down arrowMenu

Rodney B. Dieser

Professor - Leisure, Youth & Human Services
(319) 273-7775

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

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, (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 Register and Waterloo Courier, and has made many national and international research and professional presentations, including keynotes at professional conferences. Dr. Dieser has served as associate editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal and Leisure/Loisir (flagship academic journal of the Canadian Association of Leisure Studies) and 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 in 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 medicine and mental health counseling (e.g., Counseling Psychology Quarterly, International Journal of Applied Positive Psychology, Mayo Clinic Proceedings).

Mayo Clinic Proceedings Insights: Dr. Dieser sharing his research on how leisure service delivery at the Mayo Clinic can decrease patient stress and prevent burnout among physicians/medical staff

Iowa Public Radio: Dr. Dieser as a host regarding the topic of making hospitals feel more like home through leisure environments