endeavors, such as the experiential marketing panel the department hosted winter quarter, which attracted approximately 225 students and faculty and comprised leading industry experts from George P. Johnson, Cisco and Salesforce. Moreover, Professor Brian Greenwood and I attended the Experience Management Summit in Salt Lake City. More than 7,000 professionals from segments of nearly every sector of our economy also attended.

Although we are forging paths to new horizons, we also firmly believe in the traditions of our past. Please join me in congratulating this year’s Outstanding Alumnae Award winner, Molly Cano, Cal Travel Emerging Leaders Kristi Walters and Sara Stinson, and our numerous scholarship recipients. Please also be sure to read about the success of the 2018 EIM auction and dinner; the latest Rho Phi Lambda professional development activities; RPTA 412: Adventure Travel and Tourism trip to Costa Rica; and our student and faculty participation in the Visit California Outlook Forum, the California Park and Recreation Society Annual Conference and the Cal Travel Summit.

In closing, I hope your summer is one full of enlightening experiences, unique travel destinations, and memories that shape your future. See you in the fall!

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EIM 2018 Annual Auction and Dinner

Junior Geri Pirkle and Junior Perry Nalle Staff Writers

This year’s Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department’s auction and dinner certainly lived up to its theme, “Light Up the Night,” and was a highlight of winter quarter for students and their families. Held Feb. 24, 2018, at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach, the gala event exceeded the department’s fundraising goal of $50,000. EIM Auction Committee at The Cliffs Resort Pismo BeachFunds will provide student professional development, and faculty and staff professional development opportunities.

EIM Student Committee MembersWith nine event sponsors and three department sponsors, this was truly a collaborative industry-academia event. Beginning in the spring of 2017, more than 20 students started to plan, design and manage all aspects of the event, honing the skills they learned in the classroom. This involved setting goals and objectives, selecting the site, developing the theme, designing the event, choosing food and beverage options, handling event logistics, budgeting and managing vendors. Department lecturer and professional event planner Amber Karson mentored the students, whose involvement provided an excellent Learn by Doing opportunity.

Students completely transformed The Cliffs ResortRegistration desk at the Cliffs Resort EIM Dinner and Auction into an elegant space, complete with twinkling lights and sparkling tablecloths. The night began with a VIP reception and silent auction at which attendees could bid on a variety of items, including SLO Blues’ and Los Angeles Dodgers’ tickets, a one-night stay at The Cliffs Resort and an excursion with Santa Margarita Adventures. 

Guests then moved to the dining room and began their three-course plated dinner, catered by The Cliffs Resort. Attendees enjoyed a promotional video featuring the EIM Department, created by junior Sam Snowden. Student speakers featured junior Kevin Rubow, senior Halie Pruneda (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’18) and senior Ellie Erickson as they shared recent experiences and opportunities they’ve enjoyed, thanks to support and funding from the department.

Join us in recognizing an important 2018 sponsor, Launch, Inc. for their vital gift of engagement with the Experience Industry Management Department in support of student professional development. Students have attended professional development opportunities such as the Visit California Outlook Forum, the California Travel Summit, the California Park & Recreation Society Annual Conference, the Northern and Southern California Hospitality Career Expos, and meetings with executives and behind the scenes tours with donor organizations.

Auctioneer Steve Haworth ignited the room with an exciting live auction featuring such items as tickets to Disneyland with a stay in Anaheim, a Paso Robles’ private distillery tour, a cocktail-making lesson and stay at the Allegretto Vineyard Resort, and a seven-night vacation at the Grand Pacific Resorts chain of hotels.

Aimee Nalle, a parent of a student in the department, said the event gave her a sense of belonging. “It was great to feel part of the EIM community in such a tangible way,” she February 23 - 2019 next auction date

EIM Professor Brian Greenwood shared, “our annual auction and dinner benefits our department directly and is a fabulous time to engage with faculty, staff, students, alumni, parents, friends and industry partners”.

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RPTA 412:  Adventure Travel and Tourism in Costa Rica

Senior Kevin Rubow Staff Writer

RPTA412 Adventure Tourism Class travels to Costa RicaExperience pura vida! Homestays, sloaths, tree climbing, tubing down rivers, hummingbirds, and swimming in water falls were just some of the adventures that RPTA 412: Adventure Travel and Tourism in Costa Rica experienced this past spring break in beautiful Costa Rica.  Students met during winter quarter to prepare for the week long ‘pura vida – pure life’ adventure and experienced Costa Rica learning about the culture and adventure tourism in a highly sustainable country. 

