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Summer 2019 Newsletter

Live, Protect, Explore!

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

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By Dr. Bill Hendricks, Department Head

Bill and Maggie HendricksHave you ever wondered what Experience Industry Management Department faculty do during the summer? Backcountry and front-country adventures? Catching up on that novel sitting by the bedside for the last six months? Traveling to exotic locations? Learning a new leisure activity? Trying to hone skills in an old leisure activity? Going to concerts and festivals? Family time? It’s “summertime and the livin’ is easy,” right?

If we live the well-balanced life that we proselytize, there is a certain truth to these pursuits on any given day. However, this summer you are just as likely to encounter our faculty teaching at Shandong University in China; serving as a keynote speaker at the Meeting Professional International (MPI) World Education Congress in Toronto, Canada; mentoring students in the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program; supervising interns; preparing for fall quarter classes; teaching summer courses; conducting research; writing articles; grant writing; presenting research papers at the Travel and Tourism Research Association Conference in Melbourne, Australia; launching podcasts; doing consulting; speaking at the International Live Event Association Conference in Minneapolis, Minnesota; attending the Corporate Event Marketing Association Summit in Las Vegas; participating in a Cal Travel board of directors meeting and legislative rally day; planning curriculum; and more.

It is not always easy livin’, but it keeps us fresh, energized, motivated, and ready to start fall quarter on all cylinders. And heck, we need to live up to that “No. 3 ranking in the country” reputation.

In closing, I hope you enjoy reading the articles in this issue of the newsletter highlighting the many successes of our students, faculty, staff, and alumni. As always, wishing you a summer full of memorable places and meaningful experiences.

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The Sky's the Limit 2019 Recap and Save the Date for the 2020 Annual Auction and Dinner

By Kindra Fulton ('21) auction committee member

2019 Auction Dinner committeeUnder the tutelage and direction of faculty member Amber Karson, an event committee of 20 Experience Industry Management (EIM) students, planned and executed the 2019 EIM Auction and Dinner, successfully capturing the Sky’s the Limit theme. On Feb. 23, the Multi-Activity Center on campus was transformed into a whimsical scene filled with hot air balloons and infused with a sense of nature and the sky. The event helped raise over $55,000 through the live and silent auctions as well as in-kind donations. These funds will be used by the department to support student and program development.

Guests enjoyed a delicious meal by Field to Table Catering and Events while witnessing firsthand Cal Poly’s Learn by Doing spirit taking place within the department. Anthonia Edgren (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’13; M.A. Education, ’16) was recognized as the department’s outstanding alumna during the evening’s festivities.

2019 EIM Auction DinnerMemorable auction items included a week long stay at the Royal Aloha Vacation Club in Marbella, Spain; a seven-night stay at the Grand Pacific Resort in Kauai, Hawaii; two one-day lift tickets at Sugar Bowl; a weekend trip to Las Vegas, Nevada; four VIP Live Nation concert tickets; four tickets to the Emirates VIP Suite at Dodgers Stadium; four one-day Disneyland Resort Park Hopper Tickets; and a hot air balloon ride in Napa Valley. There was also an array of silent auction items, such as wine tour passes, gift cards, signed memorabilia, and more. The student committee thanks all the generous donors and supporters, without whom the auction would not have been possible.

2019 EIM Auction Dinner“The EIM Auction and Dinner provides the perfect opportunity to apply the knowledge and skills we learn in classes to an actual event,” said Kindra Fulton, Recreation, Parks and Tourism, '21. “My experience working on this event in 2019 helped further develop my leadership skills, and I am looking forward to serving as the finance and administration chairperson for the 2020 event."

In addition to raising money to support faculty and student development, the annual auction and dinner is also an opportunity to pay tribute to the remarkable alumni, students, parents and industry friends who contribute to the department’s success.

