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Congratulations Alums

Amy Baginski ’06 ( has accepted a position as recreation program specialist at an adolescent treatment center, in Lake Villa, IL. She will be working with at-risk teens.

Andy Schell ’06 ( of Schooner Woodwind met with interested students about internship opportunities with his company on February 26.

Clifton Castleman ’05 ( and Phil Gardner ’03 started The Center for Wilderness Safety (Wilderness Clifton is District Executive for the Boy Scouts and Phil is the manager of Studio A Records.

Sarah Faix ’05 ( accepted a position as mental retardation support coordinator for Lenape Valley Foundation in Doylestown, PA.

Allison Motts ’05 (, a development assistant with The Longhorn Foundation at The University of Texas, graduated from the sport management program.

Shana Murray ’05 (, outdoor recreation planner for the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), presented on outdoor recreation planning process at hydroelectric dams and highlighted job opportunities at FERC in the RPTM 470 class on February 8.

Matt Donohoe ’04 ( accepted a position as an activity assistant with Manor Care of Lansdale, PA.

James Jones ’04 (, sales representative for Peter Millar Sportswear, was guest speaker at the PGM student society meeting on November 15.

Kelly Smith ’01 ( and Matthew McFarlane ’05 ( were the 2006 recipients of the Acushnet PGA Apprentice Scholarship Award. Each will receive a $1,000 scholarship and a plaque that will be awarded to them by their Titleist sales representative.

Michelle Fisher ’99 ( of Hershey Entertainment and Resorts was promoted to quality assurance manager. She was a guest speaker at the Mentoring Brunch on March 30.

Joe Hughes ’99 ( was selected by the Alumni Society of the College of Health and Human Development to receive the 2007 Emerging Professional – Undergraduate Degree Award. The award honors alumni graduated within the past ten years who have demonstrated professional excellence and exemplary voluntary community involvement in a health and human development field. The College will honor Joe on September 28.

Christopher Cain ’98 ( was awarded The Bill Strausbaugh award for outstanding PGA mentorship at the January 4 PGA Chapter awards dinner in Las Vegas, NE.

John Spencer ’98 (, past president of the Park Resource Branch of the Pennsylvania Recreation and Park Society, accepted a Presidential Citation from President Lee Bryan on behalf of the Park Resource Branch for outstanding service to PRPS. John served as the President of the Park Resource Branch from March 2005 to March 2007.

Jason Diaz ’97 (, head professional at the South Bend Indiana Club PGA, was highlighted in the February 2007 issue of PGA Magazine.

Brian Esposito ’97 ( received the PGM APG “Pride of Lions” award at the Fourth Annual PGM Alumni & Friends Tournament and Banquet on January 25. The award is given to an outstanding PGM alumnus demonstrating professional excellence in the golf industry over the past 5 years.

Kristen Stahl Sharp ’97 ( gave birth to Quinton Robert on Wednesday, March 28 at 5:07 pm.

Greg Weitzel ’97 ( accepted a position as Director of Parks, Recreation and Trails for the City of Allentown.

Michael Gardner ’96 (, general manager of the Tusscawilla Country Club in Winter Spring, FL, hosted the Fourth Annual PGM Alumni & Friends Tournament and Banquet held at Tuscawilla Country Club on January 25. Seventy students and fifteen alumni participated in the event.

Laura Rugledge ’94 (, Pennsylvania State Chair for the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, presented information on therapeutic horseback riding to RPTM 486 on March 22.

Dianne DeFusco ’88 ( accepted the position of Chief Administrative Officer at Palm View Rehabilitation and Care Center in Yuma, AZ.

