Outdoors enthusiast receives scholarship

By By Anne Roper

By Anne Roper

Karalyn Marzo completed her associate degree at Utah State University, but still couldn’t decide on a major.

When she transferred to the U, Marzo found a way to combine her love for the outdoors with her studies by majoring in parks, recreation and tourism.

As soon as she found her niche in academic life, she also found herself placed in the spotlight.

Marzo recently received the Dianne Nelson Binger Scholarship, an award created by the Salt Lake Convention & Visitors Bureau to honor the bureau’s former president and CEO after she lost her battle with cancer in March 2005.

“Being honored by the SLCVB was a really neat experience,” Marzo said. “It was also very humbling to know that it is on behalf of Dianne, who was such an amazing lady.”

The annual scholarship for $2500 is given to a female undergraduate student in parks, recreation and tourism because of Binger’s love for the hospitality industry and the U.

“Ms. Marzo represents everything that we look for in a recipient,” said Scott Beck, president and CEO of the bureau. “Her enthusiasm for the outdoors and the hospitality industry is contagious. We also look for someone who shows a strong desire to give back to the community.”

That desire has always been a big part of Marzo’s life, said Dana Richmond, Marzo’s mother.

Marzo has participated in several humanitarian trips with her family. Richmond said she believes it was during a trip to Peru, when Marzo was 14, that the spark for service was ignited.

“Being in that kind of a situation with the less fortunate has kind of geared her to find the joy in helping others that need to be taught a better way,” Richmond said. “She’s able to recognize if there’s a need, she can do something to help.”

Marzo’s aspiration to serve and her attitude toward physical activity made for a good entrance into parks, recreation and tourism, Richmond said, because she’s not afraid to try new things physically. Marzo has recently started participating in activities ranging from rock climbing to biking. She and her husband, Jason Marzo, coach a youth soccer team.

“I’m not a big, avid outdoorsy person,” Marzo said. “I just like being outside. I believe there’s an aesthetic quality that can be gained and good feelings in the wilderness.”

After her graduation in May 2009, she plans to celebrate a break from school by traveling to Europe before beginning her career as an activities director for a senior or assisted living center.

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Lucas Isley

Karalyn Marzo, a park, recreation and tourism major, is the most recent recipient of the Dianne Nelson Binger Scholarship award.