Current Courses

Fall 2024

  • PRT 6000-001
    History & Phil. of PRT
    Location: HPR N 229 (HPR N 229)
  • PRT 7000-001
    Seminar Hist/Phil Leis
    Location: HPR N 229 (HPR N 229)

Professional Organizations

  • The Academy of Leisure Sciences. 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2019. Position : Member.

Teaching Philosophy

On the classroom environment....

I believe that learning should be reciprocal in a classroom. Every summer during my undergraduate years, I worked at a camp in Vermont as a sailing counselor. Though I had participated in sailing as a camper at the same camp, and had been teaching it as a counselor for years, I did not fully grasp the physics of how the sails caught the wind and propelled the boat. Needless to say, any effort I made to impart this knowledge to others was fruitless, and I disliked the job of trying to teach it, preferring rather to just enjoy sailing. One afternoon, while taking some girls for a sail, one of them asked the inevitable question “how does the wind make the boat go?” I gave her my rote answer, which was unhelpful, but she persisted. She kept asking the question in different ways until she got an answer that satisfied her. I realized later that her persistence for an answer forced me toreally think about sailing in a way that I hadn’t before, despite having sailed for years. Her persistence and desire to learn taught me not only about my own knowledge, but that a depth of understanding and unending curiosity is necessary to be an effective teacher.

Because of this experience, it is important for me to establish a comfortable environment in which students feel comfortable participating, sharing their experiences, and asking if they don’t understand something. I stress to them that their experiences and their curiosity will improve the learning curve for themselves, for their colleagues, and for me.

On my teaching strengths....

I believe knowledge is a continuous process that evolves with questions, research, and critical thinking.

My teaching strength is in abstract philosophical and social-psychological concepts. I relish opportunities to challenge students in their critical thinking. They are more than just receptacles that receive the world and its messages without question; I try to encourage them to question their world, and to use concepts and ideas to reach ethical, well- constructed, and thought out answers to complex issues.

On my expectations of myself...

I believe that it is my responsibility to help students value what they learn in my classes. Students lead busy lives. Their days may be filled with coursework, extracurricular activities, paid work, or socializing, but to each, their days are filled with what they perceive to be important. As a matter of time management, I believe that different classes or extra- curricular activities take priority, and the others fall into place in a hierarchy. Assignments or responsibilities associated with classes and activities at the top of the list get accomplished; with each position down on the hierarchy, less gets done in turn. In the 12- 15 credit hours the average student has each semester, I make it my personal challenge that

my class be engaging, interesting, challenging, and personal enough that it earns a position high on the hierarchy of student priorities.

On my expectations of students....

I believe that much of the education that takes place in college happens outside of the classroom; through social interactions, personal dramas, studying or time management skills. There is more to a students’ life than being a student, and those other dimensions can affect class performance. I strive to be fair in allowing students to determine their priorities. Sometimes life circumstances warrant class reprieve, while other times they must reap the consequences of their choices; figuring out the difference is part of their learning process. My goals in every course are to meet the objectives of the class, but also to afford opportunities to learn important life lessons inside and outside of the classroom.

I believe students are capable of providing more than what the “rubric” requests.

The tendency today to always provide a rubric, or teach to the test is the equivalent of facilitating learned helplessness in regard to acquiring knowledge. More learning happens through failures than successes, but the current formula for education makes failure unlikely, and discourages self-discipline, awareness, challenge, and initiative. I provide rubrics to frame the basic assignment, but outline that an excellent grade requires more than basic or average performance.


Courses I Teach

  • PRT 3310 - Leisure Behavior and Human Diversity
    This course explores leisure and recreation behavior and the social and psychological impact across a wide variety of dominant and non-dominant populations including: ethnicity, ability, gender, age, religion and nationality. This course fulfills the University diversity (DV) requirement.
  • PRT 6010 - Behavioral Science Foundations
    This course is designed to provide an introductory overview of psychological and sociological theories that are applicable to Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (HKR) fields. We will focus on gaining practical knowledge related to theory development and validation, as well as how theory can inform research and practice in investigating and understanding behavior and behavior change.
  • PRT 6550 - Interpreting Research
    We will review and discuss numerous areas of research so that students might more effectively read, interpret, and use the research literature. Special attention will be paid to using existing literature and new research activities to use the research process and research results to improve practice.
  • Programming for Positive Youth Development - PRT 5375/6735
    This course reviews the current state-of-knowledge in designing and implementing high quality programs for youth with special attention to programs in recreational settings. During the course, we will examine positive youth development from different perspectives, including theories of development, use of logic models for intentional programming, elements of high quality youth service programs, and the role of systematic evaluation in improving program quality. We will consider aspects of programming and evaluation that are applicable in a variety of venues – built and natural, social and solitary, active and passive, that address current issues and trends in the lives of American youth, such as obesity, video games, environmental degradation, and access. We will also examine factors shaping youth behavior in recreation, leisure, and discretionary time use and the implications of these factors for service and program provision. We will specifically consider the role recreation can play in physical, cognitive, moral, and socio-emotional development.