Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
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Special Section: Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Penn State Student Raises $85,000 for Kenyan Orphanage Through Reddit By Grace Rambo, staff writer, The Daily Collegian A small act of kindness led to a significant change, though Ben Hardwick never expected the end result.
But this is not the first time that Hardwick has worked to better the lives of Kenyans.
Hardwick, a recreation, park, and tourism management student, took to the social networking website, reddit.com, after hearing the story of a Kenyan orphanage worker named Omari who had been attacked by burglars with a machete.
Hardwick wrote he wanted to study somewhere that would “challenge” him, so he first studied abroad in Kenya during the spring of 2010. Hardwick and a few friends came across a “wooden-shack of a school” as they were preparing to climb Mt. Longonot, and after seeing it, the idea to begin the Longonot Education Initiative was born.
Hardwick, who was studying abroad in Kenya at the time, posted a photo of Omari on January 27, 2012 asking the online community to help raise $2,000 to finish building a wall around the orphanage. In less than 17 hours, Hardwick said $65,000 was donated—and within a few days, that grew to $83,000 and, eventually, $85,000. “The entire experience still feels surreal,” Hardwick wrote in an email, due to limited phone access in Africa. “My experiences in Kenya have made me appreciate the things in life that I once took for granted.” Hardwick said he first heard of the attack from two volunteers at the orphanage. They explained that because the fence surrounding the orphanage was in disrepair, intruders easily entered the compound at night. It was then that Hardwick felt he had to contribute in some way—so he took to the Internet.
The Longonot Education Initiative is an organization that focuses on supporting and developing educational opportunities for children in Kenya. Within the NGO, there are several projects available to help children, such as a daily lunch program, a de-worming program, and a clean water initiative. Hardwick wrote that eight years ago, a woman named Mama Mora began the Faraja Children’s Home in Kibera, Kenya’s largest slum. Since that time, they have been evicted and displaced five times because they could not afford to pay the rent. Because of the hardship faced by the children of Kibera, Hardwick wrote the main initiative of the NGO is to purchase the land for the Faraja Children’s Home.
Within a few hours of posting the story, donations “started to pour in,” Hardwick wrote.
“We never want Mama Mora to worry about or see another eviction notice,” Hardwick wrote.
Since the money was raised, Hardwick wrote that construction of the orphanage’s wall was completed in February. They have also changed the locks on the doors of the orphanage, hired security guards to watch the orphanage at night, and provided food and medicine for the children.
Hardwick, who studied abroad in Kenya again for the spring semester, wrote that although life in Kenya is different from life in the United States, it is still an experience to be cherished.
In addition, Hardwick writes that they hope to purchase eighteen new bunk beds for the children so they no longer have to sleep on mattresses on the floor.
“I returned simply because I missed the daily pleasures and frustrations of the country,” Hardwick wrote. “I have discovered that someone like me, a relatively broke college student, can dramatically impact the lives of the less fortunate with a little bit of effort; especially with the help of the Internet and social media.”
Americans Fall Short of Federal Exercise Recommendations Americans spend, on average, only about two hours each week participating in sports and fitness activities, according to researchers who examined U.S. government data from the American Time Use Study. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that adults aged 18 to 64 get about four hours of physical activity each week by exercising moderately for two-and-a-half hours per week and engaging in a vigorous activity, such as running and muscle strengthening, for an hour and fifteen minutes per week. “The United States is the fattest country in the world,” said Geoffrey Godbey, professor emeritus. “The amount of exercise Americans get has become a major concern.” The team, which also included John Robinson, professor of sociology, University of Maryland, analyzed ATUS data from the U.S. Census Bureau’s most recent national diary study of more than 100,000 respondents of all ages across the country to examine the amount of time Americans spend on sports and fitness activities. The results are reported in the 2011 edition of Time Use in Australia and United States/Canada Bulletin, which appeared online in May 2012. The researchers found that dedicated walking is the most prevalent activity, engaged in by about 5 percent of Americans on an average day for 53 minutes per walker. In terms of the more physically active team sports, the researchers found that basketball is the most popular, followed by football, soccer, baseball, volleyball, and hockey. “Baseball may be our national pastime and football our main spectator sport, but the daily time spent on basketball is higher than both of them combined,” said Robinson. “This is particularly true among teenagers, who spend about seven times more time than older adults playing basketball, as well as other team sports.” In general, teenagers participated in fitness activities about 2.5 times as much as older adults aged 18-64—41 minutes per day versus 17 minutes for those 18-64 and 13 minutes for seniors over age 65. “Among older adults, team sports are almost invisible in terms of daily time use, with only one in 500 people playing baseball or football, and one in 60 people playing basketball on a given day,” Godbey said.
