Sara Galbraith, recent LHU graduate, is shown during her spring internship at the top of observation point overlooking the Zion valley.
During the spring semester, several students majoring in recreation management at Lock Haven University completed internships in a variety of settings. Sara Galbraith, of Brookville, completed an internship with University of Pennsylvania in the Campus Recreation Department and outdoor adventure and climbing program.
Galbraith, who graduated from LHU in May with a degree in recreation management in the outdoor track, also minored in psychology and environmental studies.
Her internship included updating and maintaining the climbing wall route setting program ForeRunnerPro, teaching climbing 101 courses, lead outdoor trips, social media updating, create climbing workout routines, developing a binder of lesson plans focused on teaching climbing skills, among many other tasks.
Galbraith’s internship also had her working with an LHU graduate, Jason Erdman, assistant director of outdoor adventure and climbing. Erdman graduated from LHU in 2004 with a degree in recreation management in the outdoor track.
“It has been amazing working for someone who was in the same program (as I was),” Galbraith said. “It was nice talking about the changes in the program and getting to see where it was in his time and where it is now, and where it may be going in the future. Also, we both have rock climbed and hiked a lot in the area, so it was nice to be able to share those stories.”
Galbraith said her favorite part about her internship experience was leading spring break in Zion National Park, with Erdman as her supervisor. “I admire his leadership style and have gained a lot of knowledge from him. … I could not have asked for a better supervisor for this experience.”
Galbraith said she would like to stay in campus recreation and organize and oversee an outdoor adventure program as she works her way toward a future goal of becoming a college professor. “I just love the college atmosphere and helping students de-stress and push themselves in an outdoor setting,” she said.
Galbraith also earned two certifications at her internship site: AMGA Climbing Wall Instructor and Wilderness First Aid. “Having experience teaching climbing skills is vital for my chosen career path, since I would like to run and operate a university rock wall,” she said. “Plus, I love getting beginners on the rock wall for the first time and encouraging them to do their best. People are amazing if you support them and give them the confidence they need.”
Providing students with the opportunity to complete internships is just one way that LHU helps its students gain real-world knowledge and experience to better prepare them for their future careers following graduation.
“Core classes that all students in the major had to take focused on experiential education and that was very beneficial,” Galbraith said. “I had no idea what (experiential learning) was until I started classes at Lock Haven. Being in a classroom setting and getting the chance to test your skills is the best way to learn, in my opinion.”
Galbraith said the most important lesson she learned while a student at LHU was to be a lifelong learner. “While classroom assignments are a starting point for professional development, it is only the start,” she said. “Life continues on after these four years and it is more important to be able to adapt and learn throughout the years to come.”
Other students in the outdoor and fitness tracks at LHU also completed internships during the spring semester. They were Ally Spielman, Rock Eagle 4-H Center; Samantha Khoury, Susquehanna Health; and Teddy Mykulyn, Sacramento State University, Peak Adventures.
For more information about the recreation management major at LHU, visit http://lockhaven.edu/recmanagement/.
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Lock Haven University is a member of Pennsylvania’s State System, the largest provider of higher education in the Commonwealth. Its 14 universities offer more than 2,300 degree and certificate programs in more than 530 academic areas of study. Nearly 520,000 system alumni live and work in Pennsylvania.
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