USF Department of Recreation and Sport Management Inducts New Honor Society Members

USF Alpha Iota Chapter of the Rho Phi Lambda National Honor Society 2022 inductees

Joliet, Ill. – On Tuesday, March 15, the University of St. Francis (USF) Recreation and Sport Management (RSM) Department hosted a special induction ceremony to welcome four new members to the USF Alpha Iota Chapter of the Rho Phi Lambda National Honor Society. The 2022 inductees include Makayla Barfield, Madison Massaro, Kayla Sistos and Shannon Smith.

The Rho Phi Lambda National Honor Society is dedicated to outstanding students within the USF Recreation and Sport Management Department. The honor society’s purpose is five-fold:

  1. to recognize superior students in the USF RSM program;
  2. to encourage the development of professional standards for the leisure service profession;
  3. to stimulate the personal development of individual members’ professional growth in the leisure field;
  4. to cultivate, foster and promote a sentiment of amity among the students of the leisure profession, and;
  5. to recognize those persons who have made outstanding contributions to the field of recreation/parks/leisure.

Eligibility criteria for induction consideration include: a 3.0 overall GPA, 3.2 GPA in the RSM program, 45 credit hours completed at USF, and 12 credit hours completed with the RSM program. To be considered for candidacy, students must also apply for membership and develop an electronic Rho Phi Lambda portfolio.

Also at the induction ceremony, the USF RSM Distinguished Professional Award was presented to Ron Dodd for his distinguished service to the field of parks, recreation, and sport. Dodd has achieved international recognition throughout his career as a public agency park professional. The Ottawa, Ill., native’s career was spent serving a variety of park districts and municipalities, including the Chicago Park District and the Joliet Park District, where he served from 1990 until his retirement in 2004. During Dodd’s tenure at the Joliet Park District, the district received the National Gold Medal Grand Award from the National Recreation and Park Association. Dodd has also served as a visiting professor and adjunct instructor in the USF Department of Recreation and Sport Management. He continues to this day as a member on the RSM Advisory Council and participates in the senior RSM student poster session reviews.

Previous recipients of the USF RSM Distinguished Professional Award include: Mike Selep (2019), Dr. Lyle Hicks (2018), Charles Szoke (2018), Jeff Boubelik (2017), and Renee Gauchet (2016).

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The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves close to 4,000 students nationwide and offers undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 52,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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USF Competing for Title of National Outdoor Champion

Joliet, Ill. – Hiking. Kayaking. Backpacking. Bicycling. Even bird-watching. These are just a few of the activities that the students and employees at the University of St. Francis (USF) have been participating in since September 16 as they compete to win the 5th annual AORE Campus Challenge.

Hosted by the Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE), a nonprofit committed to reconnecting individuals with the outdoors, the annual AORE Campus Challenge aims to get students from more than 90 universities off the couch and into the outdoors. To participate, students simply download the Campus Challenge app, join their university’s team, and then log their outdoor activities during the Challenge to score points. Prizes for winners include national titles, free outdoor gear, and most importantly, bragging rights.

With a team led by USF Assistant Professor in the Department of Recreation and Sport Management, Jerome Gabriel, Ed.D., students have their eyes on the top prize: the title of National Outdoor Champion. In 2017 USF finished the competition as the #1 school in the Midwest and #2 in the Nation. This year’s AORE Campus Challenge, which is sponsored by nationally by Osprey, and locally by DNA Active Lifestyle Outfitters, Paint Pursuit Games, Expedition USA Outfitters, and IPRA, concludes on October 13.

“This challenge gives USF an opportunity to engage with the outdoors across the spectrum.  Students, faculty, staff, and administrators are all involved in the success that we are seeing.  It is not a coincidence that we are currently ranked first nationally.  We have an amazing campus that in excited about seeing how we can compete against the bigger school,” said Gabriel.

In addition to the National Outdoor Champion award, there are more than 30 other individual and regional awards up for grabs. The top winners will receive outdoor gear compliments of AORE and Osprey. Each sponsor will also host a weekly challenge, giving students even more opportunities to score free outdoor gear.

“I love the challenge because it encourages myself and others to become more active in the outdoors.  The challenge enriches life here at USF because it allows students to meet and interact with people they might have never met before,” said USF senior Caeley Grady.

About AORE

The Association of Outdoor Recreation and Education (AORE) is the premier organization dedicated to serving the needs of recreation and education professionals in non-profit settings. Through AORE, members have a mechanism to interact with and affect decisions made by public land managers and the human powered outdoor recreation industry. AORE is committed to promoting ecologically sound stewardship of the natural environment and serves as a collective voice for its members regarding topics of regional and national concern.

To learn more about the AORE Campus Challenge, visit aorecampuschallenge.org and AORE.org.

The University of St. Francis, in Joliet, Ill., serves over 4,000 students nationwide, offering undergraduate, graduate, doctoral and certificate programs in the arts and sciences, business, education, nursing and social work. There are over 50,000 USF alumni across the globe. For information, call 800-735-7500 or visit stfrancis.edu.

University of St. Francis: Bigger thinking. Brighter purpose.

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