Proceeds from the event benefit EIM students and the department. Money raised EIM Annual Auction Dinner 2019from previous auctions and dinners has contributed to student success by: 

  • Supporting student and faculty attendance at conferences, industry meetings, and study abroad opportunities.
  • Hosting renowned executives, who can alert students and faculty to the latest industry trends.
  • Implementing the Learn by Doing motto with direct field experience.
  • Offering scholarships for the major’s international study courses.
  • Supporting faculty applied research projects.
  • Supporting ongoing efforts of the Experience Industry Management Advisory Council.
  • Partnering with San Luis Obispo Blues Baseball and Junior Giants youth programs.
  • Providing academic scholarships.
  • Purchasing computer software and analytics programs to enhance student learning.
  • Developing partnerships with international universities in our discipline.

Support the EIM Department’s student programs. Come see our event planning and experience design skills in action,  and save the date for the EIM 2020 Auction and Dinner at The Hotel SLO on February 22, 2020.

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Experience Industry Management Donor Honor Roll 2018-19


EIM Appreciates Donor Honor Roll 18-19

The EIM students, faculty, and staff are thankful for the generosity of our donors and sponsors over the past year. This support allows us to reach new heights in student and program development.

Experience Industry Management remains in extremely high demand, as one of the most impacted majors in the College of Agriculture, Food & Environmental Sciences with a fall 2019 enrollment of over 340 undergraduate students. Our most recent 5-year graduation rate of 90% is among the highest rates of any major at Cal Poly.

Due to the assistance we receive from our friends, industry partners and alumni, we have been able to increasingly develop creative learning experiences and endeavors within the program.

We would like to acknowledge these individuals and organizations for their invaluable and continuing support.

Thank you as you have been instrumental in developing an award-winning academic major and department, considered one of the premiere programs in the country. 











































Cal Poly EIM Give Here






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Summer Undergraduate Research Program:
Offers Students Unique Opportunities


EIM student participating in SURPIt may be summer vacation for some, but for several faculty members and students, new projects are underway. Thanks to funding from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences, four faculty members and eight students in the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department are engaged with the Summer Undergraduate Research Program (SURP) from late June to end of August.

Professors Keri Schwab, Andrew Lacanienta, Kevin Lin, and Marni Goldenberg are mentoring students on research projects. Students started working with faculty before the end of the academic year to set up their projects and will gather and analyze data during the summer months. The project is a great way for students to learn more about the research process.

EIM Student participating in SURPJody Maddigan (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’20) and Taylor Eagan (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’20) are working with Schwab on a mixed methods study on attention restoration. Their research includes an experiment on the impact of mobile phone use in green or barren spaces on restoring attentional fatigue. They will conduct interviews asking students to bring in photos of restorative indoor and outdoor spaces and will discuss what features in those spaces are appealing and restorative. The overall purpose is to understand ways to improve college student mental health through small, green spaces.

EIM Student Morgan Cutter participating in SURPMaddigan wanted to participate in SURP in order to, “engage with her academics more and to user it as an outlet to know professors outside the classroom!"  She is looking forward to doing hands-on work and learning about her topic as the summer progresses.

Terra Bilhorn (Environmental Management & Protection, ’21) and EIM student June Murray are working with Goldenberg. Their study looks at Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) land managers and “thru-hikers.” The researchers will examine the effect that increased use of the PCT has had on the environment and hiker experience. The goal is to explore how human interactions and regulatory factors, such as rangers and permitting, affect hikers’ overall experiences. Hiker responses will be compared across several years to see if responses change.

Anelise Wyandt Nick Price - EIM Students participating in SURPLacanienta, Nicholas Price (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ‘21) and Anelise Wyandt (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ‘20) is continuing Lancanienta’s research into the theory of structured experiences. They will specifically be looking at the public-speaking experience and engagement.

Lin is working with two students on projects related to data and trade shows, his specialty area. Morgan Cutter (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ‘20) will look at the use of data analytics in the experience industry.

Lin's first research project with Cutter aims to examine common data analytics practices and value in the events industry. Through interviews and surveys with top companies in the events industry, this study will gain insights into applications of data analytics. This project can contribute to marketing research and act as a reference point for using and applying Kindra Fulton - EIM student participating in SURPdata that enhance event marketing strategies and business tactics. It also allows marketing researchers to investigate the diversity that data can provide in the events industry, primarily about consumer interactions within markets and the products they consume.