Kevin Rubow, a student in the course, stated that “I doubt that I will ever have such an exciting week again in my life. We packed so much into one short week that I thought it might be hard to remember all that we did. However, each experience was so unique and memorable, that I know I will never forget a single one of them.”  Students had the opportunity to stay with a Costa Rican family, also known as Ticos the first few nights in San Jose.  San Jose also included a tourism panel of professionals, tree climbing and planting trees with Costa Rica Outward Bound, and a service learning project at a local orphanage.  The group then headed to the beach for a day of fun before driving up to stay for a few nights in the cloud forest of Monteverde, where they spent two nights in a biological reserve. This included two guided nature hikes (one at night) and viewing incredible flora and fauna of Costa Rica.students that traveled to Costa Rica spring break

After the cloud forest, the next stop was La Fortuna which is a popular tourist area in Costa Rica with a huge church located in the town square’s park. The group spent two nights in a beautiful resort in La Fortuna just a short distance from Mount Arenal.  A guided hike around the volcano, tubing down a river, and swimming in a waterfall were some of the highlights in La Fortuna. 

The experience concluded with final stay with Costa Rican families before heading back home.  The students concluded their educational experience with a 2-unit class in the spring debriefing the trip and writing research papers.  The entire experience (from January to May) was extremely impactful for everyone involved.

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Experience Management Summit

Junior Perry Nalle Staff Writer

In March 2018, Professors Bill Hendricks and Brian Greenwood traveled to Salt Lake City to attend the X4 Experience Management Summit, which attracted 7,000 people interested in learning more about customer service and the customer experience, as well as how to use data in decision-making for business and marketing.  

X Conference QualtricsPut on by Qualtrics, the conference focused on customer experience and customer engagement. Qualtrics aims to revolutionize customer experience in a data-driven way and empower corporate, educational and health care organizations to gather and use data to create meaningful experiences. “Data is driving everything,” Hendricks said. “Whether it’s a fan’s experience, a brand’s engagement or a nonprofit organization's mission -- it's all being driven by data analytics. An understanding of data can create a foundation to provide an extraordinary experience."

Hendricks said that the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department’s curriculum is adjusting to reflect industry trends. “We are creating a data analytics course for all our students and we are enhancing the evaluation and assessment course to include more contemporary research methods.”

The Qualtrics Experience Management Summit touched nearly all sectors of society including: health care, insurance and utilities, professional sports, mortgage companies, ranches, school districts, engineering companies, non-profit and public recreation agencies, hotels, and more. All organizations are using data in one form or another, and students need to develop knowledge, skills, and abilities in this growing area before graduating.

Dr Greenwood attends professional conference X4 Experience featuring QualtricsAt X4, Greenwood enjoyed a talk given by Jake Reed, president of Sporting KC. Reed is the youngest president of a national sports franchise and discussed the level of experience needed to create high value for return customers. Another standout speaker was Magic Johnson. “Johnson is not just a legendary athlete, he is also president of basketball operations for the Los Angeles Lakers and part owner of the Los Angeles Dodgers,” Hendricks said. “And while Johnson cares about the competitive attitude of businesses, he also expressed the importance of being full of gratitude, learning from mistakes and contributing personal success to those that have helped.

“Sports management has been customer driven for a long time,” Greenwood continued. “Experience marketing is not new to this field because experiential elements are so crucial to the way customers relate to sports franchises.” In recent years, many sports franchises have realized that experience customer management is critical to their brand.

For Greenwood, the conference reaffirmed EIM Department values and the decision to change the department name. “Our name change has opened up the world to us,” he said. “We now have the ability to network to any entity in the world.”

The new name clarifies department goals and leads to a brighter future for professors and students alike. Hendricks says that EIM teaches students how to “take a passion and turn it into a career,” and the X4 Experience Summit reaffirmed the uniqueness of Cal Poly’s EIM Department.

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The Experiential Marketing Panel

Senior Shelby Krebs Staff Writer

Experiential Marketing - Chris Meyer, GPJ, Alex Sapiz, Cisco, and Catherine Simmons, SalesforceThree accomplished and insightful panelists who work in the field of experiential marketing came to Cal Poly in February 2018 to share their knowledge with the students, faculty and staff of the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department.

Chris Meyer, CEO of George P. Johnson; Alex Sapiz, senior director, Global Sales Events and Talent for Cisco Systems; and Catherine Simmons, vice president of strategic events for Salesforce, each gave engaging and encouraging stories about their personal career journey.

