Department Faculty Bios

Brett Eldredge

Man standing in fron of wood fence, Brett Eldredge Lecturer
PhD Management, Organizational Behavior and Theory, University of Texas at Dallas, School of Management
MA Business Administration, CSU, Sacramento
BA Psychology, CSU, Sacramento
Link to Vita(pdf)

Lecturer in the Department of Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management. Classes taught include the department’s introductory/foundations class, its science component, its writing proficiency/capstone/management course, its computer literacy course, a general education course, and several graduate research/methods courses. Guest lecturer in recreation courses on the topics of problem solving/decision making, conflict management, professionalism, and ethics. Also, lecturer in the Department of Management, teaching the introductory business course, the introductory management course, advanced management courses in organization behavior and organization theory, business communication classes, and a course dealing with the interaction of business and society. Emphasis on group exercises and casework as a compliment to lecture. Supported departmental initiatives, including improving student writing skills and incorporation of technology in curriculum. Participated in faculty governance and in multiple research projects with fellow faculty.

Morgan Geddie

man in tan coat, Morgan GeddieAssociate Dean, Department Chair
EdD, MBA, CHE
EdD, Occupational and Adult Education with emphasis in Human Resources Development, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
MBA Marketing, University of Central Oklahoma, Edmond, Oklahoma
BS Hotel and Restaurant Administration, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, Oklahoma
Associate Dean, College of Education and Communication
Department Chair and Professor, Department of Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management
Link to Vita (pdf)

Morgan Geddie is the associate Dean of the College of Education and Communication as well as department chair and a professor of resort and lodging management in the Department of Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management at California State University, Chico. Geddie received his doctorate from Oklahoma State University in occupational and adult education, with an emphasis in human resources development. He also has an MBA, with an emphasis in marketing, from the University of Central Oklahoma and a BS in hotel and restaurant management from Oklahoma State University. Before joining the faculty at Chico State, he taught at the University of Houston, Oklahoma State University, Eastern Illinois University, and Arkansas Tech University. He also has several years of hotel experience in the New York City, New York and Charlotte, North Carolina markets. Geddie specializes in the areas of lodging and cruise line management. He has published in many journals, textbooks, and trade magazines, as well as being a featured speaker at several conferences. 

Richard Gitelson

Man in a tie, Richard Gitelson Associate Professor
Graduate Certificate in Gerontology, Arizona State University, Phoenix, AZ
PhD Recreation Natural Resource Management, Texas A&M
M.S. in Recreation Administration, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC
M.A.T. in History, University of North Carolina
B.A. in Sociology/Recreation Administration, University of North Carolina
Department of Recreation, Hospitality and Parks Management
California State University, Chico
Link to Vita (pdf)

Richard Gitelson received his doctorate from Texas A & M University in recreation natural resource management. He also has a master's in recreation administration and a master's in teaching from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He has taught at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Penn State University, and Arizona State University. He has published over 45 research articles and has made presentations at local, state, national, and international conferences in the areas of special events, tourism impacts, leisure behavior, gerontology, and management.

Roger Guthrie

studio pictue of a man in tie, Roger GuthrieProfessor (FERP)
PhD Leisure Studies, University of Illinois
MA Recreation Administration California State University, Chico
BBA Finance, University of Portland
BS Parks and Recreation Management, University of Oregon
Link to Vita (pdf)

Dissertation title: A comparison of participant evaluation of a volunteer-produced slow pitch softball program and a paid recreation employee-produced slow pitch softball program 

RECR 400 – Management of Recreation and Parks
RECR 420 – Recreation Budget and Finance Management
RECR 558 – Resort and Lodging Seminar

Current Professional Organization Memberships:
National Recreation and Park Association
California Park and Recreation Society
California Society of Park and Recreation Educators
The Retired Officers Association

Research Activities:
Co-Project Director of seven National Forests Recreational Users Surveys, University-Foundation contracts totaling $543,653. Co-Project Director of the California Parks Survey,  a $102,379 University-Foundation contract to conduct statewide telephone and mail surveys about state outdoor recreation and compile the results into Public Opinions and Attitudes on Outdoor Recreation in California, 2002. This publication, by California State Parks, is an element of the "California Outdoor Recreation Plan".
Project Director of one Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) and one California Department of Water Resources flat-water recreation users study and co-project director of a second BOR flat-water recreation study, University-Foundation contracts totaling $101,500.

Co-Project Director of four other forest, river, or lake recreational user surveys, University-Foundation contracts totaling $162,092. 

