Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Trailblazers: Explaining Experiences: Dr. Gary Ellis Has Made a Profession out of Knowing the Expectations of Park and Recreation Visitors

Magazine article Parks & Recreation

Trailblazers: Explaining Experiences: Dr. Gary Ellis Has Made a Profession out of Knowing the Expectations of Park and Recreation Visitors

Article excerpt

Dr. Gary Ellis knows a few things about the park and recreation experiences. As a matter of fact, you could say his expertise is picking apart the how and why of these recreational events. As a leading scholar of recreation visitor experiences, he has authored more than 70 publications on the topic and founded the Western Laboratory for Leisure Research at the University of Utah. He has received a number of recreation and academic awards for his work, the most recent was NRPA's Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation and Park Research, which highlighted his advances for the field. He has also received the National Therapeutic Recreation Society's Professional Research Award and the Utah Recreation and Parks Association's Service to the Profession Award. Ellis has served as the president of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators and the Academy of Leisure Sciences and on the editorial boards of Journal of Leisure Research, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, Leisure Today and Schole. In addition, he has held adjunct professor appointments at Clemson University and Columbia University.

Most proud moment:

"I studied under Peter Witt and David Compton during my years as a doctoral student. The message that I consistently received from both is that the debt carries forward. In other words, they taught me that a career well-served requires striving to do as much for my students as my mentors did for me. As such, my proudest moments are the moments of shaking the hands of doctoral students for whom I have had the great honor of serving as supervisory committee chair, immediately following their successful dissertation defenses. …

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