Summer 2006 "At Your Leisure"

Congratulations Alums

The RPTM Affiliated program Group elected the following individuals to the board of directors:

Margaret Persia ’73 ( continues her career as a professor in the hotel, restaurant & tourism management department at East Stroudsburg University of Pennsylvania.

Melissa McHugh ’77 ( accepted the position as program director/clinical coordinator of Geriatric Behavioral Services for Nulton Diagnostic and Treatment Center in Altoona, PA to coordinate behavioral services (psychiatric, psychological, social) for nursing homes in Blair, Bedford and Cambria Countries.

Cathy Wegener ’81 (, superintendent of interpretive services for Berks County Parks and Recreation, assisted in writing of two books on the Gruber Wagon Works registered in the Library of Congress.

Lori Kieffer Yeich ’92 ( was promoted to recreation and parks supervisor for North Central/South Central Regions for the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation and will serve as direct regional advisor for Lebanon, York, Lancaster and Dauphin counties.

Jeff Brier ’96 (, owner of GolfTec, conducted a seminar on April 19 for first year students, demonstrating one use of our proposed Swing Analysis Lab.

Adam Corson ’96 (, Joe Hughes ’99, ( and Josh Trimble ’04 (jmt227@psu.edu0) and students, Andy Glover and Grayson Zacker, provided free golf lessons in conjunction with PGA Free Lesson Month at Penn State Golf Courses on May 27

Stacy Brewer ’00 ( is a special education teacher at East Side Middle School and is head coach for girls basketball at Anderson Highland High School.

Wes Fahringer ’01 ( was promoted to North Central Regional advisor for the Bureau of Recreation and Conservation serving Cameron, Centre, Clinton, Columbia, Lycoming, Montour, Northumberland, Potter, Snyder, Tioga, and Union counties. His office is located in Williamsport, PA.

Stephanie Asalone ’05 ( is a missionary travel and visa coordinator for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day-Saints in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Sae-Sook Oh ’05 authored the article “Adolescent Coping: Exploring Adolescents’ Leisure-Based Response to Stress” in a recent edition of the Journal of Leisure Sciences.

Carol Healy ’06 ( accepted the position of program coordinator at the Harvard Business School, Department of Executive Education.

In the News

On January 28, Jim Leary ’03 ( was photographed and featured in an article titled “Career Crossroads” in Golf Week Magazine on January 28. The article highlights young talent interested in the golf profession.

The link contains a featured article about the Professional Golf Management (PGM) and Affiliated Program Group (APG) event that took place in Orlando, FL.

Mike Novosel ( was photographed showing his pride while distributing flyers for blue and white weekend.

Keith Bless ’99 ( PGA head professional at TPC Virginia Beach was featured in The PGA Magazine, 87(5), 2006 in an article called “Instruction: More Important than Ever”

Congratulations Students

The RPTM Student Society elected the following new officers for the 2006-2007 term:

RPTM Student Society Students

The PGM Student Society elected the following new officers for the 2006-2007 term:

PGM Student Society Students

Amy Baginski ( was awarded the Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Student of the Year award for 2006.

Abbye Caplan was selected best student intern in 2005 for North Carolina Recreation and Park Association (NCRPA) Therapeutic Recreation Division. Abby interned with the Mecklenburg County Park and Recreation from May through August 2005.

Courtney Fox (, Robin Leigh ( and Margaret Neil ( were accepted into The College of Health and Human Development Women’s Leadership Initiative.

Margaret Keefe, ( member of the Penn State women's swimming and diving team, was part of the team that won the Big Ten crown in the sport defeating Minnesota.

Sarah Menne ( was selected as the RPTM student marshal for spring commencement. While attending Penn State, Sarah participated in the Women's Leadership Initiative and the Recreation, Park and Tourism Student Society. She is a Fred Coombs Scholarship recipient, a member of the Golden Key Society and the National Scholars Honor Society. Sarah selected Kathleen Raupach to represent RPTM as a faculty marshal at the spring commencement.

Sharon Pruszko ( received the PRPS Robert Crawford Memorial Scholarship for 2006. She studied abroad in New Zealand last year and was vice president of the RPTM Student Society.

Aslynn Satterfield (, member of the women’s gymnastics team, received the annual Nittany Lion Club True Grit award for her athletic and academic success. Aslynn returned to competition after under-going two open heart surgeries. Rosemarie Hibbler attended the awards ceremony and dinner on the department’s behalf.

Julie Stafford-Son ( accepted a position as an assistant professor starting August 2006 in the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign.

Christina Voorhees ( accepted a position as a graduate assistant for Devine, Tarbell, & Associates (DTA) assisting Kelly Bricker ’99 ( on hydroelectric dam projects across the country.

Alex Yasong Wang ( and Jimmy Hui Xie ( presented papers at the PSU Graduate Exhibition respectively titled “Understanding Customer Loyalty Development from a Cross-Cultural Perspective” and “Examination of American Travel Media’s Representation of Chinese People and Culture” on March 26.

