PRHA Getting Hands-on Experience

Tech’s parks, recreation and hospitality administration department begin their drive-thru dinners on Thursday, Sept. 23. The event is staffed by students enrolled in advanced food preparation and guest services classes.

“This is a hands-on experience that allows the students to get a look into real life jobs that they could one day have,” Dr. Cathi McMahan, professor of recreation and park administration, said.

The event would typically take place on campus in the Williamson dining room and food lab. The building has been closed for renovations due to a fire in April of 2019. The event now takes place at 404 N. El Paso Ave. in Russellville.

“When COVID-19 happened, we had to rethink how we could still host this event and keep up with guidelines, and that is how the drive-thru meals came about,” McMahan said.  “We have approximately 100 reservations for meals tonight, so that it will be a great turnout.”

The meals cost $15 per order. Cash, check, debit card, and credit card will be accepted payment forms.

“The funds go back into the program, and the money goes to help this event and other learning opportunities happen. The students do everything at this event, from mapping out the traffic flow, making the menu, and figuring out the profits afterward. They have been working really hard to make this happen,” McMahan said.

Meals can be reserved in advance by calling (479) 968-0378 or by emailing

To learn more about the department and events, visit