Godbey suggested a number of reasons that might explain why Americans do not exercise as much as they should. “First, we live in an automobile culture,” he said, noting that four out of every five miles Americans spend moving are in an automobile. “Second,” he said, “we are almost addicted to television and computers. Americans ages 18 to 64 average more than 35 hours of free time each week, but they spend half of it watching television. Third, our society is aging—13 percent of us are 65 years old or older. Fourth, a lot of physical activities, such as hockey and tennis, can be expensive to participate in because of the gear and memberships they require. And finally, because of crime, some people are afraid to leave their homes to go out for a walk or a run.” According to Robinson, even though two hours a week of exercise doesn’t seem like much, it’s significantly more than what people were getting in 1965. “Today’s two hours a week is almost three times higher than what was found in the first U.S. national diary study conducted in 1965,” he said. As in earlier diary surveys, men exercise about twice as much as women, but women are equal to men in the amount of time they spend walking, swimming, bowling, and in directed fitness activities, like cardio, aerobics, and hiking. The researchers also compared the daily time Americans devote to team sports versus other fitness activities. They found that people spend an average of about two hours per day on team sports and less than an hour per day on other fitness activities, such as walking or running. The longest episodes—an average of close to four hours per day—are spent hunting and fishing. Among seniors 65 or over, golf is the most prevalent fitness activity other than walking, but seniors are about as active as younger adults in many fitness activities, such as workouts, aerobics, and cardiovascular exercise. Seniors also are equal to younger adults in the amount of time they spend bowling The Maryland Population Research Center funded this ATUS analysis as part of a larger grant from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Special Section: Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Golf Teaching and Research Center Improves Golfers’ Performances When Titleist decides to sponsor a particular golfer, it looks to its own research and development department for insight into choosing the best balls and clubs that work in combination with the golfer’s particular body type and golfing style to produce the best shots. Obviously, this information is proprietary. Now, with the Penn State Golf Teaching and Research Center (GTRC), questions—such as how the ball flight of each shot combines with club delivery at impact and the 3D biomechanics of the golfer’s swing to yield certain types of shots—are being investigated by scientists with a goal of making the results available to the general public. “Typically, facilities like the Penn State Golf Teaching and Research Center (GTRC) have only been available to the major golf equipment manufacturers within their R&D departments and kept in hiding to maintain a competitive advantage,” said Eric Handley, director of the GTRC and instructor in the department. “With that in mind, the GTRC is very unique. It is the only facility like it in the world that is housed within a PGA-accredited Golf Management program, and can combine access to the best technologies available, with some of the top faculty members in their respective areas.”
Designed to advance golf research and instruction, the GTRC opened its doors in late 2009, with a ribbon-cutting ceremony. The center provides a cutting-edge, high-quality research and teaching environment for Penn State faculty, staff, and students. “Our current research includes a look at the biomechanics of the full swing and putting stroke as they relate to the golfer’s playing and athletic abilities,” said Handley. “We are currently looking at a specific population that includes ‘better’ golfers who maintain handicaps in the 0-10 range.” To conduct this and other work, researchers in the GTRC have at their disposal a nine-camera three-dimensional optical motion capture system, an eight-sensor three-dimensional electromagnetic motion capture system, a three-dimensional Doppler radar ball-flight machine that predicts the trajectory and distance of the ball, a putting green, and several pieces of equipment to modify clubs. The center also has a space in which physical assessment tests are conducted with help from faculty members in the Department of Kinesiology. More information about the GTRC is on the web at: www.hhd.psu.edu/rptm/gtrc.
