Bulletin News

61st Annual Recreation Conference Opens Nov. 3


Nina Roberts, a recognized authority on race, culture and gender issues in parks and recreation, will deliver the prestigious Metcalf Endowment Lecture at this year’s 61st annual SUNY Cortland Recreation Conference from Nov. 3 to 4 at the College.

Roberts, who currently directs the Pacific Leadership Institute (PLI) at San Francisco State University (SFSU), will discuss “Multiculturalism and Quality of Life: Strong Communities Build a Strong Nation” at 1:15 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 4, in the Corey Union Function Room. The lecture is free and open to the public.

“Recreation Nation” is the theme of the two-day gathering, the nation’s oldest continuous collegiate-sponsored recreation education conference. Sponsored by the College’s Department of Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies and the Campus Artist and Lecture Series, the conference receives additional support for its Metcalf Lecture from the Metcalf Endowment Fund.

“Recreation and recreational programs are vital not only to individual health and wellness but also to communities and ultimately, the entire nation,” said Ethan Taylor, the conference’s program coordinator, referring to the conference planning committee’s selection of the theme. “‘Recreation Nation’ recognizes that individuals, communities and our nation are made stronger through participation in recreational pursuits.”

Registration takes place at 7 a.m. on both Thursday and Friday at Corey Union. The fee is $115 for professionals and $50 for SUNY Cortland students to attend both days; and $80 for professionals to attend Thursday or Friday only. The non-SUNY Cortland student group rate to attend both days is $30 each for 10 or more students. The additional cost to receive Continuing Education Unit (CEU) credits is $8. The registration fee includes meals and entertainment.

Additional information may be obtained by calling (607) 753-4939, by e-mailing recconf@cortland.edu or online at www.cortland.edu/recconference, where the brochure and registration form may be viewed or printed.

More than 300 students are expected to attend the conference, which will offer more than 48 educational sessions and practical workshops on recreation management, therapeutic recreation, outdoor recreation, environmental education, and leisure and society. A research symposium also is planned.

Topics will include blending commercial recreation and the great outdoors, sustainability in parks and recreation, new games as the foundation of cooperative and non-competitive play, making a challenge program sufficiently challenging, character education in recreation, bird watching and the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Participatory Science Project, learn to fly and build an airplane, recreation therapy and a case study of Guillain-Barre Syndrome, conflict transformation using an experiential outdoor education model, social media, a field trip on facilitating resiliency in youth, animal-assisted therapeutic recreation, avoiding words that hurt, and quick and easy games from around the world.

The event is planned and directed by SUNY Cortland recreation and leisure studies majors in the Special Events Planning class taught by conference advisor Leiko Benson, a teaching assistant in the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department. The students and the committees they chair include:

• Taylor of Brewerton, N.Y., who also is co-chairing budget, treasurer and office manager;

• Peter Bardou of Syracuse, N.Y., budget, special programs, evaluation and volunteer coordinator;

• Sam Benjamin of Burlington Flatts, N.Y., social services and registration;

• Casey Cregg of Ithaca, N.Y., brochure and posters, theme and logo, special speakers and research symposium;

• Robert Cutright of Utica, N.Y., brochure and posters, theme and logo, alumni newsletter and exhibits and internship fair;

• Mike DeRuyter of Saugerties, N.Y., social services and special speakers;

• Kris Docherty of Malta, N.Y., marketing, public relations, brochure and posters and theme and logo;

 • Jen Fitzpatrick of Phoenix, N.Y., program coordinator and special programs;

• Ben Kimple of Manlius, N.Y., marketing, brochure and posters, theme and logo and internal services;

• Mike Prove of Fayetteville, N.Y., marketing, program coordinator and program design;

• Brian Skeats of Woodstock, N.Y., bulk mailing, alumni chair and special speakers; and,

• Chelsea Smith of Babylon, N.Y., teaching assistant.

Cortland alumni presenting at this year’s conference include Janice Pauly ’71, Tom Kehoskie ’74, Karen Purcell Beard ’75, Jon Cooley ’75, Heidi Jewett ’79, Jody Phelps Rogers ’80, Jim Raulli ’87, John La Rue ’89, Jon Harshberger ’98, Scott Catucci ’00, Rhonda Jacobs ’01, Pat Mercer ’03 and Marrick McDonald ’04.

Roberts, a professor in SFSU’s Recreation, Parks and Tourism Department, has focused her research on the areas of outdoor programming and leadership, adventure education, youth development and recreation land management. Her studies explore gender issues and ethnic diversity in relation to attitudes and experiences regarding public parks.

The institute she directs is an organization based at SFSU that offers a menu of programs centered on learn-by-doing opportunities. The PLI uses the value of challenge, the power of play and the great outdoors as teaching tools for building life skills such as self-esteem, trust, leadership and the ability to work as a team.

Nina Roberts
Nina Roberts, the 61st annual Recreation Conference keynote speaker, enjoys some time in a favorite state park in Califorenia. She is a recognized authority on race, culture and gender issues in parks and recreation.

A dynamic educator and respected leader, Roberts is nationally known for her work with regarding race/ethnicity and national parks as well as urban youth, women and girls and their development of healthy lifestyles.

She has shared her ideas through interviews on Public Radio International, CNN.com, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times, and The Boston Globe.

Roberts has been acknowledged for her commitment to diversity and social justice with a desire to break down barriers of inequality, especially relating to park access and recreation opportunities on public lands. Her work provides leaders and managers in outdoor recreation and adventure, natural resource education and conservation with ideas and resources needed to respond more effectively to changing demographics as well as cultural shifts and trends across the U.S.

At SFSU, she also is a gateway partner with the National Outdoor Leadership School and an affiliate faculty member with the Environmental Studies Program. A member of the University Committee on International Programs and Social Justice, she coordinates the undergraduate assessment for her department.

In the community, Roberts serves as a fellow teacher consultant with the Bay Area Writing Project, Steering committee member of The Nature Conservancy’s National Youth Poll, National Parks Centennial Steering Committee member, research committee co-chair of the National Parks Promotion Council, advisory council member of the Center for Diversity and the Environment and advisory council member of GirlVentures.

Roberts earned a Bachelor of Science in Physical Education and Recreation from Bridgewater State College and a Master of Arts in Outdoor Recreation Resources from University of Maryland. She has a doctorate in natural resource education and outdoor recreation from Colorado State University.

This year, the conference social will take place from 5 to 7 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 3, at Brix Pubaria on 60 Main St. in Cortland. The event is sponsored in part by Parkitects and the Great Outdoors RV Superstore.