Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D.

Professor - Leisure, Youth & Human Services

Rodney B. Dieser's Vitae


Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D., currently is Professor of Leisure, Youth, and Human Services in the School of Health, Physical Education, and Leisure Services (in the College of Education) at the University of Northern Iowa. Rod currently serves as the program coordinator for the Master's Degree in Philanthropy and Nonprofit Development.

Rod holds a Bachelor's and Master's of Science degree from the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (earned, in 1994 and 1996, respectfully). He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Physical Education and Recreation (2002) from the University of Alberta (Canada). He also holds a second master’s degree in Mental Health Counseling from the University of Northern Iowa (2014) and works in the area of mental health counseling.

His research and teaching interests include: (1) cross-cultural therapeutic recreation/inclusive recreation and leisure service delivery, (2) cross-national implications of utilizing the United States National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification in Canada and other nations, (3) leisure education intervention, (4) inclusive recreation for people with disabilities, (5) leisure and mental health, (6) historical and philosophical foundations of leisure, youth, and nonprofit human services, including Hull-House, 1889-1953, and (7) the philanthropic labor and leisure endeavors of Bruce Springsteen.  

Rod has authored or co-authored three academic textbooks in Leisure Services, has written over 70 peer-reviewed academic articles, has authored over 30 professional journal or newsletter articles (including guest opinion pieces 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. Although the bulk of Rod's academic writings are in the areas of leisure studies (e.g., American Journal of Recreation Therapy , Annuals of Therapeutic Recreation , Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure Science, Leisure Studies, Leisure/Loisir, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, World Leisure Journal) his research has appeared in other academic fields, including: counseling psychology, education, human services and physical education (e.g., Alberta Journal of Educational Research, Human Service Education, Journal of College Student Development , Nonprofit World).

Rod has served as an associated editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and Leisure/Loisir (flagship academic journal of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies). Rod has served as editor for the academic newsletter the SPRE Professor and was awarded a Presidential Citation by the Society of Parks and Recreation Educators for his work as the SPRE Professor editor. In 2006 he received the Outstanding Professional Research Award by the National Therapeutic Recreation Society in the United States. He has also received outstanding research and writing awards by the Alberta Therapeutic Recreation Association and the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association respectfully. In 2010 Rod was inducted as a Senior Fellow in the American Leisure Academy, which recognizes him as an outstanding scholar in the field of recreation and leisure in the United States. In 2012 Rod was inducted as a Senior Fellow in the World Leisure Academy, which recognizes him as an outstanding international scholar in the field of recreation and leisure. In 2014 Rod received the outstanding research award from the College of Education at the University of Northern Iowa.

319- 273-5958
Office Location: 

225 WRC

Mailing Address: 

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