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Spring Social 2023 Celebrates PRTM Awards and Achievements

Students, alumni, faculty, friends and community partners gathered at Aloft Raleigh to celebrate outstanding achievements on a lovely spring evening in Raleigh, NC. Located on Hillsborough Street across from The Memorial Belltower, the venue was a marked departure for end-of-year events.

Faculty, students, alums and family members gathered at Aloft Raleigh on April 13, 2023.

“Times change and traditions do not,” said department head, Rasul Mowatt. “It is incumbent on us to conceive of gatherings that honor the work of others, low-cost gatherings that shift monies that would have gone to event expenses to scholarships, and gatherings that are realistic to the needs (and time) of working students, some of whom are first generation and low-income.”

“For our faculty and staff, such a gathering allows for a brief reprieve from areas and types of work that are constant, especially at the end of the Spring semester. And for our guests, such a gathering grants us all the ability to have true and meaningful conversations between us. So, since times change, why not create new traditions? This will be the purpose of the PRTM Spring Social.”

Located directly across from campus, the Aloft Raleigh provided the perfect balcony for taking selfies and family photos.

Assistant teaching professor, Kimberly Willis with proud parents Diane Pearsall-Langley and Chris Langley with Amber Langley, winner of the Candace Vick Scholarship and the Jack “Swede” Frauson Scholarship. Langley is a sport management major minoring in psychology.

Outstanding Undergraduate Student Awards

Each year students are nominated and chosen by faculty and staff based on their class contributions, leadership abilities, extra curricular activities, and general involvement in the department. This year’s outstanding undergraduate award winners are:

  • De’Shawn Thomas – Hines Outstanding Senior Sport Management
  • Edy Kaleta – Candace Vick Outstanding Senior PRTM Student
  • Aaron Paulus – Outstanding PRTM Student
  • Chloe Negrete – Outstanding Sport Management Student
  • Tommy Rogalski – Outstanding PGM Student

Scholarship Winners for 2023-2024

The following department wide scholarships were awarded:

  • Site Solutions Scholarship: Brandon Mise
  • Legends in Giving Scholarship: Riley Pittman, Weston Wright, Will Glover
  • Phillip S. Rea Endowment for Parks and Recreation: Diana Marcheshi
  • The Wayne Williamson and Bette Rose Scholarship in Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management: Celia Settlemyer Lindsey Bateman, William Carroll, Tylene Powell
  • The J. Harold and Hazel Moses Endowed Scholarship: Nathan Reston
  • Steve and Laura White Endowed Scholarship: Charles Freehafer
  • The Saleeby Family Scholarship Endowment: Morgan Vulpis

The following program-focused scholarships were awarded:

Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
Dr. M. Roger Warren Endowed in Park Management Scholarship: Gordon Hackborn
Winslow, Frauson, Rea Endowed Scholarship: Nathan Reston, Andrew Ross
The Lena Anne Gordon Endowed Scholarship: Kaitlyn Hall
The Lewis and Susan Ledford Scholarship: Riley Kiker
Worthington Family Scholarship: Christopher Howerton
Candace Vick Scholarship: Amber Langley

Sport Management
Francis Family Endowed Scholarship: Lyndsey O’Marra
Jack “Swede” Frauson Sport Management Scholarship: Amber Langley

Internship/Experiential Learning
The Michelle Wells Parks and Recreation Experiential Learning Endowment: Andrew Ross
Donna Martin Bhatnagar Scholarship: Mia Peterson
Thomas B Hines Experiential Learning Scholarship: Chance Puckett, Bryson Shanklin

The Phillip E. Fleming Endowed Scholarship: Lily Airington

Professional Golf Management
PRTM PGM Thomas Haller, Nora Purtell, Abigail Brooks, Andrew Yard
Linde Natural Resources Scholarship: Addison Selna

Lifelong Achievement Awards

A special part of this year’s celebration included recognizing outstanding alums and presenting a posthumous lifetime achievement award. During the pandemic of 2020, Scott Payne won the award for Outstanding Alumni and Sally Webb Berry for Lifetime Achievement. This year, both recipients were able to attend in person. Davin “Dave” Olsen, who passed away in 2022, was awarded posthumously.

Scott Payne receiving the 2023 Outstanding Alumni Award featuring a personal photo and calligraphy by a PRTM student.

Payne earned his BS and MS degrees from NC State’s department of parks, recreation and tourism management. Payne most recently served as assistant director for the City of Raleigh parks, recreation and cultural resources department. He began his career of service to the profession here at NC State holding positions of recreation consultant, extension associate and director of Recreation Resource Services (RRS). Today, Payne is the Director of the Parks and Recreation Maintenance Management School, a partnership with PRTM, NRPA and the National Training Center at Oglebay, having been a part of the professional development program since 1995. He is both an alum and employee of the department serving as an extension assistant for RRS serving the Northeast Region of North Carolina.

Sally Webb Berry addresses the crowd at Aloft Raleigh.

Sally Webb Berry is the CEO of The Special Event Company based in Apex, NC. She founded the company in 1987 using her background in sports PR and marketing as one of the first dedicated event management companies in the UK. She and her company have produced events in over 25 countries throughout Europe, USA, Africa, South America and Asia. She is also a founding board member of Teen Cancer America with Roger Daltrey and Pete Townshend and serves on the advisory board of The SEARCH Foundation.

“Despite leading one of the best event management companies in the world and recognized globally as one of the world’s leading event producers, Sally is extremely generous with her time,” said Jason Bocarro, Owens-Shelton Distinguished Professor of Leadership with a Global Perspective. “Be it mentoring young professionals, designing innovative educational programs for the next generation of event planners, or dedicating her efforts to raise money for Teen Cancer America.”

Kyle Bunds was one of three speakers that shared stories about Dave Olsen.

Dave Olsen had a profound impact on our program,” said Kyle Bunds, Associate Professor in Sport and Sustainable Community Development. “He mentored our faculty and students with enthusiasm and always over-delivered. Dave would meet you for coffee, lunch or dinner and even participate during event chats about whatever our students needed to learn about sport management and facility management.”

Jason Bocarro presents lifetime achievement award to Sally Webb Berry.

Another unique addition to this year’s celebration were the actual awards. Instead of engraved plaques or etched bowls, the planning committee collaborated with a student to create a more personalized gift. Samantha Ray, a senior in parks, recreation and tourism management, does photography and calligraphy. She took photos around campus for student awards and special photos for the lifetime achievement awards based on what the recipients most enjoyed.