Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation
Kate Evans is an Associate Professor in Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation. She began at UWL in 2014 and teaches a variety of courses including those focused on diversity and social justice, facilitation, human resources and management in leisure services, philosophical foundations of leisure, and a general education introductory leisure course. In addition, Dr. Evans is the Graduate Program Director for Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation and coordinates the department’s general education course, REC 150. Her research focuses on issues of equity and social justice in leisure participation, particularly in the realm of women’s physically active leisure and outdoor adventure recreation. Her WTFS project will focus on Recreation Management and Therapeutic Recreation’s general education course, REC 150. Her research will examine how the course can be structured to better support the wide range of majors and first-year students who enroll in REC 150. Additionally, as the focus of the course is leisure, quality of life, and well-being, she will also examine how the course can best be designed to help support the students’ overall success at UWL.
TEACHING AND LEARNING PHILOSOPHY
I strive to create open and meaningful learning environments by creating inclusive spaces in which students can develop into ethical and well-prepared professionals. My research and service are also closely aligned with my pedagogical values and I work to ensure each informs the others. The more I am exposed to and learn about issues of diversity and social justice, the more I can build that lens and understanding into my approach to teaching, the information I share with students, and the structure of my courses. In working to achieve these goals, I focus on:
• Creating a classroom atmosphere that is conducive to learning and open discussion
• Expanding the perspectives and voices that are presented and discussed in my courses
• Research aimed at expanding access and reducing barriers to leisure participation
• Serving UWL with a focus on improving inclusive excellence
• Promoting greater access to Recreation Management and Recreational Therapy courses
I treat each interaction with students as an opportunity to create community and open discussion around assumptions, biases, and inclusion. Each interaction is also an opportunity for me to reflect and improve my teaching to better serve my students. Teaching provides me with a constant challenge. I enjoy taking on this challenge of identifying and applying techniques that will provide students with the best opportunity to learn. While I do not believe it is my job to entertain students, I do believe that it is my job to engage them in the material in a relevant way. Relevant to them, to their goals, and to the way they best learn. It is this challenge that pushes me to grow and evolve as a teacher. Teaching is a field that allows for continuous growth. It gives me the opportunity to learn from the mistakes I have made with specific students, the design of an assignment, or the ways I have formatted a course. Teaching is also unique in that I always get a second chance, a chance to learn from my missteps and become a more effective educator. Every week provides a new topic to teach and new assignments to tweak and refine, while every semester allows for a fresh start and a new group of students. Thus, constant reflection, taking into account student feedback, debriefs with colleagues, and assessment data from each of my classes is central to continuing to improve towards the goal of creating the most inclusive and effective leaning environments possible.