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Bond Lammey Charts New Course with Online Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management 

Bond Lammey at Grand Canyon National Park
Bond Lammey at Grand Canyon National Park

For many, the pandemic was a time of reflection. For Bond Lammey, executive partner at a fundraising consulting company, it was the catalyst for a complete career shift. 

“The pandemic led many people to assess their values, priorities and goals, and I count myself among those who began to re-prioritize,” Lammey explains. She increasingly sought refuge in nature. Lammey started taking weekend trips away from her home in Washington, D.C. to hike, kayak and camp. One of these outdoor excursions, a month-long camping trip to the Grand Canyon, changed the trajectory of her career and life.

“Despite the inclement weather and physical exertion required to make the trip, I felt like I could breathe for the first time in years,” says Lammey.

Determined to find a career path that would allow her to combine her background in nonprofit consulting with her renewed passion for the outdoors, she worked with a career coach to research programs for working professionals. They identified the online Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management (PRTSM) degree program as a perfect fit because of its affordability and excellent reputation. 

Lammey decided to move from Washington, D.C. to Raleigh and joined the program in the fall of 2022.

Experience in the PRTSM program

“The online PRTSM faculty have put a lot of thought into making this a valuable educational experience,” Lammey shares. She highlights the comprehensive blend of practical and theoretical instruction offered, from risk management to Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Training — a topic important to Lammey. 

“This program will give you the direct professional skills you need to be a Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management practitioner, particularly at the management level. However, if you are still looking for a bit more academic rigor in your graduate experience, using the electives to deep-dive into one topic via independent studies is a really good option,” Lammey advises prospective students. 

One of her most memorable experiences was taking a week-long trip to the Great Smoky Mountains National Park as part of an in-person experiential learning class. Another highlight was the online GIS course with Jelena Vukomanic. “Her enthusiasm of the topic was infectious,” she recalls. “She worked with us to help troubleshoot issues with our assignments and supported creative approaches to the final project.” Lammey is particularly proud of her final assignment, an interactive map showcasing her transformative road trip to the Grand Canyon.

Advice and Future Plans

Lammey admits that balancing a full-time work schedule and online coursework can be challenging. Due to the demanding nature of her position, she reduced her hours to part-time while completing the PRTSM program. 

For prospective students for whom juggling the demands of work and an online master’s program is also a concern, Lammey emphasizes that the degree is designed for working professionals. She recalls that most of the students in her cohort had full-time jobs.

“The professors were very supportive,” she explains. “Most professors were very understanding and flexible if we needed to miss a class session due to personal or work engagements, and all professors were very responsive to questions,” says Lammey.

For working professionals considering the PRTSM program, Lammey offers encouraging words. 

I had a fantastic experience as a student at NC State. I didn’t know what to expect with an all online program and as someone pursuing a mid-career transition, but in every class I found a helpful takeaway and a classmate I could relate to,” she explains.

She also found that the supportive environment did not end once students left the classroom. “The professors at NC State have deep networks in the industry and are always willing to connect students to others in the field for research or career purposes,” says Lammey.

As she prepares for her upcoming graduation, Lammey is enthusiastic about the doors her degree has opened. She is already scheduled to present in an online session for the National Recreation and Park Association, a recording that will be made available later this summer or early fall through NRPA’s social channels. Additionally, she has already earned a Leave No Trace Outdoor Ethics Level Two Certification. 

Lammey looks forward to attending the in-person College of Natural Resources commencement ceremony in Raleigh, with family and friends by her side. 

Connect with Bond Lammey via LinkedIn.

Interested in advancing your career with the online Master of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Sport Management (PRTSM) degree from NC State Online? Visit the program page or for a full list of degree and certificate programs.