BOONE, N.C. — Dr. Melissa Weddell has accepted the position of chair for the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education (RMPE) in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) after a national search.
Weddell, who has served as an interim chair for the RMPE department for the past nine months, has worked at Appalachian for nine years. Previously, she served as program director of the department’s recreation management program.
Dr. Marie Huff, dean of the BCHS, said, “Dr. Weddell has proven to be a collaborative problem solver and a strong advocate for faculty and staff, as well as for students.”
“I’m honored to serve as RMPE chair and excited about our future in the Beaver College of Health Sciences,” Weddell said. “We serve as the foundation of health through teaching physical activity, offering K–12 health and physical education certification as well as training parks, recreation and tourism professionals, all of which improve individuals’ and the community’s quality of life.”
Weddell’s research focuses on practices and public policies, specifically focusing on the responsible development of rural recreation and tourism destinations that boost economic commerce. Through her research, she examines how to balance local concerns in developing protected areas, encouraging recreation and attracting tourism while working collaboratively to foster policy change and provide large-scale, benefit-based recreation to improve overall quality of life.
She received her undergraduate degree in entrepreneurship/small business management from Ball State University and an MBA from Southern Illinois University before earning her doctorate in parks, recreation and tourism management from Clemson University.
She has held previous positions in various public and private business and industry settings as a small business consultant, corporate trainer and human resource manager.
At Appalachian, she has served on the Faculty Senate, Faculty Assembly, Quality Enhancement Plan Leadership Council, Inaugural Global Symposium Committee and numerous other committees.
In 2015, Weddell was a visiting scholar at Vancouver Island University for the World Leisure Centre of Excellence, and in the 2016–17 academic year, she was selected to participate in the Chancellor’s Academic Leadership Development Program.
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About the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education
The Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education in Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences is an innovative, diverse and forward-thinking academic unit consisting of two undergraduate programs. The recreation management program prepares students for careers as professionals in three concentrations: commercial recreation and tourism management, outdoor experiential education, and recreation and park management. The health and physical education program prepares students for careers as K-12 health and physical educators, school-based activity directors and coaches. Learn more at https://rmpe.appstate.edu.
About the Beaver College of Health Sciences
Appalachian's Beaver College of Health Sciences opened in 2010 as the result of a strategic university commitment to significantly enhance the health and quality of life for individuals, families and communities in North Carolina and beyond. In 2015, the college was named for an Appalachian alumnus and pioneer in the health care industry — Donald C. Beaver ’62 ’64 of Conover. The college offers 10 undergraduate degree programs and six graduate degree programs, which are organized into six departments: Communication Sciences and Disorders; Health and Exercise Science; Nursing; Nutrition and Health Care Management; Recreation Management and Physical Education; and Social Work. Learn more at https://healthsciences.appstate.edu.
About Appalachian State University
Appalachian State University, in North Carolina’s Blue Ridge Mountains, prepares students to lead purposeful lives as global citizens who understand and engage their responsibilities in creating a sustainable future for all. The transformational Appalachian experience promotes a spirit of inclusion that brings people together in inspiring ways to acquire and create knowledge, to grow holistically, to act with passion and determination, and embrace diversity and difference. As one of 17 campuses in the University of North Carolina System, Appalachian enrolls more than 19,000 students, has a low student-to-faculty ratio and offers more than 150 undergraduate and graduate majors.