“The experiential marketing panel informed me about what employees at Salesforce do daily, as well as how they plan for large-scale events such as Dreamforce,” said junior Camille Manese. “I enjoyed hearing their personal perspectives of their jobs and how they worked their way up to their current positions.”

The professionals also showed pictures and videos depicting what it’s like to work in the ever-exciting and growing experiential marketing field.

Chris Meyer CEO George P Johnson addresses student questions.The panelists held an extensive Q&A session, during which they gave advice and tips to students. Junior Katie Essayan said, “I went because I am extremely interested in working for a corporation in San Francisco. Planning internal events at a place like Salesforce or Cisco would be the goal. Listening to their job experiences really inspired me and made me even more confident in the career path I've chosen.”

The panelists excited and inspired students who are looking to dive into the field. “Going to the panel discussion on experiential marketing helped emphasize the importance of our industry moving from customer service into experiences,” said senior Haley Cahill. “I learned that experiences can be made out of anything and can be applied to all elements of my future career. The speakers also stressed that nothing will replace the importance of an experience, so this is the perfect time to be entering our field.”

EIM students expressed gratitude for the opportunity to learn from these professionals and for the networks they are creating at Cal Poly.

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Students Attend 2018 CPRS Conference in Long Beach

Junior Reva Chadha

During winter quarter, a group of faculty and students attended the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) Conference in Long Beach, California, where they visited an exhibition of parks and recreation vendors and attended educational sessions on everything from leadership to climate change, said junior Brett Walsh.

The students also worked the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department booth, where they explained to attendees the reasons for the department's name change and how EIM demonstrates Learn by Doing. For Walsh, the highlight of the trip was the variety of educational sessions. His favorite taught him about leadership, recreation trends, nature programs, climate change and parks politics.

Students also attended socials with alumni and other professionals in the field, which was a great opportunity to network for future internship positions or a job or just toCal Poly EIM Students attend CPRS Conference 2018 learn from alumni. “We made connections that could become valuable resources in the future, and the conference had something for everyone, not just those wanting to go into (public) parks,” Walsh said.

He, along with his peers, is grateful to Cal Poly’s EIM Department for “generously providing us the opportunity to experience this as students.” He also noted how beneficial the networking is and how valuable the education is at these conferences.

After the conference, thanks to the connections of EIM lecturer Amber Karson, the Cal Poly group got a behind-the-scenes tour of 24 Carrots, one of the most well-known catering and event companies in Southern California. Carizza Rose Villa, Dr. Marni Goldenberg with Family receives award at CPRS 2018director of marketing and public relations, led students on a tour of 24 Carrots’ new production warehouse, state-of-the art kitchen facilities and design center. Afterward, the group discussed current design and marketing strategies with Creative Director Arpi Torosyna  and Jewel Butler, sales director for Found Rentals, an event rental company based in Orange County.

Also at the CPRS Conference, Cal Poly EIM Professor Marni Goldenberg received an award recognizing her more than 14 years of research that often applies to community parks and recreation. “Dr. G’s research has been a great representation of our program, and she creates a unique learning environment in her classes that really embodies the Learn by Doing mentality. She makes learning an experience in itself,” Walsh said.  

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Students Attend Cal Travel Summit 2018 in San Diego

Always striving to immerse themselves in their passions, students in the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department attended the Cal Travel Summit in San Diego May 29-June 1 to learn about trends in the tourism industry, including economic and policy changes, sharing economies like Airbnb, and how the industry is addressing homelessness in major cities.

Blair Orlando, who was part of a group of four Cal Poly EIM students in attendance, said the general and breakout sessions were full of information that, as a third-year student, she was better able to understand and ask questions.

Senior Megan Reissig also enjoyed the sessions and said she learned about “all the advocacy and government work that goes on behind the scenes in the tourism industry.” She was impressed with the work that organizations do to lobby legislators and pass bills to help tourism and the state economy.

Cal Poly EIM Student Scholarship Winner Megan ReissigWhile there, Reissig was awarded a Cal Travel Summit Scholarship, which funds promising students’ travel to attend the conference. After receiving the award, people congratulated her, “which made it easy to start a conversation and network,” she said.

For all EIM students in attendance, networking was a highlight. “The overall benefit was meeting and networking with new people, learning about current trends and issues in the tourism industry, and having a good time in San Diego,” Reissig said.

