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Congratulations Alums

Bob Hepburn ’49 ( retired in 1988 after 30 years of working as a YMCA professional and executive director. He helped start the University of Toledo's four year Recreation Major which still serves students. He was the director of the Wood County, Ohio 24/7 Crisis Intervention Center in Bowling Green, Ohio and currently volunteers as a career counselor at the University of Alabama. He and his wife of 59 years live in Tuscaloosa.

Larry Williamson ’69 ( received the Central Pennsylvania Conservancy’s 2007 Conservationist of the Year Award. Larry was most recently the DCNR Deputy Secretary for Conservation and Technical Services and was a founder of Pennsylvania’s Greenways program.

Jim Watenpool ‘72 ( is the Parks and Recreation Director for the Borough of Franklin Park in Pittsburgh.

The following Alumni Award recipients were honored at the 4th annual RPTM recognition banquet:
Steven Landes ’74 ( - RPTM Affiliated Program Group
Christopher Cain ’98 ( - PGM Affiliated Program Group
Mark Lammi ’99 ( – RPTM Emerging Professional Undergraduate
Eileen Soisson ’93 ( - RPTM Alumni Recognition
Jesse Ellis MS ’01 ( – RPTM Emerging Professional Graduate

Richard Schultz ’79 ( is General Manager/CEO of Nashawtuc Country Club in Concord, MA. Ric, his wife Sue, and two children live in Amherst, NH.

Greg Petry '81 ( is the Executive Director of Waukegan Park District in Waukegan, Illinois.

Glenn “GT” Thompson '81 ( recently earned the Republican nomination for candidate for the 5th Congressional District in PA. GT has served as Rehabilitation Services Manager for Susquehanna Health Systems since 1996. He is a past president of both the American Therapeutic Recreation (TR) Association and the PA TR Society.

Alumni Linda Bollinger ’82, Joanne Finegan ’83 (, Jessica Rickard ’94 (, and faculty members Tammy Buckley, Ralph Smith and Patty Kleban conducted a prototype training course on “Inclusive Recreation for Wounded Warriors” to the U.S. Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, Department of Veterans Affairs and Office of Secretary of Defense. The course is intended for Recreation Managers working with Wounded Warriors at military installations in the U.S. and abroad. Kris D’Alessandro ’86 (, representing the Family, Morale, and Welfare Command (FMWRC) of the U.S. Army, was a participant in the course.

Kelly Repass ’87 (, previously Director of Research with the Orlando Convention and Visitors Bureau, is Director of Marketing Research for Busch Entertainment Corporation.

Chris Saello ’88 ( is Vice President of Financial Development and Acting Executive Director for YMCA of the Brandywine Valley.

Shawn (Flynn) Franks ’89 ( is an occupational therapist working with preschool children at the Central Intermediate Unit. She lives in central Pennsylvania with her husband and four children.

Janet Haner MS ‘89 ( is President of the Pennsylvania Council for International Education and Public Affairs Coordinator for the Penn State University Office of International Programs.

Cary Walton ’89 ( is Sales Manager for eight NAPA Auto Parts stores, his family’s business in York, PA. He and his wife, Lori, are building a home to be completed in June.

Rod Karstetter ’92 ( is National Accounts Manager, East, for Cybex International, Inc., a manufacturer of exercise equipment for commercial and consumer use.

Kurt Merrill ’93, MS ‘96 ( is the new Executive Director of The Boojum Institute for Experiential Education in Anza, CA.

Michael Baker ‘94 ( has accepted the position of Director, Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg Area Community College. From 1996 to 2008, Michael was the Director of Conference and Event Services for Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania.

Mike Gardner ’96 ( is the Chief Operating Officer of River Run Country Club in Davidson, NC.

Christopher Cain, PGM ‘98 ( is winner of the “Pride of the Lions” Golf Professional of the Year award for 2007. The award was created by the PGM Alumni Group (PGM/APG) to recognize an outstanding alumnus who has demonstrated professional excellence in the golf industry over the past five years.

John Spencer ’98 ( is a Regional Park Ranger for Chester County Parks & Recreation (PA). John was married on February 23 to Susan Browne of Telford, PA. Susan works for Sungard Pentamation. John and Susan live in Boyertown, PA.

Stacey Brewer ’00 (, former Lady Lions Basketball team member, is the Assistant Principal and Athletic Director of Cowan Junior/Senior High School in Muncie, IN.