Photo Credit: Paul Hazi (8)
Special Section: Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Investigating the Health Effects of “Going With the Flow” In most countries, helping little old ladies cross the street is encouraged by society. But with what frequency and under what circumstances do people actually help little old ladies across the street? Garry Chick, professor and head of the department, focuses his research on answering such questions involving the relationship between culture and behavior. In particular, with a recent grant from the Taiwan Research Council, Chick and his colleagues are investigating the relationship between culture and leisure activities in six urban areas in Taiwan. “We are interested in finding out if a particular set of leisure activities, say, watching TV, going to parties, chatting with friends, and so on, are, culturally speaking, regarded as important, what is the degree to which people are able to do those things?” said Chick. “We also want to know how participation in these leisure activities influences perceived health.” According to Chick, the degree to which people actually choose to engage in activities that are culturally determined to be important is termed “cultural consonance.” “Previous research has shown that the degree of cultural consonance in a positive or desired lifestyle relates to measures of both physical and mental health, including systolic blood pressure, stress, and depression,” said Chick. “That is, the more people are able to possess culturally desirable things, such as cars, TVs, and refrigerators, and engage in culturally desirable leisure activities, the better their health.”
In Taiwan, Chick and his colleagues are examining “cultural consonance” and its effects on the perceived health of people living in six urban areas: Taipei, Hualien, Taitung, Kaoshoung, Taichung, and Hsinchu. The team’s first survey, which was completed in 2008, includes 1,775 respondents, each of whom was asked about the importance of sixty-one different leisure activities and his or her level of participation in each, as well as each person’s perceived health status. “We have found that leisure and life satisfaction strongly predict perceived health among major demographic groups, including males, females, young, old, rich, and poor,” said Chick. “Our initial analyses indicate that there is moderate-to-strong agreement among respondents regarding the importance of various leisure activities in all of the cities and demographic groups. However, our initial results for cultural consonance are mixed. Older women in Taipei, for instance, are very likely to engage in leisure activities deemed important by society and the degree to which they engage in these activities is correlated with their health. But we have found a weaker relationship among young males, and no relationship among younger women and older males.” The team currently is breaking the groups down into more detailed demographic groups and reanalyzing the data to see what other patterns emerge. “We are interested in seeing what other patterns emerge, but our finding that perceived health relates rather strongly to life satisfaction and even more strongly to leisure satisfaction is solid,” he said.
Linda Caldwell Named Distinguished Professor Penn State has named Linda Caldwell ’76 RC PK, professor of recreation, park, and tourism management and of human development and family studies, a distinguished professor. The honor— which recognizes exceptional teaching, research, creativity, and service to the University community—is awarded by the Office of the President of Penn State based on the recommendations of colleagues and the dean.
“Dr. Caldwell has consistently been a leader not only in the field of recreation and leisure studies but also in adolescent development and prevention science,” said Garry Chick, head of the department. “Her research contributions, her use of them in her teaching, and their translation into important and practically applicable programs have been extraordinary and, I believe, unmatched in the field of recreation and leisure studies. I believe that she is richly deserving of appointment as a distinguished professor.” Caldwell has published over 100 refereed research articles and book chapters and is a co-author of a book, titled Recreation and
Photo Credit: Gene Maylock
Caldwell’s research primarily focuses on programs and interventions that develop youth competencies, promote healthy lifestyles and reduce risky behavior such as substance misuse and sexual risk in and through leisure. She is the co-developer of two interventions that focus on preventing adolescent risk behavior through positive use of free time, “Time Wise: Taking Charge of Leisure Time” and “HealthWise South Africa: Life Skills for Young Adults.” Her primary funding comes from the National Institute on Drug Abuse and the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute. Although Caldwell has conducted studies in Pennsylvania, the scope of her research involves close work with international colleagues, primarily in South Africa, where she has been a principal investigator or co-principal investigator on funded research since 2000. Her other international efforts have included working with colleagues in Germany and Colombia to translate the TimeWise program into German and Spanish.
Youth Development, which has been translated into Mandarin Chinese. She is currently the secretary of the Children and Youth Commission of the World Leisure Association, the past-president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and an elected member of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration. In 2007, she was a recipient of the National Recreation and Park Association’s Franklin D. and Theodore Roosevelt Excellence in Recreation and Park Research Award and the Society for Prevention Research’s International Collaborative Prevention Science Award. She received the College of Health and Human Development’s Leadership in Outreach Scholarship Award in 2009, and the Penn State Spirit of Internationalization Award in 2012. Caldwell currently is serving as a guest editor for a special issue of Loisir et Société/Society & Leisure on e-leisure and has served in many editorial capacities over the years, mainly as associate editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal, the Journal of Leisure Research, and Leisure/ Loisir. She is an active reviewer for numerous leisure, prevention, and developmental psychology journals.