The RPTM 486 students visited alumni in Philadelphia and met with therapeutic recreation specialists at ReMed Recovery Care Centers, including:

Joanne Finegan ’83 ( and Heather Langdon ’04 ( and at Magee Rehabilitation Hospital the students including Jessica Rickard ’96 (

The following alumni attended the Annual PGM Panel Discussion on December 6:

  • Jason Marciniec ’04 (, PGA Assistant Professional at Oakmont Golf Club, Oakmont, PA
  • Andy Pollock ’03 (, Senior Merchandising & Promotion Coordinator, Golf for Women magazine
  • Jason Martonick ’02, PGA Teaching Professional at Sugarloaf Golf Club, Sugarloaf, PA
  • Joe Hughes ’99 (, PGA Head Professional at Penn State Golf Courses, State College, PA
  • Jamie Kilmer ’99 (, PGA Teaching Professional at Meadow Brook Club, Jericho, NY
  • Kevin Hamluk ’97 (, PGM/APG President and PGA Head Professional at Stonewall Golf Club, Stonewall, VA

The following alumni began serving on the PGM Alumni APG Board of Directors on May 1, 2007:

RPTM Alumni Award Winners recognized at the Third Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet are as follows:

  • Brian Esposito ’97 ( PGM “The Pride of the Lions“ Alumni Award
  • Joanne Finegan ‘83 ( Alumni Recognition Award
  • Bob Griffith ’72 ( RPTM Affiliated Program Group Award “The Deb Kerstetter Outstanding Alumni Award”
  • Joe Hughes ’99 ( Emerging Professional Undergraduate Award
  • Laura Payne ’98 ( Emerging Professional Graduate Student

John Dattilo, Jennifer and Bob Griffith, Deb Kerstetter, and Dianne Defusco Former Department Head Fred Coombs (left) with Andrew Mowen. Top, left to right: John Dattilo, Jennifer and Bob Griffith,
Deb Kerstetter, and Dianne Defusco

Bottom: Former Department Head Fred Coombs (left) with Andrew Mowen.

Congratulations Students

Cara Bell (, Amanda Tylka (, and Adrienne Long ( were accepted into the Fall Women’s Leadership Initiative class and selected as members of the Women’s Leadership Initiative.

T.J. Bradley (, David Kim (, and Patrick Gunning ( secured $4,100 from the University Park Allocations Committee (UPAC) for the PGM Student Society to participate in the 2007 PGA Convention in Orlando, FL in January.

Kortney Clemons (, a rising senior in therapeutic recreation:

  • presented at the “Rising Above the Challenges” workshop at the Penn Stater on November 9 to 200 people about his time served in Iraq and his accident that resulted in the amputation of his right leg.
  • will compete in the 2007 Paralympics Pan American Games in Brazil in power lifting and the 100-meter race.

Sarah Gleeson ( was accepted into the College 2007 student exchange program with the Friedrich Schiller University of Jena, Germany.

Casie Goshow ( won the “Adidas Makes Tracks” contest. Contestants had to produce a video to show where their Adidas had taken or could take them. Casie, along with boyfriend John Ebmyer (RPTM – PGM) and a friend, produced a video to highlight Casie’s passion for dance. To view the video go to

Patrick Gunning ( and Megan Padua ( attended the 10th PGA Teaching and Coaching Summit in Port St. Lucie, FL December 6 – 10.

Pat Heim was the number one overall selection in the 2007 Major League Lacrosse Collegiate Draft by the Chicago Machine at the league's annual draft at Stony Brook University on May 31.

Jacob Hoffer ( Vicenzo Rallo ( were elected by their peers to represent RPTM as dancers at the 2007 Penn State Dance Marathon held February 16-18.

David Jackson ( and Aslynn Satterfield ( were among 436 winter student athletes recognized by The Big Ten. To be eligible for the Academic All-Big Ten team, student athletes must letter in at least their second academic year at their institution and carry a grade-point average of 3.0 or better. David was an honoree in Men’s Basketball and Aslynn was an honoree in Women’s Gymnastics.

Toni Liechty ( received the 2007 Juran Doctoral Award from the University of Minnesota for writing an essay about improving the quality of leisure by reducing body image related leisure constraints. The $2500 award is being matched by Penn State for a total of $5000.

