Coordinators and Contact Information

Fresno State

Mr. Justin Butchert,

Justin has an MBA in Business Administration from CSU Fresno and has been an instructor in the Recreation Administration Department since 1995, teaching a variety of classes. Since 1981, he has owned and managed his whitewater rafting company, Kings River Expeditions.

In addition to a variety of marketing experience with his business, he also teaches a principles of marketing class each semester. This class requires students to do a marketing plan on an agency of their choice. he believea this marketing plan, if assigned to the right student, could benefit the city and this project by contributing thoughtful and specific marketing-related recommendations. The student would invest the majority of the semester doing research with contacts within the Parks Department. Based on this information, the student would be able to make effective and efficient recommendations that fit the department and its budget considerations, and present the city with a bound summary of marketing-related information.


Dr. L-Jay Fine, Experiential Education, Leadership Development and Outdoor Education

Since 1987, L-Jay has taught in the California State University System and is currently a full professor at Fresno State University. He teaches Leadership, Interprofessional Collaboration, and Advanced Facilitation Methods. He has published articles on interprofessional collaboration, human development stages, and temporary systems (short term ad hoc groups). In 2005, he received the Provost’s Award for Excellence in Teaching—the highest recognition offered by the University.

As an Associate with Action Learning Associates, LLC, L-Jay specializes in jump starting action learning teams in executive development programs. Recent client engagements have included:

  • Dow Chemical- H.H. Dow Academy--Creating our Future, 2006– Present.
  • PricewaterhouseCoopers— New Partner Experience Program, 2004 – Present.
  • CISCO SLP— Strategic Leadership Program 2005.

Through California State University, Fresno, L-Jay has provided leadership and team development programs. Some examples include:

  • Interprofesssional Collaboration—California State University, Fresno, 1995 - Present: Founding member of the only campus program in the U.S. offering graduate and post-service education in interprofessional collaboration. Taking interdisciplinary teams (e.g., nurses, psychologists, social workers, educators, and law enforcement officials) to create a collaborative approach to providing child or client-centered services.
  • E.D.G.E. Program—California State University, Fresno, 1990 – Present: As director of the experiential learning laboratory L-Jay facilitated hundreds of team and leadership development programs. In 2005-2006 these included the Sierra Mental Health Academy, Central Valley Health Consortium, San Joaquin Valley Air Quality Control Board, Fresno State Equestrian Team, and State Farm Insurance (legal branch).


Dr. Sam Lankford, Community Recreation, Parks, Community Tourism

Sam Lankford holds a PhD in Parks and Recreation and a Master in Urban Planning from the University of Oregon, as well as MA in Recreation and Park Planning and a BA in Community Planning from California State University, Chico. He has taught at the University of Oregon, University of Hawaii, University of Northern Iowa and Fresno State. He has been a practicing planner in both staff and consulting roles in California, Oregon, and Hawaii, and conducted over 80 research studies in those states and other countries.


Dr. Michael Mahoney, Facility, Crowd and Security Management for Sport and Events


Dr. Nancy Nisbett, Therapeutic Recreation, Inclusive Recreation, Staff Training

Nancy Nisbett holds an EdD in Educational Leadership from University of California Davis, MA in Therapeutic Recreation from Central Michigan University and BA in Communication from Michigan State University. She has taught at Fresno State and Ohio University and is a trainer for California School Age Consortium and Coaching Corps. She has provided staff training and development for commercial businesses, schools, and community benefit organizations throughout the U.S. Her research interests include therapeutic and inclusive recreation, including state-wide projects to enhance opportunities for inclusive recreation.


Mr. Brandon Taylor, Community Recreation, Youth Programs

Brandon is a graduate of Fresno State with a Bachelor’s degree in Recreation Administration with an emphasis in Leisure Service Management, holds a Masters in Kinesiology from Fresno Pacific University, and is currently progressing towards a Doctorate in Management from the University of Phoenix. He has spent more than 14 years working in the community recreation setting within the Central Valley, and currently serves as a lecturer and coordinator of community recreation and youth services emphasis within the department. Brandon’s research interests include perceptions of government funded recreational services, management of municipal leisure services, organizational development and leadership, as well as leisure education.


Dr. Jason Whiting, Outdoor Recreation, Visitor Studies

Dr. Jason Whiting is an Assistant Professor in the Recreation Administration Department and supervises the outdoor adventure recreation emphasis. Jason holds graduate degrees from The University of Georgia (Ph.D.) and Western Illinois University (M.S.), and an undergraduate degree from Western State College of Colorado. Before completing his bachelor’s degree, Jason lived in Venezuela for two years as a missionary working with the Venezuelan people and studying Spanish. Following his time abroad and before returning to his education, Jason worked in the field of parks and recreation as a municipal park programmer, river guide, and trip leader. Jason has taught as adjunct faculty at Colorado Northwestern Community College, Western Illinois University, and The University of Georgia. Jason’s research has examined the social world of whitewater kayaking, constraints of racial/ethnic minorities in outdoor recreation, physical activity participation in marginalized populations, and other topics relating to human dimensions of natural resource management. Jason has presented research at dozens of conferences and published in multiple scholarly journals.


University of Northern Iowa R2S Program

Oksana Grybovych,Project Manager

Holds an EdD in Leisure, Youth and Human Services from the University of Northern Iowa (USA), MSc in Leisure and Environments from the University of Wageningen (the Netherlands), and a BA in Economics/ Management from the Institute of Economics and Law (Ukraine). Her research interests include civic and community engagement, participatory community tourism planning, and economic impacts of tourism.


Chris Kowalski, Project Manager

Holds an EdD in Leisure Youth and Human Services from the University of Northern Iowa, MS from the University of Idaho and a BA from Creighton University (Nebraska). His research interests are coaching and youth leadership and efficacy.


Jill Lankford,Project Manager

Holds a Master in Urban Planning and a Master of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon. She also holds a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture from the University of Oregon and BA in Recreation Administration from CSU Chico. She has conducted numerous park and recreation studies and tourism development plans for small towns in California, Oregon, Hawaii, and Iowa. Responsible for projects in Oregon and Iowa.


Wade Kooiman,Project Manager

Holds an EdD in Leisure Youth and Human Services from the University of Northern Iowa, and MA and a BA from the University of Mary in Bismarck (North Dakota). His research interests include coaching, youth leadership, parks and recreation economic impact studies and evaluation. Responsible for projects in the Mid-west.


Jordan Lankford,Analyst

Holds a BA in Economics from Monmouth College. He has participated in studies in Canada, Iowa and the Arctic Region. His responsibilities are survey design, data entry, graphics, report writing and development of presentation material. Responsible for projects in Oregon and Iowa. Contact: