Campus hosts Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management Showcase

MCKEESPORT, Pa. -- On April 21, Penn State Greater Allegheny held a multi-campus, virtual career panel discussion on Recreation, Park, and Tourism Management (RPTM). Marijke Hecht, assistant professor of RPTM at Greater Allegheny, moderated the conversation.

Panelist Chastity Bey, community nature educator at Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy; Chris Phillips, president of B Entertainment; Justin Haug, chief of staff at Siuslaw National Park; Kathryn Vargas, citiparks assistant director for community recreation at the City of Pittsburgh; and Marcus Shoffner, director of diversity, equity and inclusion at Venture Outdoor; spoke about each of their experiences with recreation fields.

With summer around the corner, outdoor recreation becomes a popular option for community members. Kathryn Vargas encourages individuals to “go to their local rec and see what programs are offered to engage young people.”

“For young people to engage with these recreations and parks, they should look to see what is going on around them,” said Chastity Bey. “Some programs can get you into outdoor spaces that you may not have thought about.”

One such outdoor space next to the Greater Allegheny campus is Renziehausen (Renzie) Park. The 205-acre park features recently renovated walking trails, tennis courts, athletic fields, a small lake, an award-winning Rose Garden and a spray park. Park facilities are funded by the Allegheny Regional Asset District in partnership with the City of McKeesport.

RPTM is the latest degree program added to Greater Allegheny’s academic portfolio and offers students vast career options. Hecht refers to RPTM as “anything from environmental education, outdoor recreation or programming in cities.”

Current students interested in the program should reach out to their academic advisers for more information. Future Nittany Lions can learn more about the RPTM program at

Troy Ferguson, senior communications major at Greater Allegheny and Strategic Planning and Communications intern, contributed to this story.