Two EIM alumnae were honored for their stellar careers in the tourism industry. Kristi Walters (RPTA '15) and Sarah Stinson (RPTA, ’09) received the Cal Travel Summit Emerging Leaders Under 30 Award.

Walters is the operations program manager for the San Diego-based destination management organization Access Destination Services. She helps develop unique tourism experiences with hotels, venues and entertainment services, and works to provide services for third-party companies coming to San Diego.  

Stinson is a sales and conference services manager and social media coordinator for Humphrey’s Half Moon Inn in San Diego. She started eight years ago in sales and catering, but as a true EIM alumna who values Learn by Doing, she jumped into the then new frontier of social media. Taking courses in web development, Stinson developed marketing materials and a social media strategy for the inn and quickly moved into a management position. It’s no surprise that the Cal Travel Summit selected her as an Emerging Leader Under 30.

The EIM Department congratulations both women!

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Cal Poly at the 2018 Visit California Outlook Forum 

Junior Reva Chadha Staff Writer

Cal Poly EIM students travel to Visit California Outlook Forum 2018In February 2018, eight students in the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department joined four faculty members to attend the Visit California Outlook Forum 2018, held at Disney’s Grand California in Anaheim.

The two-day conference, hosted by Visit California, provided students an opportunity  network with professionals in the industry, attend seminars and hear special guest speakers from the Disney Resort, Google, U.S. Travel Association, and more, according to senior Olivia Van Hoy.

Junior Megan Bonwell said she enjoyed "learning about the behind-the-scenes of Visit California and all the work that goes into marketing campaigns and other experiences to draw tourists to California." She was also able to see the relevance of EIM courses in evaluation methods and financial management. "It was amazing to see the statistics they keep on tourism in the state and the amount of money tourism generates toward the state economy," she said.

Cal Poly EIM students travelled to Visit California Outlook Forum 2018Both Van Hoy and Bonwell appreciated the professional development and network opportunities provided by the EIM Department. “These experiences give students an opportunity to see what [our industry] is like in the real world and offers many networking opportunities with professionals working in the industry," Van Hoy said. She especially liked seeing the Poppy Awards, which “honors organizations and individuals that embody the California spirit.” This year, Visit SLOCAL, San Luis Obispo's tourism marketing firm, was one of the winning organizations.

Seeing how different organizations collaborate with or complement each other wasCal Poly EIM Students travelled to Visit California Outlook Forum 2018 also interesting for students. “I was able to network with people from various areas of the tourism industry to see how they all come together to promote California collectively and how it takes cooperation among all of them,” Bonwell said. 

The Visit California Outlook Forum is an annual event that Van Hoy urges future students to attend. “Utilize all the networking time you can,” she advised, “and soak in all the information you get!”

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Spotlight on Intern and Recent Grad: Chloe Gabel

Senior Haley Cahill Staff Writer

Intern Chloe GabelChloe Gabel (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’18) spent spring quarter 2018 in an internship at Wasserman Media Group, an agency that represents and manages relationships with talents, brands and properties. The agency provides the resources for branding, marketing, creative design, licensing and public relations to support the careers of athletes, broadcasters and social media influencers.

Gabel, who worked in the Action-Sports Division in Carlsbad, California, said the best thing about working for Wasserman was, “There is no typical day!” She had the opportunity to develop competitive analyses for athletes and cross channel management work for brands, as well as work on research and insights for newly signed athletes. One of her favorite parts about the internship was meeting with visiting clients, which included professional golfers and snowboarders.

In a culture-centric agency such as Wasserman, it is vital that employees stay current and hold meetings and make phone calls to discuss current events in the sports and entertainment world.

Gabel emphasizes how important it is to make connections, especially in that industry -- something, she said, she learned from her studies in the EIM Department. “Reaching out, meeting new people and asking questions goes a long way,” she stressed.

Gabel is also thankful for the numerous group projects within the EIM curriculum because she believes those communication strategies and social skills set her apart and helped land her the internship.

Wasserman is a thriving example of experiential marketing. Gabel’s projects in RPTA 370: Experiential Marketing Strategies, helped prepare her for the execution of large projects that she undertook throughout her internship. Specifically, she helped create an experiential campaign for Estee Lauder that will take place at Stagecoach, an outdoor country music festival.

Gabel said she also learned that people love helping others, especially college students. She advises current recreation, parks and tourism administration majors who are seeking an internship or job opportunity to “reach out to someone doing what you want to do and ask them how they got there."  

