Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D.

Professor - Leisure, Youth & Human Services

Rodney B. Dieser's Vitae



  • Ph.D., Physical Education and Recreation, University of Alberta (Canada), 2002
  • MA, Mental Health Counseling, University of Northern Iowa (USA), 2014
  • MS, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism, University of Utah (USA), 1997
  • BS, Recreation and Leisure, University of Utah (USA), 1994
  • AS, Therapeutic Recreation, Lethbridge Community College (Canada), 1991

Honors and Awards

  • 2017 Fellow, Academy of Leisure Sciences
  • 2017 Outstanding Alumni Award, University of Utah, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism
  • 2016 International Fellow, China-North America Leisure Studies Network
  • 2014 Outstanding Research Award, College of Education, University of Northern Iowa
  • 2014 Milestone Award for Outstanding Mentoring to Graduate Students, Graduate College, University of Northern Iowa
  • 2012 Fellow, World Leisure Academy
  • 2010 Fellow, American Leisure Academy
  • 2007 Presidential Citation, Society of Parks and Recreation Educators
  • 2006 Outstanding Professional Research Award, National Therapeutic Recreation Society
  • 2005 Tribune Article Award, Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association
  • 2004 Research, Publishing, Writing/Speaking Award, Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association (Canada)




Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D. CTRS, tLMHC, is Professor of Leisure, Youth, and Human Services in the School of Kinesiology, Allied Health, and Human Services at the University of Northern Iowa. Rod currently serves as the program coordinator for the Master's Degree in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development and works 10-15 hours a week as a licensed mental health counselor in a community-based agency.


Dr. Dieser’s research and teaching interests include: (1) cross-cultural therapeutic recreation/inclusive recreation and leisure service delivery, (2) leisure education programming/intervention, (3) inclusive recreation for people with disabilities, (4) historical and philosophical foundations of leisure, youth, and nonprofit human services, including Hull-House, 1889-1953, (5) the philanthropic and psychological nexus of musician/song writer, Bruce Springsteen, and (6) leisure and mental health, including the psychological health consequences of leisure environments and programming at the Mayo Clinic.


Dr. Dieser has authored or co-authored five academic textbooks and has written over 70 peer-reviewed academic articles. He has authored an additional 30 professional journal or newsletter articles, including guest opinion pieces (community engagement publications) in the Des Moines Registers and Waterloo Courier, and has made many national and international research and professional presentations, including keynote addresses at professional conferences. Dr. Dieser has served as an associate editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and Leisure/Loisir (flagship academic journal of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies) and has served as guest editor for a 2015 World Leisure Journal special issue on global implications of therapeutic recreation certification and a 2015 International Leisure Review special issue on qualitative research.


Dr. Dieser has published in research-based journals specific to leisure studies (e.g., Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure Science, Leisure Studies, Leisure/Loisir, Therapeutic Recreation Journal), education (e.g., Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Journal of College Student Development) and in medicine and mental health counseling (e.g., Counseling Psychology Quarterly, International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, Mayo Clinic Proceedings).

319- 273-5958
Office Location: 

225 WRC

Mailing Address: 

University of Northern Iowa
203 WRC
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0241