Once again, the recreation and park administration program at Eastern Kentucky University has earned national attention.
For the third time in four years, an EKU student has received a national award from Rho Phi Lambda, the honorary for recreation, park and leisure services students. In addition, the University’s Recreation Club earned the national Chapter Incentive Award for the second time.
Callie McMullin, now a graduate student in EKU’s recreation and park administration program, was honored as the only recipient of the Rho Phi Lambda Outstanding Undergraduate Student Scholarly Activity Award. Before entering the graduate program as a 3+2 student, she earned bachelor’s degrees in recreation and park administration and Spanish while enrolled in the honors program at Eastern.
Michael Bradley, associate professor of recreation and park administration and graduate coordinator for the program, said McMullin was “incredibly active at all levels of her undergraduate career. Callie is an absolutely outstanding student who represents EKU and the RPA department as a shining star.”
While an undergraduate, McMullin planned, organized and managed adventure trips to engage her fellow students in the outdoors; mentored new trip leaders; conducted risk management to ensure the safety of all participants; drove University vehicles; prepared group meals; facilitated group dynamics; scouted prospective locations; led groups through challenge course elements and team-building activities; and taught rock wall climbers; among many other responsibilities.
McMullin also served as a senior office intern, E-team unit leader and ropes leader with YMCA Camp Ernst.
In every endeavor, I know she is giving her absolute best,” Bradley said. “I know I can depend on her to be an active participant in class and put full effort into her education. Callie’s personality is one that brings people together and helps them open up. She is a ‘people person,’ and it shows. She will go far in whatever she plans in the next phase of her life.”
McMullin, a graduate of Henry Clay High School in Lexington, has also led students in a service learning projects at Camp Catalpa in Richmond and Cumberland Island National Seashore in Georgia, led students in research regarding ancillary attractions to photographing brown bears and the Northern lights in Alaska, and studied abroad in Costa Rica, among other activities.
Her national Rho Phi Lambda award is the first to recognize the achievements of an EKU undergraduate. The previous awards honored the work of graduate students in the program.
EKU’s Recreation Club, in the last year alone, successfully planned and completed many different events, including suicide prevention training, litter cleanup around campus, day hikes, and tree planting. The club, which currently boasts 54 members, has also partnered with other campus and city organizations, to assist with an Easter Extravaganza, Halloween Hoedown and a food drive.
The Incentive Award will provide additional funding for the club to serve the campus and community.
“Our department believes in being an active member of the community, and that means EKU and Richmond,” Bradley said. “This tenet translates into keeping our students engaged in various ways. It provides our students with a competitive advantage when they enter the workforce. They have had real-world experiences and developed the skills, knowledge and abilities that come with those experiences. It also offers our students the chance to network and grow as future professionals. Further, our department believes in investing in the community in ways that provide a better life for all the members of the community, whether that means cleaning up an area of simply giving someone a compliment.”
For more information about programs available through EKU’s Department of Recreation and Park Administration, visit recreation.eku.edu.