A recent graduate of NC State University’s online Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management program (MPRTSM), Chasity McCurdy was named to the National Recreation and Parks Association 30 Under 30 Young Professionals list in February.
“[It] has been the most humbling honor,” McCurdy said. “To look where I sit in my department and to know that I have made a recognizable impact on this scale is so rewarding. As a recreation professional, I don’t think we get enough credit for the impact we have on communities. Sharing this honor with 29 other individuals who are heroes in my eyes feels wonderful.”
McCurdy received her bachelor’s degree in community and therapeutic recreation from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro with the intention of becoming a pharmacist. However, she soon changed paths and decided to earn her master’s degree online in the MPRTSM program.
“I was unfulfilled in my studies, and I knew I would be leaving behind my passion for sports and leisure,” McCurdy said. “The program was a parallel with what I wanted my future career to look like. The major deciding factor was the convenience to my working lifestyle and how flexible the program was for working professionals.”
During her time in the MPRTSM program, McCurdy had the opportunity to develop core management concepts such as departmental leadership, organizational behavior, marketing concepts and budgeting fundamentals. She also took part in weekly class meetings to engage with her cohort and connect with like-minded individuals who offered new perspectives.
“Professor Jason Bocarro‘s course in organizational behavior and leadership was the pivotal course that helped propel my future as a leader. The course spoke to me as we were going through departmental changes, and it was very insightful,” McCurdy said.
After completing her program, McCurdy was quickly promoted to recreation manager, which she described as the most memorable moment in her career thus far.
“It was such a rewarding moment, and it felt like the perfect timing for my career. I had applied and been turned down for management roles, but the timing of that promotion and position was the most memorable. [The MPRTSM program] helped me perform my new position with a different lens. I had the knowledge and skill set that helped me become an effective manager,” she said.
McCurdy’s current role is as the assistant superintendent for Greenville Parks and Recreation, where her days include supervising a recreation manager and marketing coordinator while overseeing the day-to-day operations of her department. She also spends time working with community partners to discuss potential partnerships for the park. According to McCurdy, the MPRTSM program supplied her with the tools necessary to succeed in her career.
She also encouraged others in the parks and recreation field to pursue an online master’s program.
“Do it, don’t hesitate, go for it! Get as much experience as you can. If you have a specialty, it won’t hurt to learn a new skill or be well versed in other aspects of the field. Our field encompasses so much, do not box yourself in,” she said. “I would highly encourage others to take an online program because it allows you to be flexible and to engage at your own pace.”
If you are interested in furthering your education in parks, recreation, tourism or sports management, explore NC State’s online program and see how it could work for you.