Lin’s second project, with Kindra Fulton (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ‘21), will examine ways to promote California specialty crops at trade shows.  This project will study the most effective trade show strategies for California specialty crop producers and producer groups. By way of interviews and surveys with California specialty crops producers, associations, government officials, and trade show organizers, the project aims to encourage more California specialty crop producers and producer groups to exhibit at trade shows, and to do so effectively.

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Spotlight on Alumna Julia Petit, Riverbank Recreation Supervisor

By Camille Manese ('20)

EIM Alumna Julia PetitCal Poly alumna Julia Petit (Recreation, Parks and Tourism, ‘16) has been serving as the recreation supervisor for Riverbank's Parks and Recreation Department since May 2018.

In her capacity, she has a number of responsibilities, including planning daily events and activities for various members of the community, scheduling staffing for these events, training staff for weeklong summer camps for kids, and planning the annual Riverbank Cheese and Wine Festival. It may seem daunting, but Petit says her staff is "experienced and cares about the programs they are a part of."

Petit embraces Learn by Doing daily. "It's tough at times," she said. "I’ve learned that taking risks opens you up to criticism and failure, but it’s also essential in order to grow and learn more about how to do something better".

EIM Alumna Julia PetitShe particularly enjoys seeing how the events she plans are making a difference in her community. "When parents have positive feedback about how their child benefited from a program, or when people show up to an event and they’re having a good time," that makes the work worth it, Petit said.

A sense of community is important to her and has been since she was a student at Cal Poly. During her time there, she was involved in organizations not only on campus, but all over San Luis Obispo County. Most of her involvement is a result of the opportunities that the RPTA professors and department provided her with. "At Cal Poly, my education was so much more comprehensive than just the classes I took and the degree I left with," Petit said. "I believe that prepared me the most for working in the field."

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Experience Our Industry Podcast Series

By Perry Nalle (’20)

Brian Greenwood EIM FacultyThis summer, Professor Brian Greenwood launched a podcast titled “Experience Our Industry,” which helps connect alumni, students and friends and partners of the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department. The first 10 podcasts, featuring professionals from throughout the experience industry, have been taped, and the podcasts are being launched through Podbean and across a number of podcast mediums. Episodes will air every two weeks and will be posted via social media and other outlets. Check out new episodes here >>

The target listeners are alumni as well as current and prospective students. “The podcast is a fantastic way for alumni to stay connected and to get students excited about the department and their future careers,” Greenwood said. “Experience Our Industry” predominantly features alumni from the program as well as from the vast array of industry partners from the EIM Department’s Advisory Council.

San Luis Obispo is not a metropolitan area, so faculty members have to be creative in connecting students with industry professionals. A podcast is one such creative outlet. “It’s important for students to hear from professionals working in the field, to see what they could do and where they could go,” Greenwood said. “And with what the department has done and continues to do with experience industry management, it’s important to stay connected to alumni and industry partners and help others to understand the breadth and depth of the experience industry.”

EI podcast logoThe podcast idea developed from Greenwood’s experience in developing podcasts for RPTA 160: Introduction to Sport Management, in which he showcased alumni who were working in the sport industry. After using pre-made podcasts from others who interviewed sport industry professionals, Greenwood wanted to connect sport management students to actual Cal Poly alumni. He started his own podcasts and began personally interviewing former students who’d taken RPTA 160. Positive student feedback helped empower Greenwood to consider expanding the podcasts to include all alumni from the department, and after pitching the idea and gaining support from Department Head Bill Hendricks, a new podcast was born. Logo was developed by EIM student Robbie Casee, (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, '19) during his Graphic Communication course.

In seeking to integrate Learn by Doing into the development of the podcast, Greenwood recruited and partnered with two students: Holly Benson (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’21) and Robbie Cassèe (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’19) to handle scheduling and logistics and logo design, respectively. In storyboarding, Greenwood wanted more than the standard “walk me through your resume” podcast design. He wanted to create a personal connection for the audience with each podcast guest by hearing them tell their story. Podcasts start with guests talking about where they are from, their home life, their parents, their siblings, and leading into their college years.