In 2010, Caldwell was appointed to serve as Penn State’s faculty athletics representative to the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) and also selected as the inaugural director of the College of Health and Human Development’s Global Leadership Initiative, a post she continues to hold. Prior to joining the faculty at Penn State in 1995, Caldwell was an assistant professor at the University of Waterloo from 1986 to 1989 and an assistant professor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro from 1989 to 1993. From 1993 to 1995, she was a parttime professor at the University of Georgia while also conducting research for the USDA Forest Service. Caldwell received a bachelor’s degree in recreation and parks in 1976 from Penn State, a master’s degree in recreation resources administration from North Carolina State University in 1982, and a Ph.D. degree in recreation from the University of Maryland in 1986.
Special Section: Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management
Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Affiliate Program Group (APG) The RPTM APG seeks to unite Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management alumni (and alumni of predecessor majors) in order to serve alumni, faculty and staff members, and students of the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. Below is an update from the RPTM APG president about current activities and ways to get involved. • The APG has elected new board members. Please see alumni.hhd.psu.edu/rptm/board.html. • The APG plans to increase its mentoring of students through increased RPTM graduate classroom visits in 2012-2013. • For a social gathering, the RPTM APG will be hosting a RPTM night at a Spikes game during the 2012 season. All students, alumni, and faculty members are invited to come out to the game. The goal is to bring the entire RPTM family together.
Connect with the Affiliate Program Group Website alumni.hhd.psu.edu/rptm Facebook “RPTM Alumni/Student Network” APG President David Wells ’10 RPTM firstname.lastname@example.org
Professional Golf Management APG The PGM APG seeks to unite Professional Golf Management alumni in order to serve alumni, faculty and staff members, and students of the PGM program within the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management. Below is an update from the PGM APG president about current activities and ways to get involved. Mentoring A newly updated mentoring program is being launched by the APG. This effort builds on the already-successful initiative born out of the hard work of past president Joe Hughes ’99 RPM in 2011. The program updates include a deeper commitment mandate out of APG members who commit to the program, as each is called to conduct ongoing conference calls and in-person meetings with their associated student. The APG launched a new award to recognize mentoring excellence. Named after the PGM program’s first professor in charge, the Frank Guadagnolo Award for Mentoring Excellence was awarded at the Alumni/Student Reception in Orlando, Fla., during the PGA Show. Awards The APG presented three awards at the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla., during the alumni/student reception. Two of these awards were newly launched: the aforementioned Mentoring Excellence Award and the Emerging Professional Award. Additionally, the APG awarded its Pride of the Lions Award for Golf Professional of the Year. The Emerging Professional Award was created to recognize an APG member who “has demonstrated outstanding professional excellence and/or exemplary community service within the past five years.”
board conference calls. Mason Champion ’98 RPM, president of the APG, also traveled to campus, had dinner with the executive board, and subsequently spoke to the broader Student Society during that evening’s meeting. The APG launched a new initiative associated with communication, dubbed “The Best Practices Conference Call Series.” This program was designed to spotlight an APG member or industry center of influence whose insight and professional experience might be valuable to the broader APG membership. The first call highlighted JJ Weaver ’98 RPM and head professional at Augusta National Golf Club, home of the Masters Tournament. JJ talked about his journey as a student and alumnus, and about his experiences as one of the country’s top young professionals. The second call spotlighted Tony Pancake, head professional at Crooked Stick Golf Club in Carmel, Indiana. Tony talked about work/life balance—a hot topic among our APG membership. Both calls were quite successful, and we’ve received great feedback from the APG field on this initiative. Social & Professional Engagement The Alumni/Student Reception at the PGA Show in Orlando, Fla., remained the most significant gathering of APG members and students for the year. The event found more than 200 such individuals gathering to connect, network, mentor, and engage professionally and personally. Highlights of the evening included the awards presentation and an APG State of the Union Address. The event was catered and there was ample space to accommodate the sizable crowd.
Joe Hughes won the Mentoring Excellence Award; Patrick White ’08 RPTM won the Emerging Professional Award; and Wade Gurysh ’97 RPM won the Pride of the Lions Award.
Connect with the Affiliate Program Group
The APG board took a strong stance to broaden its communication base with the Student Society. This included welcoming Student Society board members to participate in on-campus updates during APG
Mason Champion ’98 RPM, President email@example.com
News for alumni and friends of the Penn State College of Health and Human Development and the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Ma...