Jon Hooper

Jon Hooper sitting at the computerProfessor
Ph.D. in Ecology/Environmental Communication, Univ. of Calif., Davis
M.S. in Natural Resource Administration/Wildlife Biology, Colorado State Univ.
B.S. in Biological Sciences, Univ. of Calif., Davis
Link to Vita (pdf)

Dr. Jon Hooper is the coordinator of the Parks and Natural Resources Management Option. He has been an environmental educator for 40 years. His professional "mission" is to help people better understand how ecological systems truly function (i.e., replacing fallacies with facts) so they can make ecologically-sound decisions on environmental issues. 

Jon holds a PhD in ecology from the University of California, Davis, a MS in natural resources administration/wildlife biology from Colorado State University, and a BS in biological sciences from UC Davis. He was the, first-ever, "Project WILD: National Facilitator of the Year" in 2006. He is a Certified Wildlife Biologist (The Wildlife Society) and a Certified Interpretive Trainer (National Association for Interpretation). 

Jon has built interpretive displays for the California Department of Parks and Recreation, designed a self-guided trail for the Mendocino National Forest, and served as a member of the Board of Directors of the Lassen Association at Lassen Volcanic National Park. He has worked in the field as a "fish squeezer" (he trapped and transplanted fish for the Colorado Division of Wildlife in -47 degree weather) and as a Staff Research Associate for Wildlife and Sea Grant Extension at the University of California, Davis. Jon was given the "Raymond F. Dasmann Award" for Wildlife Professional of the Year, in 2002, by the Western Section of The Wildlife Society. 

Personally, Jon is dedicated to his 2 boys, snow skiing, wind surfing, sailing, gardening, playing his keyboard and piano, and computers (yep...he actually likes the darn things...at least when they work!).

Jeff Jiang

Man in sweater in front of yellow wall, Jeff Jiang Associate Professor
Ph.D. in Leisure Studies and Services, University of Oregon
M.A. in Journalism,  University of Oregon
B.A. in English,  Beijing Language Institute, Beijing, China

Dr. Jeff Jiang is the coordinator of the Special Event and Tourism Option. He received his PhD in leisure studies and services (with an emphasis in tourist behavior) from the University of Oregon. Prior to coming to California State University, Chico, he also taught recreation, tourism and/or event management at the University of Oregon, Hong Kong Baptist University, and University of Northern Iowa. His research interest and expertise include tourism and event impacts on destinations, tourist behavior, destination and event marketing effectiveness, event education, sustainable tourism and event management, and cross-cultural issues in tourism and event management. Jiang has over 10 years of professional experience in tourism, hospitality, and event management. He is a member of International Festivals and Events Association, Professional Convention Management Association, and World Leisure Organization. He is also a founding member of the Global Roundtable Council of International Festivals and Events Association.

Michael Leitner

man sitting on a bike, Michael LeitnerProfessor
PhD University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland
MA University of Maryland at College Park, Maryland
BA Brooklyn College (City University of New York), New York
Link to Vita (pdf)

Michael Leitner is the coordinator of the recreation therapy option. His area of specialization within recreation therapy is gerontology. He also teaches in the graduate program and coordinates the department's general education course, Leisure and Life." He is the author of two textbooks that are widely used in the U.S. and in other countries: Leisure Enhancement (3rd edition) and Leisure in Later Life (3rd edition), both published in 2004. 

Leitner has been actively involved in programs and research related to recreational coexistence work with Palestinians and Israelis.

Laura McLachlin

Woman laughing, Laura McLachlinProfessor
PhD Therapeutic Recreation, Texas Woman's University
MS Recreation Administration, CSU, Sacramento
BS Therapeutic Recreation, CSU, Sacramento
Link to Vita (pdf)

Laura McLachlin has worked in the field of recreation therapy both as an educator and practitioner for the past 29 years. She currently is a Professor at California State University, Chico. She serves as the coordinator for the Recreation Therapy Option and the Community/Commercial Recreation and Tourism Option. Each summer she serves as co-director for Ability First Sports Camp (a residential camp that serves youth with physical disabilities). Her areas of interest are in the areas of inclusive-recreation, disability and sport, Americans with Disabilities Act, program development, volunteerism, and camp management. 

Don Penland

man in a red shit, Don Penland Lecturer
MA Computer Science Education, University of Oregon, Eugene Oregon
Single Subject Credential, Natural Science, Mathematics
BA California State University, Chico, Biology
Link to Vita (pdf)

Don Penland has been a faculty member at CSU, Chico since 1989. He was hired by the College of Education to assist faculty with the addition of technology to their class and manage the computer labs. He was housed in the Department of Recreation and Parks Management. Don has a BA in biology with a minor in chemistry and his MS in computer science education from the University of Oregon.

