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Feb. 08, 2013
CONTACT: Gordon Ovenshine

SRU's Boliver receives RCRA award

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Bruce Boliver, Slippery Rock University assistant professor of parks and recreation, has received the 2012 Resort and Commercial Recreation Association Fellowship Award. Boliver is only the sixth person and the first since 2008 to receive the award in the 32 years it has been in existence.

The award, the highest given by the association, recognizes an individual who is one of the top professionals in the field and who has contributed to the success of the association. Boliver served as past association president and has been a member since 1984.

"I'm really humbled because of the few number of recipients and the quality of the recipients who have received this in the past," Boliver said.

Boliver, an SRU professor for 36 years, accepted the award at the Trade Winds Island Grand Resort in St. Petersburg, Fla. More than 35 SRU students majoring in resort recreation management/tourism and 10 alumni attended.

"I accepted this on behalf of students and alumni," Boliver said.

Alexis Crookshank, a resort recreation management/tourism major from Cranberry, spoke about Boliver at the awards banquet in Florida.

"He teaches us both in and out of the classroom, pulling bits and pieces from textbooks and reading materials for us to apply in real life," said Crookshank, of Nanty Glo. "His teaching and mentoring does not stop with SRU students, but also includes hundreds of student members of the association from colleges and universities across the country."

Crookshank said she became the resort and tourism major after meeting with Boliver during her sophomore year. She said he sparked her interest in the field by talking about job opportunities and the excitement of the profession.

Crookshank said the program spring boarded her to a practicum last summer at Kiawah Island Golf Resort in South Carolina. She plans to move to Oregon this summer to complete an internship at Sunriver Resort. She plans to work in the field after graduating, in large part because of Boliver's influence.

"His classroom is constantly full of the excitement you would expect to see in a locker room before a big game," she said. "My favorite thing about Mr. Boliver is his honesty. In our field, we are often faced with difficult decisions in finding the perfect internship or job location and being away from home makes these decisions more difficult. That is where Mr. Boliver comes in to play much of the time. He coves every aspect our futures."

Scott Rood, president of the association, nominated Boliver for the association award. The award recipient must have been employed as a professional recreation and park executive, administrator or supervisor or as a college educator for 10 years or more. He or she must have served as an elected officer in the association.

Boliver said the award testifies to the strength of SRU's resort recreation management/tourism management program. With 95 majors, the major prepares graduates for managing recreation programs offered by resorts, hotels and municipalities. Graduates also work as hotel and resort managers, front desk supervisors, concierges and in the hospitality field.

Boliver said graduates of the program are working at the Omni Amelia Island Plantation Resort in Jacksonville, Fla., South Seas Resort in Captiva Island, Fla., and Hawks Cay resort in Duck Key, Fla. Another graduate directs intramurals and campus recreation at Syracuse University, and others work for Celebrity Cruise Line.

"We're recognized as one of the top programs in the country," Boliver said. "We received this recognition because of our interns and alumni. They have performed way above standards. They've been excellent."

The Resort and Commercial Recreation Association, established in 1981, seeks to create a network to exchange programming ideas and offer education workshops.

Slippery Rock University is Pennsylvania's premier public residential university. Slippery Rock University provides students with a comprehensive learning experience that intentionally combines academic instruction with enhanced educational and learning opportunities that make a positive difference in their lives.