The Department of Recreation Administration would like to congratulate the graduating class of 2011. We wish you continued successes as you embark upon your professional journey. Please keep in touch with us and consider joining the Fresno State Alumni Association.
2014 Outstanding Alumni
Join us in congratulating Brent Smither as our 2014 Outstanding Alum. Brent is a 2001 graduate of the department. Whether as a river rafting guide, a church group mentor, a challenge course facilitator, or afterschool program coordinator, Brent is a passionate advocate for outdoor recreation and experiential education. For more than ten years, Brent has served as a project specialist for the Fresno County Office of Education, in this capacity, Brent is able to provide the students of Fresno County with outdoor, environmental, and experiential learning opportunities which include an adventure race, the Fresno County Leadership Academy, and access to afterschool programs to name of few of the projects he manages. We are also fortunate that he impacts the lives of the students in our department. Brent serves as a member of our advisory board, is an internship supervisor, and has partnered with our faculty to create evaluation projects for students. For his contributions to both the community and our department, we pleased to recognize Brent Smither as the 2014 Outstanding Alum and our 2014 Community Hero.
2013 Outstanding Alumni
This year the Department of Recreation Administration is proud to recognize Rico Guerrero as our Outstanding Alumni. Rico is a 1998 graduate of the program. After wading through the Florida swamps for his internship, Rico returned to the Valley and spent 16 years with the Boys and Girls Club of Fresno County. There he held a number of roles which allowed him to oversee the expansion of clubs throughout the county and collaborate with cities and other community-benefit organizations to maximize youth services. Moving from service provider to fund developer, Rico now serves as Donor Relations Coordinator for the Fresno Regional Foundation where he works with individuals throughout the Valley to build a healthy, vibrant and prosperous region. He also sits on a number of boards in the area including the Sequoia Natural History Association and the Dean’s Advisory Council for the College of Health and Human Services. We are fortunate to have Rico’s time and expertise in our classroom as well as he serves as a lecturer in our department and is a great resource for both our faculty and students. In addition to being named Outstanding Alumni. Rico was also this year’s recipient of our Community Heroes recognition and our Faculty Recognition award.
2012 Outstanding Alumni
Steven Aoki is a passionate advocate for the recreation administration industry and the young professionals eager to work within sports and entertainment facility management. He is the representative example of a professional with limitless enthusiasm and a commitment to excellence. Steve graduated from Fresno State in 1998. He started working at Selland Arena as an Usher / Ticket Taker / Parking Attendant June 1998 to understand what front-of-house employees go through during events. He began an internship at Selland Arena Fall '98 and was hired on part-time as an Event Specialist by the city the day after his internship ended.
On January 1, 2000, Steve was hired on with the City of Fresno as Events Specialist / Parking Manager. He joined SMG in 2003 with the opening of the Save Mart Center as a Parking Manager. In June 2004 he switched to Event Coordinator. His first event coordinated with the Crusty Demons (Indoor FMX over Cement). Currently, Steve is the Event Manager for SMG at the Save Mart Center. This position has allowed him to work with internationally known celebrities, their tour managers and event promoters.
Adoring fans pay money to attend events; however, it is Steve's unbridled dedication that allows the facility to come to life. This dedication has not gone unnoticed within the industry – in September of 2006, a parking snafu prior to a Raiders game at the Oakland Coliseum caused a situation in dire need of remedy. Steve was summoned for a game but ended up coordinating their parking for the entire season, while still coordinating events at SMC.
Steve is active within our Department, serving as an internship advisor, and as a guest speaker / venue host for a variety of classes. Most appreciated is his contribution to our students' who have completed their hands-on internship at the SaveMart Center. This service is invaluable for our students and the department is indebted to Steve for his efforts.
2011 Outstanding Alumni
Jerry and Sarah Reid
Sarah Callen Reid was one of those students who came into the program knowing precisely what she wanted to do. Upon entering the major, she already had several years of experience in municipal recreation, making her a frequent contributor to class discussions as she was able to provide valuable insight and engage her applied learning throughout her tenure in the program.
Sarah is a passionate advocate for recreation. As Community Services Superintendent for the City of Reedley, she is responsible for enhancing the quality of life for all Reedley residents. But her advocacy for recreation extends far beyond Reedley. Sarah made significant contributions to the recreation profession, serving in multiple roles on the California Park and Recreation Society District 7 Board of Directors, including serving as President.
Sarah has been an advocate for our Department as well. She regularly supervises interns and works with students completing evaluation projects. Most appreciated is her contribution to our students’ preparation for internship. Several years ago, Sarah and one of her fellow program alums noticed a problem with the RA graduates they were interviewing. They knew the students had the skills, but the students were not effectively presenting themselves to the interviewers. Sarah came to the department and offered to help out. Since then, each semester Sarah has organized interview panels for our students. She recruits community professionals to serve, organizes the day, meets with students in advance to prepare them, and then sits through interviews of all the students. This service is invaluable for our students and the department is indebted to Sarah for her efforts.
Jerry Reid is the representative example of unbridled energy and enthusiasm. Jerry graduated from Fresno State in May of 1998. He holds a Master’s Degree in Public Administration from Fresno State as well. Jerry worked for a several valley cities in the recreation field serving as Director of Parks and Recreation for the City of Chowchilla before leaving for Wonder Valley Ranch Resort in 2007. Currently, Jerry is the Camp Director at River Way Ranch Camp, a children’s summer and family camp. This position has allowed him to travel internationally for staff recruitment as well as foster staff growth and collaborate with his team to develop unique camp and outdoor education programs.
Similar to Sarah, Jerry is active within our Department, serving as an internship advisor and serving as a frequent guest speaker in classes and at department-wide events. Jerry has been actively professionally as well with his involvement with California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS) for the past 15 years serving, holding every board position within District 7. Additionally, he serve as the Region 3 Representative to the State Board from 2004-2006.