Sarah Richardson

woman in front of green bushes, Sarah Richardson Associate Professor
PhD Recreation Resources Development, Texas A&M University
MS Recreation Resources Development, Texas A&M University
BES Environmental Studies/Geography, University of Waterloo

Areas of interest include: customer service, marketing, and management as they relate to recreation organization; ecotourism/natural resources management; and human-animal interactions.

Course Instructor:
Natural Resources and the Informed Citizen, 
Leisure Services Promotions
Customer Service and Sales in Recreation Operations

Outside interests include: pet therapy, dog training and dog sports, small business development, cycling and bicycle touring, and travel.

Edward Seagle

Man in gray sweater smiling, Edwards Seagle Professor
EdD Education Administration/Counseling Psychology, University of the Pacific, Stockton, CA
MA Recreation Education/Therapeutic Recreation, Brigham Young University, Salt Lake City, Utah
BA Recreation Administration, California State University, Sacramento
Link to Vita(pdf)

Dr. Seagle has been with the faculty at CSU, Chico, since 1976. He has served as Internship Coordinator for 25+ years, and Resort & Lodging Management Coordinator for the past 10 years. Over that time the program has worked with a number of major hospitality companies in the U.S. and abroad (including Hyatt, Marriott, Four Seasons, Starwood, Hilton, Fairmont, Pebble Beach, and others).

His primary areas of interest are career development and training, leadership, and stress reduction through humor and laughter. He has also, published two books on career development through Venture Publishing. The first book has been the number one seller since its initial publication.

Emilyn Sheffield

woman by the beach, Emilyn Sheffield Professor
PhD The University of Southern California
BS The University of Tennessee, Knoxville
Link to Vita (pdf)

Emilyn Sheffield is a Professor of recreation and parks management at California State University, Chico where more than 500 students are preparing for careers in hospitality, parks, recreation, and tourism. Since 1986, she has worked with partners to connect people to the parks and special places that enhance their lives. Her applied research projects, and high-energy presentations, help natural resource-leaders and their partners respond more effectively to changing demographic and lifestyle trends. She is currently investigating community engagement, volunteerism, and conservation stewardship with University Service Learning throughout California. 

Sheffield works with interdisciplinary teams on complex projects involving scenic byways, heritage tourism infrastructure, and visitor services throughout California and the western United States. These projects share the common goal of increasing support for parks and special places through branding, identity systems, strategic planning, or product development.

The National Park Service, the Presidio Trust, the USDA Forest Service, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, California State Parks, the Golden Gate National Parks Conservancy, Save the Redwoods League, and local parks and tourism organizations are recent project sponsors or partners. Private sector partners include the newly formed National Park Promotion Council, the California Park Hospitality Association, and several destination marketing organizations in the western United States.

From CSU, Chico and the Golden Gate National Parks she coordinates Service Learning and Leadership Field Schools at national parks, trails, and forests in California. Students restore habitat for threatened and endangered species, plant thousands of native plants, remove truck-loads of invasives, re-route trails to "rescue redwoods" share nature with children through Junior Ranger Day programs, assume integral roles in training conferences, launch cultural heritage stewardship programs, and gain "hands-on" experience with dozens of community-based stewardship programs. Students analyze the challenges confronting natural resources professionals as society becomes more urban and less connected to nature. They propose innovative solutions, learn from the best, and join their ranks finding satisfying careers with agencies and organizations committed to protecting and restoring nature by engaging community stewards in their work.

Sheffield is the current President of the Association of Partners for Public Lands and serves on the executive board of the California Roundtable for Recreation, Parks and Tourism, a public-private partnership of resource agencies, tourism organizations, environmental entities, equipment manufacturers, and user groups working together to ensure sustainable, outdoor recreation for Californians. She co-chairs the National Park Promotion Council Research Committee.

Susan Barnett

woman posing in fron of brick wal with vines, Susan BArnett Lecturer
MA Recreation Administration, CSU, Chico
BS Recreation Administration, CSU, Chico

Areas of interest: therapeutic recreation, outdoor education, change management, special events, tourism, community recreation and non-profit management, and commercial recreation.

Course Instructor: Intro to Leisure and Recreation, Leisure and Life, and Special Event Planning and Operations.

When not in the classroom, Susan is consulting on special events around the U.S., traveling, or enjoying what nature has to offer.

Jessica Walter

woman in blue top, Jessica Walter Lecturer
MA Recreation Administration, CSU, Chico (expected May 2011)
BS Recreation Management, SUNY, Cortland 

Areas of interest: service learning, experiential education, outdoor education and recreation, parks and public lands, non-profit management, and non-profit partners to public lands agencies.

Course Instructor: Introduction to Leisure and Recreation.

When not in the classroom, Jessica is finishing her master's thesis on Service Learning in National Parks, and enjoying the great outdoors with her husband and their two dogs.