Elizabeth Helm '01 of DCNR-Bureau of State Parks and Rebecca Slick '98 of Manheim Township Parks and Recreation are recipients of The Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society's "Excellence in Programming" Awards. Entries are judged on: innovation, efficient use of resources, community involvement, range of appeal and potential for continuity.

John P. Hearn ’02 ( is a construction representative with the US Army Corps of Engineers at Wright Patterson Air Force Base in Fairborn, OH.

Nicole (D'Orazio) Moffatt ’02 ( is a Clinical Supervisor of the Therapeutic Recreation Section in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department at Temple University Hospital in Philadelphia, PA.

Shelly Steiner Beaver MS ’03 ( is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at HealthSouth in Altoona, PA.

Lesha Stackhouse Allen ‘04 ( is an Assistant Teacher at Penn State’s Daybridge Child Development Center.

Kyleigh DeMicco ‘04 (, former president of the RPTM Student Society is working for the Steamboat Springs Chamber of Commerce in Steamboat Springs, CO.

Gyan Nyaupane PhD ’04 (, Assistant Professor at Arizona State University, won an award for his research in Nepal from the Travel and Tourism Research Association, June 17th in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Megan Barr ’05 ( completed a Master’s in Educational Leadership at Florida Gulf Coast University (FGSU) in 2007. Her graduate assistantship was with FGSU Athletics, where she is now the office manager and compliance assistant.

Darci Chuba ’05 ( lives on Fripp Island, SC and is Sports Director for the Wardle Family YMCA.

Shaina Dascher ‘05 ( is Activities Manager for Hilton Kingston Plantation Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC.

Derek Dureka ’05 ( was promoted to Recreation Superintendent at Upper Dublin Parks & Recreation. He previously served as the Recreation Program Coordinator.

Sarah Faix ‘05 ( is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist and Mental Retardation Supports Coordinator for the Lenape Valley Foundation in Doylestown, PA.

Carol Healy ’05 (, former president of the RPTM Student Society, is Program Coordinator for Executive Education and Harvard Business School.

Lisa Kliever MS ’05 ( works for the Kent County, MD Department of Social Services, where she is developing a truancy diversion program for Kent County schools.

Laura Moatz ’05 ( is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist at Barclay Friends in West Chester, PA

Amy Baginski ’06 ( is a Challenge Course and Experiential Education Facilitator at Hemlock Overlook, a center for experiential education operated by George Mason University and the Northern Virginia Regional Park Authority.

Alicia Capellupo ’06 ( is in sales for the Texas Rangers and resides in Arlington, TX.

Becky Czajka ’06 ( is an Outreach Educator for the Philadelphia Zoo.

Esther Johns ’06 ( received certification as an ESL teacher after graduating from the RPTM program. She currently teaches 6th and 7th grade English in northern Turkey.

Matt Marsden ‘06 is the Assistant Naturalist at Waskowitz Outdoor School in North Bend, WA.

Lauren Masi ’06 ( is a recreation therapist in the expressive therapy department at Potomac Ridge Behavioral Health in Rockville, MD.

Kristin Smeallie ’06 ( is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Speicalist at the Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in New York City and resides in New Jersey.

Megan Miller ‘06 (, former president of the RPTM Student Society, is an On-Premise Liquor Representative for the Ben Arnold Beverage Company in Myrtle Beach SC.

Katie Clifford ’07 is a Ticket Sales Executive for the South Carolina Stingrays.

Maggie Neil ’07 ( is Director of Promotions for the Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball club.

Lisa Polakoff ‘07 ( is the Tourism Sales Associate Manager for the Valley Forge Convention and Visitors Bureau in Plymouth Meeting, PA.

Shelly-Ann Thomas ’07 ( is a Recreation Advisor for Keystone Job Corps Center, a school in Hazleton, PA that helps young adults ages 16-24 get their GED, learn a trade and enhance their employ ability skills.

Catie Star ’07 ( is an assistant merchant at Abercrombie and Fitch’s corporate headquarters in Columbus, OH.

Bobbi Jo Witmer ’07 ( has taken a position with Goodwill Industries as a job coach for adults with disabilities.

Congratulations Students

Rob Andrejewski conducted a Leave No Trace workshop for campers ages 9-12 at Penn State’s Outdoor Discovery Camp. On July 10, he lectured to 30 Health Matters Wellness Program attendees on the health benefits of hiking and including the whole family in outdoor exploration.