“I want every listener to be able to have a connection with that person, even if it’s just that they both attended Cal Poly,” Greenwood said. The podcasts are informative and digestible, lasting around 30 minutes each.

“If you love and value this program and your experience,” Greenwood says, “wouldn’t you want to stay connected to it? But, historically that’s been difficult. How do you stay connected and give back? Our annual auction and dinner and social media are two great ways to do so, but we have to come up with more ways to keep people connected with what they love and value. We hope this is one such outlet.”

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Intern Cassidy Shevlin - Wine, Music, and Hospitality

By Perry Nalle ('20)

EIM Intern Cassidy ShevlinHow does pouring wine, the grape harvest, and hospitality blend together for a unique internship? Just ask Cassidy Shevlin (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’19), experience industry management (EIM) student who interns at Talley Vineyards in Arroyo Grande, California, planning weddings, running social media, and pouring wine. At Cal Poly, she concentrated in hospitality and tourism management in addition to earning a minor in Spanish. The Spanish language knowledge proved useful while studying abroad and at her internship at Talley Vineyards, speaking with vineyard employees.

Shevlin has worked at Talley since she was a junior at Cal Poly, beginning as a tasting room assistant in June 2018. As the spring of her senior year approached, she asked her supervisor if Talley would be interested in partnering with a Cal Poly student who could assist with marketing and events. Most interns work on the harvest or administrative side, so Shevlin wanted to try something new when she asked about interning in events and marketing. The company responded positively, offering Shevlin a full-time internship position.

EIM Intern Cassidy ShevlinAt Talley Vineyards, Shevlin runs social media accounts and creates marketing materials to promote the vineyard and its events. She works as the events assistant in addition to helping customers in the tasting room when the days get busy. “I get to do a little bit of everything,” she said. “I am an extra hand to help with events. In the month of May there were 12 events, so there was a lot happening.” Running social media has also made her the vineyard’s unofficial photographer, attending all events on and off site, taking pictures and capturing moments.

When asked if her classes prepared her for her internship, Shevlin replied, “The customer service and hospitality-specific classes prepared me to work customer service, especially since I had never worked that industry before.” Classes made Shevlin comfortable working with different people from different backgrounds. “I wasn’t intimidated because I worked with so many people in my classes,” she said. Marketing, especially experiential marketing, directly taught her how to run a social media campaign. “And so many other classes helped in so many other ways,” she said.

While Shevlin would love to stay at Talley, her next steps include moving to Chile to immerse herself in Spanish culture and gain more hands-on experience in the hospitality and tourism industry. Shevlin’s dream is to work for music festivals. She might be able to combine her work experience with her dream job and work for a city implementing music into community events. Working to find “more ways to bring music to people would be so cool,” she said.

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Advisory Council Establishes Vibrant Mentoring Program

By Perry Nalle ('20)

The Experience Industry Management (EIM) Advisory Council began sharing its wealth of knowledge and experience in a one-on-one mentoring program with students this year, connecting EIM students with council members of similar interests for advising and career guidance.  

As part of the planning and programming for the spring 2019 EIM Advisory Council meeting, key council members developed a structured internal mentoring experience for selected students. Advisory Council mentoring leaders Karen Knight and Lisa Wanzenried initiated the discussion focusing on a culture of commitment for both the mentor and mentee. 

Taylor Eagan EIM StudentThis Learn by Doing leadership-developed program ensures mentoring competency by explaining how to be a mentor, how to find a mentor, how to create good mentoring, and how best to support mentoring. This skillset will serve EIM students well during their time on campus, in internships, and in their future careers in the experience industry. 

It  also is “an opportunity for advisory members and students to build one-to-one relationships with the intent to provide support and nurture development in key areas of professional and personal growth. The program provides a unique and varied resource for students to tap into, providing insights to support their journey,” said Lisa Wanzenried, vice president of business and market strategy at Grand Pacific Resorts.    

