RST Honors Alumni

The Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism honored three outstanding alumni during an awards event held in April.

Mary Liz Jayne

Mary Liz Jayne, recreation program manager for the Lisle Park District, received the RST Rising Star Award. She completed her bachelor's degree in Recreation Management in 2014. She joined the Lisle Park District in December of that year. Her passion for parks and recreation has been recognized by the Illinois Park and Recreation Association, which awarded her its 2016 Recreation Rising Star Award and its 2017 Young Professional of the Year Award. She has remained involved with RST as a member of the Alumni Council and as a volunteer at the Sapora Symposium for students. In addition to her work with the park district, she is a fitness instructor with The Barre Code.


Sarah Beth Reno

Sarah Beth Reno, vice president of entertainment for Carnival Cruise Lines, received the RST Charles K. Brightbill Distinguished Alumni Award. She has worked in the travel industry since completing her undergraduate degree in Recreation Management. As vice president of entertainment, she is responsible for all aspects of entertainment and programming for Carnival's 25-ship fleet, including production revues, live musical performances, comedy clubs, guest activities, cruise directors/entertainment staff, and youth programs.

Joe DeLuce

Joe DeLuce, executive director of the Champaign Park District, received the Joseph Bannon Practitioner Award. He completed his master's degree in Recreation Management at Illinois. As head of the park district, he oversees the operations of 13 facilities, including the historic Virginia Theater in downtown Champaign, as well as a paid and volunteer staff of more than 575 people. Under his leadership, the district has received three Gold Medals from the National Recreation and Park Association. An NPRA-certified Parks and Recreation Professional, he is a current member of the Illinois Association of Park Districts' Joint Legislative Committee.