The following students were scholarship winners for 2007-2008:

Kortney Clemons – Christopher W. Barnes Honors Scholarship
John Ebmeyer - Mills Family Scholarship and Paul Runyan Collegiate Golf MGT Scholarship
Douglas Finkle, Cara McCorkel and Tomas Rista - Fred M. Coombs Scholarship
Patrick Gunning - Pamela Nicholson-Dadey & Kevin Ryan Dadey Memorial Student Scholarship
David Kim and Megan Padua - Professional Golf Management Diversity Scholarship
Rosmeri Tejeda - Raymond E. & Erin Stuart Schultz Endowment
Patrick White - Anita N. & Fred M. Coombs Scholarship in Professional Golf Management
Meghan Wikler - Jonathan & Judy Mills Trustee Scholarship

The following students were scholarship winners for 2008-09:

Matthew Bird - Fred M. Coombs Scholarship
Kenneth Hugo - Jonathan & Judy Mills Trustee Scholarship
Elizabeth Decina - Mills Family Scholarship
Gia Fanelli - Professional Golf Management Diversity Scholarship
Daniel Joseph - Anita N. & Fred M. Coombs Scholarship in Professional Golf Management
Naomi Nesenoff - Mills Family Scholarship
Nathan Trauntvein – Herberta M. Lundegren Graduate Scholarship
David Trude - Fred M. Coombs Scholarship
Jennifer Skrzypek - Fred Coombs Scholarship
Joshua Sweeney - Pamela Nicholson-Dadey & Kevin Ryan Dadey Memorial Student Scholarship
Jamie Zackavitch - Jonathan & Judy Mills Trustee Scholarship

Sam Blazer, Emily Hassel, Kevin McGuire, Jen Pappas, Brad Parola, Sara Tanis, Colin Walker, Sean White, and peer mentor Casie Goshow, supervised by Kathleen Raupach, planned and implemented an "Earth Day Birthday Celebration" on April 20 at the Millbrook Marsh Nature Center that was attended by 250 people.

Jim Voigt, Ronnie Voigt, Steve Landes, and Susan Landes at the 4th Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet on April 5 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Jim Voigt, Ronnie Voigt, Steve Landes, and Susan Landes at the 4th Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet on April 5 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

The following students were selected to be RPTM Student Society officers for 2008-2009:

President - Adrienne Long
Vice President - Amanda Tylka
Secretary- Jen Skrzypek
Treasurer- Tomas Rista
THON Co-Chairs - Liz Decina, Molly Mullaney
Social Chair - Robbie Pearsall
Career Chair - Jen Skrypek
Fundraising Chair - Paul DelVecchio
Community Chair - Mellissa Lennox

The PGM Student Society elected the following students as Executive Board Officers for 2008-2009:

President: Michael Brown
Vice-President: Jack Davis
Treasurer: Josh Sweeney
Secretary: Alex Ochse
Senior Class Representative: Matt Mileski
Junior Class Representative: Matt Bird
Sophomore Class Representative: Bill Ciccotti
Tournament Director: Adam Thomas-Frost

PGM students Mark Chianese and John Ebmeyer were the PGM Student Society’s dancers for THON 2008. The PGM Student Society raised over $7,000 for THON this year.

Kortney Clemon’s book, Amped: A Soldier's Race for Gold in the Shadow of War, was published by Wiley on July 8. The book is an account of his quest to compete in Beijing as a part of the 2008 U.S. Paralympic team.

RPTM senior Ryan Michelle Coury was awarded the Willard T. John Memorial Scholarship by the Pennsylvania Outdoor Writers Association.

Sarah Gleeson and Nuno Ribeiro graduated with a Master’s degree in leisure studies this past spring. Sarah’s thesis is titled, “Gender differences in leisure motivation, participation, and constraints for South African adolescents” and Nuno’s thesis is titled, “Getting Away: A Qualitative Inquiry into the Spring Break Experience.”

Nathan Graeff received the HHD Alumni Recognition for Student Excellence Award for 2007-2008.

The RPTM Scholarship and Awards Committee recognized the following RPTM students as the Outstanding Student in their option for 2008:

Casie Goshow Commercial Recreation
Megan Padua Professional Golf Management
Nathan Graeff Therapeutic Recreation
Robin Bang Outdoor Recreation
Nathan Trauntvein was honored as Outstanding Graduate Student.

Jonathan Kenny Hiser was selected to serve as Student Marshal for RPTM at the spring 2008 commencement ceremonies. He chose Deborah Kerstetter to serve as his Faculty Marshal.

Penny Horner was given the RPTM Cheryl Kelley Student Spirit Award on April 5. The Student Spirit Award is named in honor of our RPTM graduate student who received the award last year and who exemplifies the important qualities valued by the department.

RPTM graduate student Jihee Kim’s daughter Josephine won the 2008 Rotary 4-Way Speech Contest with a speech titled, “Take My Break Away” on the dangers of smoking. Josephine Kim will be a freshman at the University of Washington this fall.

Huan Li graduated in May with a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. Her dissertation was titled "Influences of Life Satisfaction in Western Pennsylvania.”

RPTM doctoral student Ondrej Mitas, of Bratislava, Slovakia, wed Alinda Kokkinou of Athens, Greece. Alinda is an HRIM doctoral student. The two were married on Sunday, August 10 in Sunset Park, State College, with Mayor Bill Welch officiating.

RPTM students and Penn State Nittany Lion football players Anthony Morelli and Matt Hahn signed as free agents with the St. Louis Cardinals and the Oakland Raiders, respectively.

The PGM students successfully completed their national assessment testing, PGA Checkpoint, on March 27-31, with 100% of seniors successfully completing PGA Checkpoint Level 3 – the first time this has occurred at any university.

The PGM Student Society hosted Rock-A-THON, a concert/dance event attended by 100 students, on December 7. Thanks to sponsorship of Olive Garden, Wing Zone, Clem’s Barbeque and Starbucks Coffee, the PGM THON Committee donated all proceeds to THON. The students raised over $4650 in their three canning trips and the Rock-A-THON fundraiser. The PGM Student Society also secured almost $5,000 from the University Park Allocation Committee (UPAC) to help 65 students attend the 2008 PGA Merchandise Show and Convention in Orlando, Florida on January 15-20.

Aslynn Satterfield, a member of the Penn State Women’s Gymnastics Team, earned Academic All-Big Ten honors for 2007-2008. To be eligible for Academic All-Big Ten selection, student-athletes must be letter-winners and carry a career grade-point average of 3.0 or better.

Yasong Alex Wang and Tomas Rista were awarded Tourism Cares scholarships for 2008.

Yasong Alex Wang was selected in a national competition to be the Fall 2008 tourism/political science intern in the office of Stephen Richer, the DC lobbyist for the US National Tour Association. Yasong Alex Wang, with Robert E. Pfister, published “Cointegration and causality between tourism and poverty reduction” in the August 2008 issue of Journal of Travel Research 47(1).

The PGA of America reported that Penn State’s Professional Golf Management program has the highest graduation rate and lowest attrition rate of any PGA accredited golf management program.

Derrick Williams was one of five Penn State Nittany Lion football players chosen to lead the team as captains in 2008-2009.

Hui Jimmy Xie was recipient of the Herberta M. Lundegren Graduate Scholarship in Leisure Studies for 2007-2008.

Congratulations Faculty

Christine Buzinde received funding from the Penn State Children, Youth and Families Consortium for her project entitled “Heritage Tourism, Intergenerational Relationships and Indigenous Knowledge Transfer among the Maasai of Tanzania.”

Linda Caldwell and Edward A. Smith gave a presentation at Penn State on February 27 on the topic "HealthWise South Africa: A Discussion on Adapting U.S. School-based Risk Prevention Programs to a South African Context." The lecture focused on Dr. Caldwell and Dr. Smith’s development of HealthWise South Africa, a school-based risk prevention program.

Garry Chick

  • Was invited by the College of Health and Human Development Honor Society to attend the annual induction of new members on November 11.
  • Attended the combined meeting of the Society for Anthropological Science and the Society for Cross-Cultural Research in New Orleans on Feb 20 - 24. For the first group, he presented a paper titled "Objective Questions, Projective Questions, and Cultural Expertise” and for the second group, he presented, "Leisure Lifestyles in Urban China: A Six City Comparative Study” with co-authors Professor Ling Ping from Hangzhou Normal University, Dr. Erwei Dong from SUNY Cortland, and Geoffrey Godbey. He was also an invited participant on the panel "The Irrelevance of Anthropology."

Faculty members at the luncheon on April 11 celebrating Deborah Kerstetter's receipt of the Penn State Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award for 2007-08.

