Mixing the Theoretical and the Practical
A Western Colorado University professor has been recognized as the best in educating students for the commercial recreation profession. Associate Dean of the School of Business Kevin Nelson, Ph.D., was named the winner of the Outstanding Professor Award on Nov. 8 at the Resort and Commercial Recreation Association’s (RCRA) national conference.
“I started working with this organization when I was in graduate school at Michigan State,” said Nelson. “I like the organization because it’s a good mix of the theoretical and the practical.”
Providing and Promoting Professional Development
The RCRA is committed to providing and promoting professional development, creative resources and networking for professionals, students, educators, vendors and all others dedicated to delivering services in the recreation industry. Through its annual conference, regional workshops, newsletters and other means, the association encourages collaboration and networking among its membership.
In a press release, the association said that during 2020 when COVID affected so much, it was important that there were people who kept the momentum going even through the toughest of times. Nelson is credited with assisting in the success of a Virtual Job Fair in January 2021. The event had a total of 71 student participants, many of whom were new to the association. He also presented at RCRA’s Summit in the Research Symposium on educator needs and priorities. Nelson extolled the benefits of being part of such an organization as RCRA.
“I can go in and talk with other academics and at the next table I have individuals who are working in resorts in various settings,” Nelson said of the organization. “Having that combination at the same conference allows me to more easily bring current things in the industry back to the classroom and to my own research.”
Receiving the National Award
Dean of the School of Business Peter Sherman said he was not surprised to see Nelson receive the national award. Sherman called Nelson a “consummate team player” who is always willing to meet the academic needs in the School of Business.
“Dr. Nelson has served as the Associate Dean for almost a decade, and during that time, he has additionally stepped up to fill in for faculty who have been on leave,” said Sherman. “He excels in teaching classes, even when it is a new preparation. All of the faculty are proud to see Dr. Nelson recognized with this award.”
Learn more about programs in Western’s School of Business
Author Credit: Chris Rourke
Photo Credit: Courtesy