STHM alumna enjoying rewarding career in parks and recreation field
By: Courtney Kubitza
First Published: April 15, 2016
Topics: Alumni Stories, In the News, STHM School
Katya Lysak always enjoyed planning an initiative and accomplishing its end result.
A 2003 alumna of Temple University’s School of Tourism and Hospitality Management, Lysak gets to achieve that almost daily, as the leisure services manager of the Department of Parks and Recreation Department in Miami Lakes, Fla.
In her role, Lysak – who earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Sport and Recreation Management at STHM – oversees recreational programming offered for children, adults, and seniors. The programs include summer camps at multiple community centers, and events for after-school programs and youth centers. She also handles public art displays for Miami Lakes’ parks.
Lysak’s initial work in the department stemmed from a part-time position, within which she planned movie showings in the parks, socials for senior citizens, parades, and Fourth of July fireworks displays, among other events. A promotion to a full-time role involved Lysak in the scheduling of sports teams and fields, facility rentals, recreational programming, and grants for town programs.
“I was able to get involved and learn about public art grants, budgets, and how local government works, which was interesting to me,” said Lysak, a native of Trenton, N.J. “I got more involved with the local and national parks associations, and learned more about the parks and recreation opportunities.”
Miami Lakes recently opened a new youth center, the work on which began more than seven years ago, Lysak said.
“Seeing the building of this facility, all of the planning that went into it, and now seeing it as a reality and all that it does for the youth in our community has been incredible,” Lysak said.
Lysak led a grant-funded program in which her department hosted a course to teach senior citizens how to use wireless devices like iPads and laptops. Her department also reached out to high school students to help the seniors, creating a “great intergenerational collaboration,” she said.
Parks and recreation job opportunities are often overlooked, Lysak said. That’s why she said she enjoys “encouraging young people to get into this field.”
“There are a lot of opportunities for Sport and Recreation Management majors – from recreation, to programming, to sports teams and facility and grounds maintenance to grounds maintenance,” Lysak said.
“STHM took a 1-on-1 approach and focused on the students as individuals,” she added. “The school helps students find their careers, and for that, I’m grateful.”