Faculty members at the luncheon on April 11 celebrating Deborah Kerstetter's receipt of the Penn State Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award for 2007-08. From left to right: Frank Guadagnolo, Andrew Mowen, Duarte Morais, Linda Caldwell, Ralph Smith, Tammy Buckley, Deborah Kerstetter, Burch Wilkes, and Christine Buzinde.

Retired Professor Monty Christiansen was bestowed with the American Society for Testing and Materials (ASTM) International William F. Hulse Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to establishment of voluntary full-consensus standards to enhance safety of sport.

The Fred and Ann Coombs Library, located at PRPS Headquarters in Ferguson Township, was dedicated on May 15. The library will serve as a meeting place and resource center for the PRPS Institute for Recreation and Parks and will contain resource books, information files, and periodicals for the use of PRPS members and others involved in the recreation field.

John Dattilo visited the University of Iowa and taught therapeutic recreation classes. Also, he delivered the keynote speech titled, "Becoming Enlightened Professionals" at the Steve Goff Memorial Scholarship Awards Ceremony sponsored by the Leisure Studies Program on April 10.

Shawna Doerksen

  • Joined the Department this summer as Assistant Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management. Shawna has a BS in Kinesiology from the University of Western Ontario and an MS in Kinesiology specializing in Exercise Psychology from Kansas State University. She completed her PhD in Kinesiology specializing in Exercise Psychology will be from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Shawna’s research interests include examining the social-cognitive determinants of physical activity behavior and promoting physical activity in the worksite and community.
  • Was chosen to attend the Physical Activity and Public Health Postgraduate Course on Research Directions and Strategies in Park City, Utah from September 16-24. The course, sponsored by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the University of South Carolina's Prevention Research Center, is designed to provide post-doctoral personnel with research training including grantsmanship, study design, measurement of physical activity, as well as special topics related to physical activity and public health.

Alan Graefe was granted a one-semester sabbatical during Fall 2007. He spent six weeks in Oregon, two weeks in Korea at Hanyang University, and the remaining time attending conferences.

Benjamin Hickerson joined the Department as Assistant Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management during the summer of 2008. He holds both a B.S. in Business Administration and a M.S. in Recreation Administration from Illinois State University. He is currently finishing his Ph. D. work in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management from North Carolina State University. Benjamin's research interests are to explore the potential of built and natural environments, especially camps and recreation centers, to facilitate physical activity.

Deborah Kerstetter

  • Secured funding from the Central Pennsylvania Convention and Visitors Bureau to document visitors' response to advertising. She also secured a research grant from the Southern Alleghenies Planning and Development Commission to conduct a study with visitors to The Alleghenies during summer 2008.
  • Was chosen as the winner of the Penn State Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award for 2007-08. She will be honored at a luncheon on April 11.

Kelly Bricker PhD ’98 (, Associate Professor at the University of Utah, presented a paper to the Travel and Tourism Research Association titled, "Using resident-employed photography to document tourism as a dimension of sense of place." Alvin Yu, doctoral candidate, also presented a paper at the conference.

Patty Kleban

  • Presented "The 6th Man: Group Dynamics as a Factor in Program Success" at the Mid Eastern Symposium on Therapeutic Recreation on May 19 in Ocean City Maryland.
  • Was invited by the Penn State College of Health & Human Development Women's Leadership Initiative (WLI) training program on October 21 to present on the subject "Women and Politics." This year's WLI participants from RPTM are Amanda Tylka, Cara Bell and Robin Bang.
  • Presented sessions on “Leadership Skills: Managing Conflict” at the Leadership Institute sponsored by The Second Mile in State College, PA on March 31. The annual four-day Leadership Institute brings teams of at-risk 10th graders from all over Pennsylvania for intensive leadership training and project development.
  • Published “People feel pain of being excluded,” about exclusion and disability, appeared in the Centre Daily Times Sunday Life on June 22. Read it here.

Duarte Morais

  • Secured a $23,000 grant from the Schreyer Institute for Teaching Excellence to develop and evaluate a faculty toolkit for international educational programming.
  • Acted as judge at the Graduate Exhibition on March 30. Thirty graduate students from the College of Health and Human Development presented posters at the Exhibition.