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Connections are Key
Recent Alumna Talks About Finding the Right Career Experience

Senior Haley Cahill Staff Writer

Recent alumna Katherine Porter (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’17) is using her critical thinking skills and her experience working in teams to help create lifelong memories for employees nationwide and in more than 20 countries around the globe.

Porter works for San Diego-based Blueboard, an employee rewards program that creates memorable, personal and shareable experiences that companies can give to reward top employees. She began her tenure at Blueboard as an experience coordinator intern, working with clients through a company’s human resources department to book local experiences such as surfing lessons, or more luxury travel escapes to such faraway locations as Iceland or Bali.   

Now working full time as an experience coordinator, Porter and her team take care of the details that come with planning extravagant events so that “all the clients have to do is show up and enjoy themselves!” Blueboard strives to reward employees through valuable experiences that challenge them to escape their comfort zone or embrace a passion. The company values new experiences over monetary rewards, something that resonates with the ideals of many students and faculty in Cal Poly’s Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department.

Porter’s time as an EIM student provided her the necessary experience to work in the constantly evolving and collaborative environment of a startup company. She noted that the lessons she learned in her major’s group projects, like the ability to adapt and work well with others, has helped her succeed. Porter advises current recreation, parks and tourism administration majors seeking internships to be patient. “If you think there is no job or company that is right for you, maybe you just haven’t found it yet! Don’t stress too much; every position will teach you something.”

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Molly Cano Named Outstanding Alumna

Junior Anelise Wyandt Staff Writer

San Luis Obispo’s tourism manager Molly Cano RPTA ’06) was presented with the EIM Outstanding Alumni award at the department’s 2018 auction and dinner. Cano thanked the department for the positive influence it had on her as an undergraduate and for its continuing influence even now, a dozen years later.

Outstanding Alumna Molly CanoDuring her time at Cal Poly, Cano was involved with a variety of career-related opportunities, including partnering with the Special Olympics in RPTA 210: Program Design and helping plan the annual auction and dinner. She also attended her first professional conference while still a student.

Cano is grateful that the faculty emphasized the importance of students networking with prospective employers in a professional setting. Those connections paid off, she said. Even before she graduated, she had been offered and had accepted a full-time position in the hospitality industry.

In addition to conferences, Cano said that the recreation, parks and tourism administration major fosters personal growth for students by instilling the confidence to engage in professional networking and building a “can-do,” Learn by Doing mentality. Cano applied that mentality during her senior year when she used her internship to ease the transition from college into a career and to cross-train within the company to learn more and potentially move up.

In her role as tourism manager for the city of San Luis Obispo, Cano works on local events, such as Concerts in the Plaza, and travels to different cities to promote San Luis Obispo as a premiere tourism destination.

She stays in the tourism industry because of the sense of fulfillment it brings. “There’s something special about the work we get to do,” she said. She feels a sense of pride knowing she gets to shape experiences in the community that can help people become who they are meant to be. She credits some of the amazing opportunities she’s had to being open to new experiences, even when she isn’t looking for them. Cano looks forward to the future -- both her future and that of the Experience Industry Management Department.

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Rho Phi Lambda

Senior Shelby Krebs Staff Writer

Rho Phi Lambda Winter InitiationCal Poly’s chapter of Rho Phi Lambda, an honor society for students with high academic achievement, initiated nine new members this year at an event held at the SeaCrest OceanFront Hotel in Pismo Beach, California on March 7.

Rho Phi members participate in professional development trips, attend industry-related conferences, and have special opportunities to network with guest speakers. “New members can look forward to local community-service involvement as well as the opportunity to take on more leadership and responsibility by serving as an officer or by being on the committee to help plan the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Career Fair next year,” said member Joanne Kirkby.

Rho Phi Lambda development tripEvery year, the Rho Phi Lambda group takes a professional development trip to learn from industry experts. In March 2018, the group traveled to Downtown Disneyland, where Jason Alexander, an EIM advisory board member, led a tour and discussed upcoming events and additions to the Disney experience. Students were also able to go on the new VOID Virtual Reality Stars Wars attraction.

Later members went to the ESPN Zone to talk to Colleen Nettekoven, Downtown Disney marketing and events manager. She spoke to the group about the marketing plan for Downtown Disneyland. The student group also spoke to Britt Holmberg, manager of Downtown Disney Business Relations. The students asked questions and gained valuable advice for their future careers in the field.