For mentors, the program is a way to offer meaningful guidance to up-and-coming professionals.  “From the perspective of the mentor, I believe the EIM Advisory Council members that are part of the program take away a greater sense of purpose as to their commitment as members of the council,” Wanzenried said. “The program provides opportunity for a deeper personal context to their experience as board members given the one-to-one relationship development.” 

Marcelle Hampton - GPJ with EIM Student Blair OrlandoBlair Orlando (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, '19) says her experience with the mentor program has been one-of-a-kind. My mentor, Megan Bleichner, Director, North American Marketing at Oracle Corp,. has been an outstanding support system and a major influence on my interest in career choices. 

In fact, I am currently working for George P. Johnson under two advisory council members: Advisory Council Chair Rodrigo Espinosa, Vice President, Latin America and Growth and Development; and Marcelle Hampton, Vice President, Account Management.”

Students were paired with mentors at an advisory council meeting during winter quarter. During a matchmaking session, Taylor Eagon (’20) was paired with Linda Sanpei of Parker Sanpei Lifestyle & Hospitality MarketingEagan, who is interested in wine tourism,  said, “Linda’s company and values lined up with my goals.”

The first time the two met for lunch, they discussed Eagan’s career goals, goals for the mentorship, and what Parker Sanpei can do as a mentor to help Eagan. Their second meeting included job shadowing and a tour around Parker Sanpei’s office. Eagan met with Sanpei once a week for three hours, learning about the company accounts, files and projects. One week, Eagan helped plan the itinerary for a Visit Santa Rosa media tour and created marketing materials. Eagan also helped create an Instagram marketing page and learned where to find pictures, how to give credit, and how to write proper captions. “It’s a great program,” Eagan said, “I really hope it continues.” 

Megan Bonwell, (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, '19) also enjoyed her experience as a mentee, finding it a great resource. "I was paired with a leader in my field of interest, Ryan Becker, who is the Vice President of Communications at Visit California. He provided valuable insight into potential career paths, has vast experience in the experience industry, and was pivotal in coaching me to successfully gain my current position as communications executive assistant with Visit California." 

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Department Congratulates Award Winning Faculty & Staff


Dr. Marni Goldenberg EIM FacultyProfessor Marni Goldenberg received Cal Poly’s 2019 Distinguished Scholarship Award, the highest research award bestowed upon a Cal Poly faculty member. She was even one of President Armstrong’s VIPs at commencement. The award recognizes Goldenberg’s last 15 years of research and scholarship investigating outcomes and benefits associated with recreation participation in a variety of settings.

Since 2003, Goldenberg has published 23 peer-reviewed papers that have been downloaded from ResearchGate and Digital Commons more than 10,600 times by researchers in 45 different countries.

Her work has been included in 27 publications, including books and articles. She’s written five technical reports and given 67 presentations nationally and internationally, and 72 state, regional and local presentations. Her research has included many undergraduate and graduate students, as well as colleagues at Cal Poly and other universities. 

EIM Students at Change the Status Quo ConferenceThis spring, Professor Andrew Lacanienta and Lecturer Jennifer Prentice were lauded for their work with the Change the Status Quo conference. Both were recognized with a Leadership and Engagement Achievements of Distinction (LEAD) Award in May.

EIM Advisor Dianne KorthLacanienta was recognized for the closing session he, along with and Professors Keri Schwab and Marni Goldenberg, put together for the Change the Status Quo conference, and Prentice was recognized for her involvement, along with a group of RPTA 420: Festival and Event Management students, in helping plan the conference.

Dianne Korth, the Experience Industry Management Department’s academic advisor, received the CAFES Outstanding Staff Award at the 2019 end-of-year awards celebration at the Performing Arts Center. Korth provides excellent advising to the EIM Department. The department congratulates and thanks Korth for her exceptional work on behalf of students and in support of the department and the college.



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Professor Kevin Lin and Students Attend International IPW Conference

By Camille Manese ('20)

EIM Students at IPWEight students from Cal Poly’s Experience Industry Management Department were selected to join Professor Kevin Lin at IPW (International Pow Wow) in Anaheim, California. IPW is one of the biggest trade shows in the U.S. for the travel and tourism industry.