Alex Yasong Wang's ( abstract “Social Exchange Theory: An Examination of Personal Benefits and Resident Attitudes toward Tourism” was accepted by the National Recreation and Park Association 2006 Leisure Research Symposium.

Larissa Witmer ( was awarded the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society Student award for 2006.

Scholarship winners recognized at the Second Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet are as follows:

Supporting our students at the Banquet were 18 alumni, 6 graduate students, 26 undergraduate students, 14 faculty, 5 staff, special guest Michael O’Pake, Berks County State Senator, as well as parents and guests. Also see images from the Second Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet.

Departmental Happenings

G.T. Thompson, CTRS, past president of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association presented on issues in therapeutic recreation to students in RPTM 490 class on April 21. Students and faculty interested were invited to join in on the presentation.

Dr. Peter Bordi from the School of Hospitality Management was appointed as an Affiliate Professor of RPTM.

The department hosted Dr. Heung-Sik Park, visiting scholar from Mokpa National University in Korea.

The department hosted Dr. Domingo García Villamisar, Professor of Psychopathology in Complutense University of Madrid, Spain and Advisor of Nuevo Horizonte Association Las Rozas-Madrid, for a week in residence June 5-9 to develop research projects addressing leisure needs of people with autism.

RPTM Mission and Vision Statement were developed and posted on the web at:

Visit to refine your job search in recreation. is a resource that pulls jobs from all other major job search sites, smaller job search sites, and newspapers into one search.

On May 28, faculty, staff, graduate students and members of their families gathered at Bald Eagle for a leisurely departmental canoe trip coordinated by Duarte Morais and Natalie Novak.

Departmental Canoe Trip

Congratulations Faculty

Tammy Buckley, in collaboration with Penn State’s Management Development and the U.S. Army’s Morale Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Academy, developed a customized occupational profile (working competencies) for the position of Community Recreation Division Chief, and created a “macro-curriculum” for professional training and development (Spring 2006).

Linda Caldwell conducted a training sponsored by PRPS titled “Beyond Gym-n-Swim: Engaging Teens through Recreation” increasing the understanding of barriers some teens face to fitness in depressed neighborhoods.

Linda Caldwell, Garry Chick and Geoffrey Godbey attended the World Leisure Association Consensus Project meeting in Hangzhou, China in April. They were invited to present papers to help provide scientific evidence about how and to what extent leisure contributes to the quality of life, in general, and in particular to health outcomes at the individual and societal level. The Consensus Project coincided with the World Leisure Expo

Garry Chick

  • Attended the combined annual meetings of the Society for Cross-Cultural Research and the Society for Anthropological Science in Savannah, GA, February 22-26. He presented two papers “Culture and the Development of Advanced Technology” and “Leisure as a Universal Culture Pattern.”
  • Held a seminar at the Instituto Centroamericano De Administracion De Empreseas or Central American Institute for Business Administration (INCAE), a Harvard Business School affiliate, titled “Leisure Studies/Leisure Science” on March 9.
  • Taught a class titled “Anthropology of Leisure” at the University of Costa Rica.
  • Will be our representative for The College of Health and Human Development’s Scholarship Committee. The committee will meet in June to select recipients for the 2006-07 college scholarships.
  • Visited the Universidad De Costa Rica March 6–10 and was recognized on behalf of the master’s program in environmental management and ecological tourism for his contributions to “Sociology and Anthropology of the Recreation”.

John Dattilo presented at the El Autismo en personas adultas: nuevas perspectives de Futuro in Madrid, Spain, on March 10. The presentation was titled “How to Elaborate a Program of Leisure for Adult People with Autism: Process and Techniques”.

John Dattilo, Deb Kerstetter, Patty Kleban, Stevie Lovell, Kathleen Raupach and Burch Wilkes met with our graduates and their families at the HHD graduation reception. John, along with George Vahoviak and Careen Yarnal attended the May 13 commencement ceremony

Geoffrey Godbey, professor of leisure, presented a closed-circuit TV workshop for 500 National Park Service Sites titled “21st Century Relevance: Increasing Visitor and Partner Participation by Reflecting the Diversity of America” on March 6.

Mark Ivy was the Co-Chair for the National Association of Recreation Resource Planners Conference held in Nashville, TN, May 15-18. The conference included representatives from the U.S. Forest Service, National Park Service, Bureau of Land Management, and Federal Energy Regulatory Commission from 30 states, 10 universities, and several consulting firms.

Patty Kleban

  • Presented “The Whats, Whys and Hows of Motivation” that targeted student leaders on campus at The Leadership Development Series at the HUB on February 6.
  • Presented “So You Call Yourself a Leader: Practicing Leadership Skills in the Workplace” at the Mid-Eastern Symposium for Therapeutic Recreation in Long Branch, NJ on May 8.