Huimei Liu will be joining us as a Fulbright Visiting Student Researcher in fall 2007. Linda Caldwell and Garry Chick will be her co-advisors.
Christine Murawski ( was selected as the recipient of the PA Recreation and Park Society 2007 Student Honor Award.

Bobbi Jo Witmer ( was chosen as the RPTM student marshal for spring 2007 commencement and she selected Patty Kleban to accompany her as our faculty marshal.

Anita Younker ( has been awarded a two year Prevention and Methodology Training fellowship beginning July 1.

The 2007-08 executive board of the RPTM Student Society includes:

President: Leyla Morzan (
Vice President: Cara Bell (
Treasurer: Brian Parico (
Secretary: Molly Johnson (
THON Chair: JT Alderfer (

The 2007-08 executive board of the Golf Management Student Society includes:

President: Patrick Gunning (
Vice President: John Ebmeyer (
Treasurer: Rick Martel (
Secretary: Ryan Cameron (
Senior Class Representative: Megan Padua (
Junior Class Representative: Mike Brown (
Sophomore Class Representative: Jack Davis (
Tournament Director: Tom Hunt (

The PGM Student Society was a finalist to be recognized as the Outstanding Student Organization of the Year for the University. A video highlighting their efforts this year with THON can be viewed at

The following students attended the PA Recreation and Park Society Annual Convention held at the Hershey Lodge and Convention Center in Hershey March 25 – 28:

RPTM Student Scholarship winners recognized at the Third Annual RPTM Recognition Banquet includes:

Students at the RPTM Recognition BanquetJohn Dattilo and Patty Kleban with students at the Banquet.

Top: Students at the RPTM Recognition Banquet

Bottom: John Dattilo and Patty Kleban with students at the Banquet.

RPTM Outstanding Student Award winners recognized at the RPTM Recognition Banquet include:

5th graders golfing5th graders golfing

On April 23, the PGM students hosted "Golfapalooza", a community service project, designed to grow the game of golf. The event was host to 130 5th graders from Centre County Elementary Schools and was held at five area golf courses.

The PGM Student Society was a finalist in the category of Outstanding Student Organization of the Year for Penn State. They were recognized in the “Above and Beyond Awards Ceremony” in April.

The PGM program has recruited 61 new students; 24 students will start summer 2007 and 37 students will start fall 2007.

Congratulations Faculty

Linda Caldwell

  1. gave a two-part, three and a half day intensive workshop to the Fairfax County Virginia Department of Recreation and Community Services, Teen Services Division on “Evidence-based Programming: Making a Difference” on February 26 – 27 and March 26 – 28. The workshop included reading research and using theories and empirical evidence to design logic models for program development and evaluation.
  2. on May 16,spoke to the PRPS Board of Directors about the Department’s efforts in the area of health and leisure and the goals of The Center for Research on Leisure and Health to increase individual and community health, well-being, and quality of life across the lifespan.

John Dattilo, Eric Handley, Stevie Lovell, and Burch Wilkes attended the PGA of America’s Annual Merchandise Show and Convention held in Orlando, FL January 25 – 28. Seventy students attended and met with PSU alumni, interviewed for future internships and full time positions, networked with industry leaders, and reviewed the newest technology in the golf industry.
John Dattilo attended the 2007 SPRE Department Chairs meeting in St. Augustine, FL January 28-31.

Al Graefe and Andy Mowen contributed to an article “Public Response to Park and Recreation Funding and Cost-Saving Strategies: The Role of Organizational Trust and Commitment” published in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

Mac Garrett retired faculty member, celebrated his 90th birthday and he and his wife Diana, celebrated their 64th wedding anniversary in April.

As an advisory board member of the Rutherford County Wellness Council, Mark Ivy presented the Murfreesboro, TN Housing Authority with Active Living by Design Awards for five neighborhoods. Mark developed the award and worked with the wellness council to create the program.