IPW is where travel destinations and attractions, such as Visit California, Visit Florida, Disney, and Universal Studios, connect with travel agencies all over the world, especially within the US, Asia and Europe. It provides travel and tourism destinations an opportunity to showcase what they have to offer to international travel agencies.

All eight students worked and volunteered at the U.S. Registration and Chairman's Honor Circle Dinner.  They also attended the Opening Night Event, where they got a sneak peek at the new Star Wars Galaxy Edge Exhibit at Disneyland. Lastly, they toured the trade show floor with staff from Visit Anaheim.

The bulk of the weekend focused on the training and work to be completed at the U.S. registration. The eight students were trained to perform a number of tasks, including checking people in at registration, directing lines, helping with tour sign-ups, and learning about the event itself in order to answer questions, according to Taylor Eagan (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, '20).

EIM Students at IPWEagan valued the experiences she gained working registration at IPW and learned just how much goes into planning such a large-scale event.

As a volunteer at IPW, Maddie Roman (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’20) discovered her love for event planning and working registration. She learned how crucial registration is to events and saw how organizations from all over the world can be connected. "It was motivating to see all these different people from different places come together in the same place with the same purpose -- to help others have enjoyable experiences," she said.

EIM students at IPWIn addition to their volunteer duties, students were able to build professional connections – adding another benefit to an extraordinary experience. Networking can be intimidating, but Roman viewed this trade show as an opportunity to step out of her comfort zone. After interacting with industry professionals, Eagan now feels "more comfortable on a trade show floor and is able to confidently converse with others in the industry.”

Eagan encourages students to take advantage of IPW and other EIM sponsored professional development opportunities. "I bonded with those on the trip and was offered opportunities that I never would have been able to have otherwise,” she said.

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Rodeo Athlete: Sterling Humphry

By Camille Manese ('20)

For Sterling Humphry (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, ’19), rodeo has always been the center of his life. His parents, both very involved in the rodeo world, took him to his first rodeo the day he was released from the hospital after being born.

Sterling HumphrySince Humphry grew up with rodeo, it was only fitting he'd continue in his college career. His two years on the rodeo team at Cuesta College prepared him well for the Cal Poly Rodeo team.  With Cal Poly’s Rodeo program, Humphry was able to practice more often and see his coach every day because there is a facility on campus.

Humphry said his involvement on both rodeo teams played a huge role in his life. "The rodeo team gave me a reason to stay in school," he said. "It kept me motivated to keep good grades so I could continue to do rodeo."

He loves the atmosphere that the team creates, especially at Cal Poly. “It gave me many connections and many friendships that will last a lifetime," he said.

The Cal Poly Rodeo team isn't the only thing that has given Humphry opportunities for the future. The Experience Industry Management Department enabled him to concentrate in sport management to further his education in coaching sports, working with sports teams, and planning sports-related events. 

After college, Humphry plans to continue his rodeo career professionally. He participated in many professional rodeos while still a member of Cal Poly's Rodeo team. His dedication and commitment to the sport were rewarded recently when he won the Poly Royal Rodeo Steer Wrestling and All-Around titles for the West Coast region.

From the incredible coaching and competitive rodeo seasons to the multitude of awards and lifelong friendships, Humphry is thankful for the opportunities Cal Poly Rodeo has given him. Humphry said that Cal Poly Rodeo provided a “great stepping stone to further my rodeo career."

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EIM Students and Faculty Attend CPRS Conference in Sacramento

By Perry Nalle ('20)

EIM Attends CPRS ConferenceRecreation, parks and toursim majors Anelise Wyandt '20, and Sophia Menchara '20 were among several students and three faculty members who attended the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) annual conference on March 19, 2019. Wyandt said she learned about core and related parks and recreation industries. “The playground industry is really big,” she reported. Menchara agreed, claiming that she “learned how expansive the field of parks is.”

Wyandt appreciated the opportunity for personal and professional growth. “I learned how to market myself quickly to industry partners,” she said.