Duarte Morais

  • Was granted tenure by Penn State University and has been promoted to the rank of Associate Professor.
  • Has recently been approved by the dean to have a courtesy joint appointment in the School of Hospitality Management.
  • Was successful in receiving funding from the International Programs Faculty Travel Grants fund to support his upcoming work in Taiwan and the internationalization of his course.
  • Presented “Domestic Tourism, Indigenous Revitalization and Internal Colonialism in China” on March 29 at a seminar sponsored by the Inter-institutional Consortium for Indigenous Knowledge (ICIK).

Duarte B. Morais, Deborah L. Kerstetter, and Careen M. Yarnal contributed to an article titled “The Love Triangle: Loyal Relationships among Providers, Customers, and Their Friends” published in the Journal of Travel Research, 44(4), 2006.

Two articles by Andrew J. Mowen, “The Role of Leisure Style in Maintaining the Health of Older Adults with Arthritis” and “Commitment to Public Leisure Service Providers: A Conceptual and Psychometric Analysis” were published in the Journal of Leisure Research, 36 (1), 2006.

The Journal of Park and Recreation Administration featured the following articles, “Introductory Comments to the Special Issue on Partnerships: Partnership Advances and Challenges Facing the Park and Recreation Profession” by Andrew J. Mowen and Deborah L. Kerstetter and “An Examination of Family/Group Roles in the Decision to Visit a Public Zoological Park” by Andrew J. Mowen and Alan R. Graefe.

Over 2,058 youth and adults attended programs developed and conducted by RPTM 356 students under the supervision of Kathleen Raupauch during the 2005-06 school year broadening the impact of RPTM on the community and university. Community collaborations this spring included the: Ruffed Grouse Society, Bald Eagle State Park / Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, State College Area School District Physical Education Department, Community Academy for Lifelong Learning, and Centre County Youth Services Bureau. University collaborations included Penn State Golf Courses, Late Night - Penn State, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center, and Stone Valley Recreation Area. 124 unduplicated local businesses and organizations donated services or goods to the events.

Ralph Smith and Patty Kleban conducted a 2-day training program for the Army Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR) Academy for Civilian Recreation Managers on May 2-3.

Careen Yarnal and Hsuen-Wen Chow published “I Could Probably Run a Marathon Right Now: Embodiment, Space, and Young Women’s Leisure Experience” in Leisure Sciences Journal.

Notable Quotes

My studies at Penn State prepared me to step straight into a supervisory position out of college and succeed! I felt that the coursework and the 12 credit internship involved with the program really prepared me for my current position.
- Emily Johnston ’04 ( Hunterdon County Department of Parks and Recreation (Flemington, NJ)

I am a graduate of RPM - May 2004 and I am still so proud of this program and what it has accomplished and what the alumni, faculty, staff and students still are accomplishing.
- Missy Saracino ’04, regional program manager at American Hospitality Academy (Marco Island, FL)

This program continues to get stronger each year and it’s certainly due to the hard work and dedication that you all contribute.
- Troy Denslow ’04 ( Acushnet Company.

I just wanted to let you know how much I appreciated your help over the years with my progress in the PGM program. Without Frank, Stevie, Jeanne, and yourself, I never would have had the resources available to make me a successful PGA Professional. So although I am very proud right now, I am also very grateful.
- Note to Burch Wilkes from Luke Arentz ’04 (

I can’t thank you enough for everything you’ve [Burch Wilkes] done this year. This year has been amazing. I can’t believe how fast it’s gone. I look forward to working with you next year to make this program the best it can be. I’m confident I can contribute more next year.
- Thomas J. Hunt (

Working with the RPTM 356 students was a wonderful experience. They worked very hard to make sure our event was successful and were with us through the planning stages, the event itself and even turned in a wonderful manual for my organization to use the next time we offer the Chili Chocolate Festival. The best part about working with the students was witnessing that they put their whole heart and soul into this project. Over 600 community members attended this event!
- Sarah Benton, Program Director of Community Academy for Lifelong Learning

It is almost magical . . . the transformation that one can see in the students as participants arrive for the program and their project takes on a life of its own. Maturity, responsibility, and compassion arise from the students during their programs at levels high above even their own expectations.
- George Vahoviak (, Affiliate Assistant Professor of RPTM & Program Director, Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center

New Faces

Natalie Novak joined the department as the administrative assistant to the department head in October of 2005. She specializes in assisting the department head and supervising staff. She came to us from the Penn State Energy Institute and has worked on campus for four years.

Sarah Ransom joined the department as the undergraduate program specialist in November of 2005. She assists the undergraduate professor in charge and the internship coordinator . Prior to working with RPTM she was a sales coordinator in the modular home industry for four years.


If you have accomplished something you would like to share with the RPTM crew, please notify me. Also, if you are aware of accomplishments by our alumni, students, or staff, please let me know so I can share the news. Thank you! –John Dattilo