Patty Kleban was an invited presenter at the Leadership Institute for 10th graders in the region sponsored by The Second Mile on April 2. The Second Mile is a non-profit organization designed to meet needs of at-risk children and youth. Patty presented on “Conflict management and conflict resolution as a leadership tool”.

Duarte Morais was guest speaker at the seminary “Turismo e Desenvolvimento Sustentavel” in Avis, Portugal on February 28. The title of the presentation was “Interaccao entre o turismo e as comunidades locais” and addressed the concern over the touristic exploitation of the less-developed interior by Portuguese urban centers and Northern European countries
Andy Mowen

  1. co-authored an article “The Role of Park Proximity and Social Support in Shaping Park Visitation, Physical Activity, and Perceived Health among Older Adults” published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health (4)167-179, 2007
  2. co-authored “Recreation, Parks, and the Public Health Agenda: Developing Collaborative Surveillance Frameworks to Measure Leisure Time Activity and Active Park Use” published in the Journal of Physical Activity and Health 4 (Suppl.1) S1-S10, 2007.
  3. served as an expert panel member on “Healthy Outdoor Lifestyles” for the 2006 Governor’s Outdoor Conference held at the Penn Stater on March 20.

Ralph Smith and Melissa McHugh ’77 ( co-authored “Comparison of Treatment Outcomes in Geropsychiatric Programs with and without Therapeutic Recreation Services” to be published in the 2007 Annual in Therapeutic Recreation.

Careen Yarnal presented “Use It or Lose It: Play, Leisure, Fun and Your well-being” at the Home Economics Alumni Reunion and 100 Year Celebration on April 27 – 28 at the Nittany Lion Inn.

Departmental Happenings

Alan Henry of the National Park Service visited campus on February 6. He talked to students about opportunities with NPS as well as presented in Andy Mowen’s RPTM 470 class.

Gennifer Blesh was hired as the RPTM budget assistant. She began working with us on March 6. Gennifer is originally from Savannah, GA. She has worked at Penn State since August 1998.

Sharon Houser retired on March 30th as budget assistant after 22 years of service to Penn State.

Hodya Margolis was hired as RPTM staff assistant on July 2. Hodya is a Penn State alum (HD FS, ’06) and worked many previous temporary and work-study positions within the University.

Angela Rothrock joined the RPTM team on August 6 as the RPTM academic advisor. Angela is a Penn State alum with her undergraduate degree in Admininstration of Justice ‘(01) and an M.Ed. in College Student Affairs (’07).

Shaver’s Creek Environmental Center’s total endowment now exceeds $1 million with a gift of $50,000 from Mark McBride, retired senior research engineer in Penn State’s Applied Research Lab. The gift will help Shaver’s Creek provide more programs for youth.

In the News

Christine Buzinde and seven other Penn State faculty are members of a multidisciplinary working group on indigenous knowledge and development in East Africa who spent spring break in Tanzania. Their mission is to initiate a long-term collaboration among Western-trained academics from Penn State and Tanzania and local residents
On Tuesday, February 6, The Centre Daily Times reported on the Career Fair held on February 5 at the HUB Robeson Center. The event was co-sponsored by the RPTM Student Society and Penn State Career Services. Several of our alumni attended the event representing their companies:

  1. Pete Carmichael ’00 ( – Six Flags
  2. Paul Faircloth ’82 – Cape Henlopen State Park
  3. Michelle Fisher ‘99 ( – Hershey Entertainment & Resorts
  4. Lucas McCarty ’04 ( - Plymouth Parks & Recreation
  5. Celia Segal ‘78 ( – Chocolate Seal
  6. Kelly Zingone ’05 ( – Frost Valley YMCA

Monty Christensen, retired alum and co-founder of The National Playground Safety Institute (NPSI), was highlighted in the January issue of Parks & Recreation.

Kortney Clemons ( a junior in Therapeutic Recreation was featured in an article “Helping Soldiers Heal” in the April issue of Outreach Magazine. Kortney was also highlighted in the March 30 edition of The Daily Collegian. He will compete in the Parapan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil in July. If he finishes in the top six he will qualify for the summer 2008 Paralympics Games in Beijing.