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2018 End of Year Celebration and Scholarship Recognition

As the school year ended, the Experience Industry Management club hosted its annual end-of-the-year awards reception, which this year included a picnic and tickets to a SLO Blues baseball game including a lunch voucher. The EIM Department faculty awarded student scholarships and the club recognized senior superlatives.

Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department recognizes several hardworking students with scholarships generously created by donations from businesses, alumni, former faculty and families.

This year, the department awarded nine scholarships to deserving students during the 2018 End-of-Year Celebration.

The scholarship recipients included:

George P. Johnson Community Service and Leadership Scholarship: Serena von Hartmann

John S. Maher Scholarship Endowment: Lorraine Kirby, Madison Moore, Haley Cahill

Chester O. and Avis J. McCorkle Memorial Scholarship Endowment: Emma Schmidt

Pismo Coast Village Memorial Scholarship: Kevin Rubow

Jerry Lee Frederick Scholarship Endowment: Christine Nelson

Cynthia Moyer and John Bullaro Scholarship: Dante Gamble

Ashley D. Richardson Scholarship Endowment: Joanne Lodato

Outstanding Senior: Sage Speak and Brittany Tierney

Outstanding Contribution: senior Grace Roman and senior Jo Kirkby

Outward Bound Scholarship: Tanner Rhoads and Kensy Nadler

Tanner Rhoades and Kensy Nadler were both given an Outward Bound scholarship to participate in an outdoor leadership course this summer.

Four additional students, were recognized for their overall contributions, positive attitude and engagement with the department.

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Commencement 2018

Prior to the main commencement ceremony on June 16, 2018, the Experience Industry Management Department (EIM) held a festive reception for graduates, faculty, families and friends at The Cliffs Resort in Pismo Beach, California.  Along with the EIM faculty, student graduates posed for their class photo, enjoyed beverages and food – all surrounded by happy families and lively music. Graduate posters here >>

Senior student Sage Speak designed and implemented the reception event.This event was designed and implemented by graduating senior Sage Speak. With the background of the beautiful Cliffs Resort, the department hosted a welcoming environment featuring great food and beverage from The Cliffs Resort, posters, lively music, center pieces and balloons, and . Thank you Sage for your professional 'learn by doing' event! 

The graduates’ hard work was celebrated by their proud families and faculty members, who wished the new graduates well in all future endeavors. The EIM Department is grateful for our shared experience and looks forward to staying connected to its new alumni!

Professor Jerusha Greenwood “Dr. Ru” addressed the group and spoke directly to the hearts of the graduates and families, many of whom were in tears when she finished her uplifting message. You can read Dr. Ru’s message below and also at this link.

"I Wish You Bravery" by Dr. "Ru" Jerusha  GreenwoodDr. Ru welcomes graduates and families with inspiring sweet words of wisdom

My hope for you as you continue - because nothing really ever ends - is that you find your bravery.

Store up your energy when the path before you is smooth and gentle, so when the slope is steep and the path is rocky, your bravery is not running on an empty stomach.

Be brave enough to recognize when the path you have chosen does not lead to your destination.

Be brave enough to draw your own map.

Be brave enough to know that destinations can sometimes be overrated.

Be brave when you set your alarm clock for your first day of work, and be brave when you hit “snooze” on the second.

Be brave enough to listen when your inner voice shouts “yes!”, and be brave enough to listen when it says “no.”

Be brave when the tide is against you, when your family asks “your job is what, now?”, and when the paychecks aren’t quite keeping you out of the “Ramen and Cheezits” diet, because the tide always turns, your family doesn’t always know best, and you know one day you’ll be ordering from the gourmet ramen menu.

Be brave enough to believe that you can learn how to change a flat tire, install your own towel rack, and balance your own books.

Be brave enough to know that when you are cold and sick and you want your mom or your dad or the person who was always there when you needed comfort: you are not alone. Most of us are only pretending we know what it means to be an adult.

Be brave when you realize being an adult is not a concept set in stone.

Be brave enough to play.

Be brave enough to cry.

Be brave enough to love.

Be brave enough to know that every experience is a gift, every gift is a door, and every door is a path for you to travel, a trail for you to hike, a game for you to play.

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Student Staff Writers

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

The Report would like to thank Jo Ann Lloyd, Cal Poly retired annuitant and previous editor of Cal Poly Magazine for her professional skills and mentoring.

Give back now

How do I give to Cal Poly's Experience Industry Management Department and the Recreation, Parks, & Tourism Administration Program?

Learn more

Give directly to Experience Industry Management

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