EIM Students attend CPRS ConferenceBoth students gained insight and an appreciation for all the backstage work that goes into planning a huge event like the CPRS conference. “It was cool knowing students in our major could have planned the entire thing,” Menchara said. “We get to know the behind-the-scenes parts of the convention since it’s what we are learning in our classes.”

The conference helped Wyandt realize the scope of the industry and the importance of the department’s name change from Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration to Experience Industry Management. “I understand the innovative curriculum Cal Poly is now following,” she said. “The name change was the correct move. It encompasses more of what our major actually is rather than advertising it as a narrow field.”

All in all, students gained knowledge and insight from attending the conference and connected with a growing network of industry professionals.

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Visit California Outlook Forum

By Camille Manese ('20)

Record Number of Students and Faculty Attend Visit California 2019 Outlook Forum

Students and faculty in the Experience Industry Management (EIM) Department attended the Visit California Outlook Forum at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California, on Feb. 11-13, 2019.

Visit California Outlook Forum 2019The forum highlights marketing successes, insights and trends for California as a destination for travelers worldwide. During the forum, 18 students and eight faculty attended breakout sessions, heard keynote speakers, and networked with industry professionals.

According to Morgan Cutter (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, '20), her favorite part was hearing from influential and inspirational women in the industry, such as Caroline Beteta, CEO of Visit California. Cutter furthered her education beyond the classroom as she learned about “trends in the industry, current target markets for experience providers in California, and the scope of how many different businesses play a role in the industry."

EIM Student Olivia LarsenOlivia Larsen (Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration, '20) also enjoyed listening to keynote speakers talking about “things we are learning in [our EIM classes]." Larsen said the conference, "put into perspective how important our industry is to the overall success of destinations." She  also learned more about the impact that travel and tourism have on a city’s and state's economy.

Although Cutter and Larsen concentrate in event planning and management, Professor Jerusha Greenwood said the event provides a great opportunity for students in any concentration because of the career development opportunities that a conference like the Outlook Forum Visit offers. 

For Larsen, the conference sparked an interest in obtaining an internship with a global travel management organization this summer. "The forum influenced me to seek other opportunities in the travel and tourism industry," Larsen said. "I can attribute my interest and research in my company to my experience at the forum."

Visit California Outlook Forum 2019Cutter strongly encourages all EIM students to attend professional development opportunities such as the Visit California Outlook Forum at least once during their time at Cal Poly. It can be an opportunity to branch out and "learn about the different DMO's in California and interact with industry professionals," she said.

Cutter was able to "build connections with other students in the department as well as our faculty" and network professionally. “This was definitely an experience that I will remember forever," she said.

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Faculty and Students Set High Bar for Spring Scholarship

EIM Department Head Cal Travel Bill HendricksThe Experience Industry Management Department faculty have a range of research interests and areas of expertise. This winter and spring 2019 saw no shortage of faculty presenting their research and knowledge to many different audiences, sharing what they love with other academicians, practitioners, and the general public.

In February, professors Brian Greenwood and Andrew Lacanienta and Department Head Bill Hendricks attended The Academy of Leisure Sciences conference in Greenville, South Carolina.  Lacanienta presented his work on “Testing Select Propositions of Absorption from The Theory of Structured Experience,” which examines how to design and stage relaxing, pleasurable experiences.

Greenwood presented a talk titled “Dropping the Pail of Content,” which was part of the TALS 2019 Ignite presentation series in which faculty presented short TED-talk style presentations on topics related to teaching and learning. Greenwood’s presentation centered on challenging the age-old notion of content driving faculty decisions and failing to properly engage students through active learning in the classroom.

EIM Faculty Marni Goldenberg and Keri SchwabIn March several faculty members presented at the California Park and Recreation Society conference in Sacramento. Hendricks, Marni Goldenberg and Keri Schwab presented research and participated in new “lightning talks.” Schwab and Goldenberg shared more about the experience design paradigm with 20-minute TED-talk style presentations about creating memorable experiences and the design-thinking process. Hendricks presented a paper on “The Future of Parks and Recreation: One Health.”