The former Business Administration Building has been named for Donald H. Ford, founding dean of the College of Human Development by the University’s Board of Trustees. Read the full story at

Kevin Wiest ’99 ( PGA head professional at Caves Valley Golf Club in Owings Mills, MD was quoted in the March issue of PGA Magazine.

Burch Wilkes was quoted in an article featured in the February 2007 issue of PGA Magazine.

Leslie Wilson ’99 announced her engagement to Nathan Hosterman in the March 4 issue of the Centre Daily Times. An October 6, 2007 wedding is planned.

Kaycee Zielinski (,RPTM student and member of the Lady Lions Softball team, was profiled in The Daily Collegian on April 2. Kaycee delivered a clutch, bases clearing triple that led the Lions to an 8 – 3 victory over the Wisconsin Badgers on Sunday, April 1.

Shaver’s Creek was featured on Penn State Live “Shaver’s Creek uses new academic partnerships to extend its offerings”. Read the full story at and see the video

The Park Resource Branch of Pennsylvania Recreation & Park Society received a Presidential Citation from President Lee Bryan at the annual PRPS Conference. John Spencer ’98 (, President of the Branch from March 2005 to 2007,accepted the award.

Shaver's Creek Environmental Center has added opportunities for loyal constituency groups - Penn State undergrads, schools, youth and the community.

George Vahoviak from Shaver's Creek Environmental Center was featured in a video for Penn State in Motion. The video shows you step by step how to use that sugar maple in your backyard. This segment aired on WPSU's PA Inside Out.

Notable Quotes

I was very honored and humbled to receive the first RPTM APG Outstanding Alumni Award particularly after it had been designated for Deb Kerstetter for her impressive work with both the Department and with her students. I also felt fortunate to receive the award at a time when many of the Penn State faculty and alumni who had helped me over the years were present so I could do my best to convey my thanks and appreciation to them. Bob Griffith, commenting at the 3rd Annual Recognition Banquet, ’72 (

It was truly special to see the bond that exists among the students and faculty, particularly with your seniors. The care and dedication that you and the whole faculty have for the students is really unbelievable. I am so thrilled that Drew is able to be a part of that. - Margie Grossman (mother of Drew), writing to Stevie Lovell

I am appreciative that you still send the RPTM News magazine to me. As one of the old timers I still enjoy looking through it and continue to be amazed at the growth of the entire program. When I was there it was the College Health, Physical Education and Recreation and I’ve always thought that “recreation” was just an “add on” for the college. But once it became a full department it really blossomed. You are to be congratulated for having the “growth and opportunity” vision for this field. – Bob Hepburn ‘49

I thoroughly enjoyed the time at PSU - you have an impressive group of students. I left State College thinking about how much more mature the kids were then I was at that age. Well done. - Note to Burch Wilkes from Scott Mahoney, President and CEO of Peter Millar.

Over the past four years of my collegiate career, I have had the privilege and the honor to work with the collective group simply known as the “PGM Family”. Dr. Frank Guadagnolo, Burch Wilkes, Stevie Lovell, Jeanne Korman and Eric Handley are nothing less than miracle workers. I would like to thank them from the bottom of my heart, along with all of the graduating seniors. The jobs you do and the commitment you bring to this program will never be forgotten. You all are the reason that the Penn State University Professional Golf Management Program is considered the best! We will all miss you very much, many thanks. - Note to Burch Wilkes from Chris Perrini.

I wanted to take a minute and thank you for your time and efforts to let us speak with RPTM classes. Kathleen and Dr. Chow were both very welcoming, friendly, and easy going. This is exactly how I remember my RPM professors when I was there. Jeff and I both view our visit to PSU as a huge success. We were able to get more information out to students on our visit there than we had ever expected. - Kelly Zingone ’05, Director of Camp Henry Hird, Frost Valley YMCA.


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