2015-2016 Colloquium Series

The Tourism Studies Working Group is pleased to announce
A Case Study in Alumni Travel

Friday, March 11, 5:00 PM
Gifford Room, 221 Kroeber Hall
University of California, Berkeley
Alumni travel is a subset of educational travel--group tours that feature an educational component, appealing to tourists who want to learn about the histories and cultures of the places they visit. Among the many different organizations that offer educational travel (the Smithsonian, the World Affairs Council, etc.), there are over 150 colleges and universities with alumni travel programs. This panel offers a case study of one of the most successful alumni travel programs—Cal Discoveries (http://alumni.berkeley.edu/travel/cal-discoveries), which is part of the Cal Alumni Association.

The Alumni Association had a small travel program from 1974 to 1983, managed by part-time employees. In 1983, Director Carolyn Sheaff began building the program into a revenue-generating business. Subsequent Directors Jackie Olson and Kris Jameyson further expanded the program such that in 2015 Cal Discoveries sponsored 65 educational tours for over 1,300 travelers, most of them accompanied by UC/Berkeley lecturers.

The panel consists of the three Directors of Cal Discoveries plus popular faculty lecturer Prof. Emeritus Patrick Hatcher. Topics include: How is alumni travel different from other kinds of group and educational travel? What kinds of people choose such trips? What motivates their travel? In what ways is UC/Berkeley's program typical of other alumni travel programs? How is it different? What does alumni travel teach us about tourism and the meaning of tourism?

Panelist bios:
(1) Carolyn Sheaff, “Bear Treks” Director from 1983 to 2005, took a small program and greatly expanded it, providing revenue for Alumni Association activities and student scholarships. In retirement she consults in the educational travel field.

(2) Jackie Olson joined the program in 1988 and was promoted to Director in 2005, developing the program further. In 2006 the name of the program was changed to “Cal Discoveries.” She retired in 2011 but still volunteers occasionally.

(3) Kris Jameyson joined the program staff in 2001, working with both Carolyn Sheaff and Jackie Olson, and became Director in 2011. She now runs the travel program, which has moved to larger offices on the edge of the Berkeley campus.

(4) Dr. Patrick Hatcher is a historian who taught at UC/B and was Vice Chair of the Political Science Department. Over the years he has lectured for more than 50 UC/Berkeley travel groups.

(5) Dr. Laurence Michalak, moderator of the panel, is an anthropologist who taught and was Vice Chair of the Middle East Center at UC/B for 23 years. He has lectured on 16 Cal Discoveries programs.

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