Oct. 31, 2011
After almost a decade of accomplishments, success stories, and enormous progress in growing the game of golf, you would think that the PGA Golf Management program at UCCS can be proud of what they have done, sit back and relax.
But if one casually floats into the PGM/Sport Management suite on the third level of Dwire Hall, they can attest that it is probably one of the busiest offices in the whole building.
Hard at work is Director Ed Kelbel, internship coordinator Mollie Sutherland, academic advisor Dr.Paul Miller, and executive assistant Rosey Reidl-Smith. Each one carries their own specific duties that keep them busy but if anyone of the 107 students has a question about internships, homework, classes, or just life in general, they have come to the right place.
“The interaction with the students not only in the class room but on the golf course as well is something I have come to enjoy quite a bit,” states Kelbel, a longtime member of the PGA of America.
“Assisting them in their pursuit to be a PGA member and sharing my experience, advice, and passion is really fun because they are all eager to learn more about the game and the industry too,” he furthered.
Sutherland echoed Kelbel’s enthusiasm, “My favorite thing has to be the students of the program. They make the program what it is,” she stated.
As the internship coordinator, Sutherland sets students up for three, six, and seven month internships so they can fulfill the 16 months required by the PGA. She believes that internships are one of the biggest ways students grow and that is another thing she likes.
“Watching them grow, learn, and improve the industry is another thing that I love about the program. I hope that the legacy I leave behind will be one that shows the great success of all the students I have had the pleasure teaching and assisting. It is a special program and one that I am glad to be a part of,” she furthered.
Miller, the academic advisor for the program, said he has felt similarly since the year 2000, when the idea of PGA Golf Management at UCCS came about.
“In early 2000, the new dean of the College of Business, Joe Rallo, who came from Ferris State University, asked me to look at creating a program that had seen a lot of success at his previous school,” said Miller, who is also a professor of accounting at UCCS.
” [Rallo] thought with a great location like Colorado Springs and a university with strong business school like UCCS would be the perfect place for something like this,” he furthered.
The process to create the program began later in 2000 and Miller along, with 30 other faculty and staff began working. “Building the program was a lot of hard work and lot of people pursuing a vision of making the PGA Golf Management program the best it could be,” stated Miller.
“Rallo wanted the goal to be to outdo Ferris’ program and that was in the back of our minds when we were creating the model degree program for the students,” stated Miller.
In 2002, Sam White, a senior instructor in the College of Business was named the first official director and by February 2003, the program was PGA accreditation with 33 students recruited for the fall semester.
Approaching their ten year anniversary, the program has reached many milestones and accomplishments but also has become involved in the community of Colorado Springs.
“We work with some prominent charities and organizations in the community most notable the Boy and Girls Club, the El Pomar Foundation, and the Colorado Springs Rotary Club,” stated Kelbel.
Other events include a golf outing to support the El Pomar Foundation and Boys and Girls Club in the fall and helping the Rotary Club each November. “The program is very involved in the community and we have a ton of support from not only UCCS but also Colorado Springs,” Kelbel said.
Community members interact with the club in kind through the granting of scholarships to students. Contributors include George Lee of the Colorado Golf Foundation and longtime Colorado Springs businessman Gary Loo. PGM is supported by the AACSB accredited College of Business at UCCS.
For more information on the program, see the suite on the third level of Dwire Hall.