Andrew Mowen

  • Was a guest author in the March 2008 issue of the President’s Council on Physical Fitness and Sports Research Digest. His article was titled “The Potential of Parks and Recreation in Addressing Physical Activity and Fitness.”
  • With Mark Ivy and RPTM graduate student Andrew Purrington were part of a Penn State project team hired by DCNR to conduct a recreation resource inventory of 12 state parks in Eastern Pennsylvania.
  • Co-authored the article, “The condition of neighborhood parks following Hurricane Katrina: Development of a post-hurricane assessment instrument,” published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health, 5(1), 2008.

Kathleen Raupach and George Vahoviak presented a workshop on special event planning at the March Pennsylvania Parks and Forests Foundation, a statewide nonprofit organization that supports 117 state parks and 2.1 million acres of forest and is a key partner with DCNR.

Congratulations Staff

Jeanne Korman, longtime PGM staff assistant, retired on June 27. Jeanne worked in RPTM for 10 years and will be sorely missed by faculty, staff, and students.

The staff of RPTM planned and hosted the annual HHD staff holiday luncheon on December 12. Over 125 staff and unit heads from the College’s departments and centers attended.

Krista White joined the department on February 1 as Program Specialist for the undergraduate and graduate programs. Krista’s most recent experience is in the Department of English, and she has worked previously in the School of Hospitality Management and Career Services.

Darla Houseman was hired as PGM staff assistant on July 5. Previously, Darla worked as a staff assistant for Learning and Performance Systems in the College of Education.

Departmental Happenings

The Fourth Annual Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management Recognition Banquet was held at the Nittany Lion Inn on April 5. 125 students, parents, faculty, staff, alumni, and community members were present to honor the outstanding students of 2007-2008 and collaborating community agencies who have contributed to the success of the RPTM program. Earlier in the day, students participated in a mentoring brunch and speed-networking event with distinguished RPTM alumni.

Dr. Lynn Barnett, professor of Recreation, Sport and Tourism at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, visited the Department on February 5 -7. During her stay, she met with graduate students and faculty members to talk about her work and research interests related to play.

Dan Benzenberg '06 and Tom Howard '00, PGA Teaching Professionals with GolfTEC, spoke in PGM Courses Introduction to Teaching and Merchandising and Inventory Management and recruited students for full-time and internship positions on November 13.

Dr. Deb Bialeschki, Professor Emeritus of Recreation and Leisure Studies at UNC-Chapel Hill and Senior Researcher with the American Camp Association, joined the RPTM 590 graduate colloquium on April 21 to discuss her research interests and career development.

Pete Carmichael ’00 (, Operations Manager at Six Flags New England, visited on February 20 to recruit students and to speak in RPTM 101 about employment opportunities with Six Flags.

PGM hosted the Boy's Latin School of Maryland golf team on April 12, with alumni Mason Champion (PGM '98), Chad Vaughn (PGM '97), and Doug Schreck (PGM '05) serving as coaches. Thirteen Boy’s Latin students toured the Department and played golf at the Penn State Golf Courses.

Seung-Min Lee, a researcher at The Management Center for Health Promotion in Inchon, Korea, joined the Department as a visiting scholar in Fall 2008. Dr. Lee holds a Ph.D. in Sport and Leisure Science from Ewha Women’s University in Seoul, Korea, and her primary research interests are in the areas of leisure education and leisure programming.

Frank Guadagnolo, Garry Chick, and Geoffrey Godbey at the 4th Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet.

Frank Guadagnolo, Garry Chick, and Geoffrey Godbey at the 4th Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet.

Special guest Joe Luciano, CEO of Motion Golf, joined the following PGM alumni at the PGM Student Society’s 6th Annual PGM Alumni Panel Discussion on December 5:

Daniel Benzenberg ('06) GolfTec, Long Island, NY
Jon Schoenfeld ('05) Ford's Colony Country Club, Williamsburg, VA
Jason Marciniec ('04) Oakmont Country Club, Oakmont, PA
Nolan Sutker ('02) Motion Golf, White Plains, NY
Adam Boland ('01) Zero Restriction Outerwear, Pittsburgh, PA
Jon Boland ('99) Fairway & Greene, Pittsburgh, PA
Joseph Hughes ('99) Penn State Golf Courses
Mark Lammi ('99) Reynold's Plantation, Greensboro, GA
Kevin Wiest ('99) Kings Creek Country Club, Rehoboth Beach, DE
Hans Larson ('97) Westmoreland Country Club, Wilmette, IL

The Professional Golf Management Program hosted over 90 people at an information session held in conjunction with the PGA Jr. Series Tournament on July 15. The tournament is hosted annually at the Penn State Golf Courses and allows faculty to meet with interested students and families. The information session included a rules seminar and presentations from Denise St. Pierre, Head Women's Golf Coach, and Burch Wilkes, Director of the PGM Program.