Several students also presented at the conference. Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration students Erin Ticktin (‘19), EIM Student Erin Ticktin presenting senior projectBlair Orlando (‘19), and Megan Bonwell (‘19) each presented their senior projects, which all stemmed from the College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences Summer Undergraduate Research Program. Ticktin presented a study looking at the impact of internet and social media usage on event attendees’ satisfaction and expenditure. Orlando presented work she completed with Professor Kevin Lin on the application of data analytics in the experience industry. Bonwell presented a study on the experience of intense youth-sports participation and specialization.

In April, Greenwood and Lacanienta attended the Adventures in Experience research retreat held in College Station, Texas, where they learned more about experience design and its applications to physical space design, hospital design, youth development, and sports.EIM Faculty Andrew Lacanienta  They also discussed with other academic thought leaders the present and future of experience industry research. Lacanienta presented on the theory of structured experience and it’s application, gave a summary on experience research, and the history of Cal Poly’s shift from Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration to Experience Industry Management.

Traveling to Oshkosh, Wisconsin, near the end of the spring quarter, Hendricks presented a paper at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. His research was a collaborative project among several faculty members comparing the differences in the effect of themed messages on rural and urban youths’ intent to recreate in the outdoors.

Rounding out spring quarter, Schwab traveled to Melbourne, Australia, to present at the Travel and Tourism Research Association conference. She presented work on solo female travelers and was part of a qualitative research roundtable examining methods and subjectivities in qualitative work.

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Experience Industry Management Club Elections

By Sophia Tomeo ('20) EIM Club President

The Experience Industry Management (EIM) Club and Rho Phi Lambda both have a full slate of new officers and are excited to jump into the 2019-20 school year. Congratulations EIM Club Leaders!

  • President Sophia Tomeo
  • Vice President Perry Nalle (Fall 2019)
  • Vice President Haley Hoffman (Winter, Spring 2020)
  • Secretary Madeleine Roman
  • Treasurer and AG Council Rep Cole Bumen
  • Social Chair and Marketing Lead Kelly Burns
  • Event Coordinator Zoey Eckroth

EIM clubI am so excited to serve as the 2019-20 EIM Club president. This coming year, we are focused on increasing club membership and retention, participating in community outreach, and completing at least one service-oriented project a quarter. I am looking forward to establishing strong connections with other student organizations and participating in cross-club activities. For more information, contact me personally at or our club email at – Sophia Tomeo

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Rho Phi Lambda's New Leadership Team

By Reva Chadha ('20) RPL President

Rho Phi Lambda members are so excited for the upcoming school year, filled with professional development opportunities, service and connections. With Reva Chadha as president, Morgan Cutter as vice president, Taylor Eagan as treasurer, and Serena von Hartmann as secretary, there are big things on the horizon for Rho Phi Lambda, the industry’s professional fraternity.

Rho Phi LambdaOfficers are planning several professional development trips and are working with top industry companies, such as George P. Johnson, the San Francisco Giants, and Launch Inc.  Rho Phi Lambda will also host the EIM Career Fair in winter 2020. The event provides connections and potential job opportunities to all EIM students.

Overall, the coming year with Rho Phi Lambda is packed with amazing opportunities for students. We can’t wait for the fun to begin!  

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Meet the Staff for "The Report" Summer 2019 Newsletter

Staff 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 Professor Keri Schwab to develop and write articles.​

EIM Staff Writer Camille Manese




Camille Manese (‘20) is a 4th year EIM student with a concentration in Event Planning and Management. After switching into this major, Camille has been overwhelmed with the incredible professors who genuinely want you to succeed and flourish in the experience industry. I look forward to continuing to plan the EIM Auction & Dinner 2020 as part of the Event Branding and Marketing Committee. 

EIM Staff Writer Perry Nalle





Perry Nalle ('20) is a 4th year EIM student with a concentration in Event and Experience  Management. Perry is the vice-president for the EIM club and also part of Cru and Kappa Alpha Theta on campus. Perry studied abroad in Spain last fall to pursue her Spanish minor and will spend her last year taking advantage of all San Luis Obispo has to offer.





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How to give to the Experience Industry Management Department?

Give back now

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

Learn more

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