RPTM students and alumni who use the social networking site FACEBOOK can join the “Rec Park Students / Alumni Group" to keep up to date and socialize with each other.

Erica Bove Robinson ’04 spoke to RPTM 476 students about her work experiences at The Meadows Psychiatric Center in Centre Hall, PA.

Gordon Walker, Associate Professor of Physical Education & Recreation at the University of Alberta, visited on March 3-5 and met with Garry Chick to consult on a research project. He also met with Linda Caldwell and spoke in RPTM 597A and 545 about his cross-cultural research on leisure.

Jason Waters PGM '00 (, PGA Head Golf Professional at Hop Meadow Country Club in Simsbury, CT, spoke to the PGM Student Society on November 7 about career advancement in the private club industry.

This summer saw the birth of two RPTM babies: Delia Ann Virginia Wilkes, daughter of PGM Director Burch Wilkes and wife Jennifer, born Friday, June 20 at 7:46 am and weighing 7 pounds, 8 ounces; and Mitchell Lane White, son of program staff assistant Krista White and husband Ron, born on Friday, July 4 at 9:41 am and weighing 9 pounds, 4 ounces.

Hui (Jimmy) Xie, Deborah Kerstetter, Duarte Morais and Christine Buzinde won the Best Illustrated Paper Award from the Travel and Tourism Research Association, June 17th in Philadelphia, PA for their paper titled, "Examining the effect of perceived information usefulness and ease of use of a destination website on perceived enjoyment and intention to visit."

Lori Yeich MS ’92 ( visited the Department on March 20 and spoke to students in RPTM 470 about her professional duties within DCNR and how to prepare an effective grant application.

The following collaborating agencies were honored at the Recognition Banquet on April 5 for their long-term commitment and cooperation in working with RPTM students and faculty:

Bellefonte Youth Center – represented by Penny Horner
Centre Region Parks & Recreation – represented by Beth Lee
Central PA Convention and Visitors’ Bureau – represented by Betsy Howell
Mount Nittany Wheelworks – represented by Frank Maguire
Penn State golf courses – represented by Joe Hughes
Millbrook Marsh Nature Center – represented by Molly Hetrick
PA Department of Community and Economic Development – represented by Richard Bonds
Playworld Systems, Inc. – represented by Ian Proud
Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center – represented by Paul Brigman
Sight-Loss Support Group of Central Pennsylvania - represented by Doug Little
The Second Mile – represented by Jeremy Fegert and Meghan McElrone
Venture Publishing - represented by Frank Guadagnolo and Geoff Godbey

In the News

Chris Cain PGM ’97 ( and Brian Esposito PGM ’97 ( were profiled in the April 2008 issue of PGA magazine for their work on Par for The Cure, a Las Vegas based charity that has raised over $465,000 for breast cancer research.

Professor Emeritus Monty Christiansen was profiled in a recent issue of Pennsylvania Recreation and Parks (4th Quarter, 2007) for receiving the American Society for Testing and Materials International William F. Hulse Memorial Award for outstanding contributions to establishment of voluntary full-consensus standards to enhance safety of sport.

The June issue of PGA Magazine highlights the PGM program’s second annual "Golfapalooza,” in which PGM students grow the game of golf by spending a day playing with over 130 local middle school children at area golf courses. This marks PGM’s 4th PGA Magazine article in two years.

A May 7 Penn State Live news article mentioned Deborah Kerstetter as the recipient of the 2008 Rosemary Schraer Mentoring Award. Deb was honored at a luncheon hosted by the Commission for Women on April 11. Read more.

RPTM student Evak Tanner was mentioned in an April 3 Daily Collegian article about the Penn State javelin team. Evak placed second in the javelin throw at the 2007 Big Ten championships. Read more.

G. T. Thompson '81 ( is Rehabilitation Services Manager at Susquehanna Health Systems in Williamsport, PA. His son, Logan, is a U.S. soldier who was wounded on November 7th when an explosion occurred just south of Baghdad; he is expected to make a full recovery! Surgery was successful, and he hopes to return to his unit after recovery and rehabilitation at a hospital in Germany. We appreciate Logan's actions and our thoughts are with the Thompson family.

RPTM students Ben Weidler, Penny Horner and Meredith Morris were mentioned in a March 23 Centre Daily Times article for their work with the Centre County Youth Service Bureau’s Streetworks mobile outreach team. The Streetworks program takes positive youth activities to low-income neighborhoods in Centre County. Read more.

Notable Quotes

“I am writing on behalf of the golf staff at Augusta National Golf Club. Both John Ebmeyer and Patrick White exceeded our expectations during the 2008 Masters. They are a shining example of the quality of golf professionals graduating from your facility every year.”Jason Ballard, Assistant Golf Professional, Augusta National Golf Club

“Just wanted to tell you that [our intern] Lauren Richards is AWESOME! She’s smart, resourceful, friendly, fun and a very hard worker. Anyone who wouldn’t hire her would be crazy. We just love her!!” Diane Bloom, Director of Development, Central Pennsylvania Festival of the Arts

"Burch, Stevie, Eric and Jeanne: I'd just like to thank you for all your help and care over the past years and let you know that I really appreciate all you did for me throughout my years at school and after." Mike Garde PGM ’08 (

“What a pleasant surprise and wonderful honor to be given the Professional Golf Management Program’s 2008 Honorary Alumni Award! Please accept my sincere thanks for this honor and share my gratitude with your colleagues in the program.” Lyn Harmon

“I really enjoyed the banquet and getting more involved with the APG. The folks on the Advisory Committee for MMNC were delighted with the certificate from the banquet and were so pleased to know that the partnership we have with the department is so beneficial to both sides.”Molly Hetrick, Recreation Supervisor, Millbrook Marsh Nature Center

“A huge thanks for an outstanding Big Ten Women's Championship. We have had many compliments on the golf course, the event, but especially the volunteers and students from the PGM program. At least half a dozen parents came up to me and said how they enjoyed your company and how professional you were during the event. You should all be very proud of your efforts, not only with this event, but all of them.”Joe Hughes PGM ‘99, General Manager, Penn State Golf Courses

“I love my job because even though it would seem like it has nothing to do with parks and recreation, it actually does. I am constantly thinking how important it is that these kids simply have fun while learning. I think a huge reason I teach the way I do is because of what I studied and learned at college as a recreation major.” Esther Johns ’06 (

“I have been fortunate to belong to a department that has extended their support in ways I never imagined. The faculty, through flexible scheduling, creative financing, and tremendous patience have allowed me to slowly make progress toward my degree. Both the faculty and my fellow grad students have worn many hats…AS HAVE I…they have played counselor, chauffeur, chef, house-keeper, they have run countless errands, and sat for long hours in the hospital. But more importantly, they listen to my fears about the present and the future, help to dry my tears on tough days, make me laugh through their stories and jokes, and have provided much needed encouragement though this entire experience. In essence, they have shared with me their compassion, their friendship, and…their Spirit. I am flattered and over-whelmed to have an award named in my honor, but in all honesty it should be the RPTM Spirit Award." Cheryl Kelley, graduate student

“[The RPTM office staff] make everything so perfect, everything is well organized! You are so friendly and helpful to people. You have added much credit to this department. You have made my stay here so pleasant and fruitful!” Huimei Liu, visiting scholar

“On behalf of the Bellefonte Family YMCA we want to thank you and the students for running a top notch event for the kids of Bellefonte . . . This was a well attended event and the response from the parents was extremely positive. The students should be very pleased with the results, their professionalism showed throughout the night.” Howard W. Long III, CEO, Bellefonte Family YMCA

“This was my first visit to Penn State. I have been at a variety of other PGM Universities as well as the PGA Education Center - what an impressive group of young men and women!” “The Penn State senior class is the most impressive group of students that I have worked with in the past 11 years. You should be commended for your efforts and the success of your students.” “There is something about the Penn State PGM students that set them apart from other students. They are always well prepared and proudly represent the University." PGA Faculty Member

“I wanted to thank you for giving me your time and consideration when I visited you on Monday, April 14. I really enjoyed my visit with you, your staff and your program. The campus, your PGM office and the golf courses were all beautiful. I believe that your program would provide me with the best opportunity to succeed in the golf industry. I felt truly welcome during my visit and know that I would thoroughly enjoy being in your program and going to Penn State." Eric Swanson, prospective student


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