Faculty Research

Research within the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism reflects backgrounds ranging from psychology to sociology; from marketing to economics; from geography to rehabilitation; from communication to leisure behavior; from health and wellness to natural resources. Students are exposed to a variety of diverse and relevant perspectives on the park, recreation, sport and tourism profession.

Faculty Research Highlights

Carla Santos

Carla Santos
Associate Professor, Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Carla Santos approaches tourism research from a perspective of qualitative critical cultural studies. Her work addresses communicative practices relating to the promotion of destinations and to the negotiation of those promotional materials between tourists and hosts. Read more about Dr. Santos.



Kim Shinew

Kim Shinew
Professor, Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Kim Shinew's research addresses relationships between leisure practices and cultural diversity. Working closely with park districts in the Chicago area, Dr. Shinew has been examining boundary issues between different racial and ethnic groups. In a study of factors addressing the quality of life of residents of Little Village, a largely Latino neighborhood, she and Dr. Monika Stodolska found that things such as environmental degradation, insufficient access to open spaces, a low sense of community, fear of crime, and the undocumented status of many residents adversely affected the community's quality of life. Working within a field in which it is commonly accepted that exercise and leisure activity carries many benefits, Dr. Shinew said it is also important to identify that some of the obstacles people face, such as fear of violence in parks and recreational facilities, are seemingly insurmountable. Read more about Dr. Shinew.



Monika Stodolska

Monika Stodolska
Associate Professor, Recreation, Sport and Tourism

With a focus on cultural change and its relationship to leisure behavior, Monika Stodolska has investigated the effects of leisure on identity development among young immigrants, the effects of crime on physical activity and recreation, and other similar issues. Her current research in the predominantly Latino Little Village community of Chicago is examining the general effects of crime, including the fear of crime, on physical activity and outdoor recreation among Latino adolescents. In illuminating the conditions within which many people live, she seeks to emphasize that leisure activity cannot be studied in isolation from the broader environment. Read more about Dr. Stodolska.



Scott Tainsky

Scott Tainsky
Assistant Professor, Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Scott Tainsky identifies the values of sports fans by examining such things as attendance and television broadcast demand for professional sporting events. In a paper published in Social Science Quarterly, Dr. Tainsky and University of Michigan professor Jason Winfree examined the impact on attendance of adding international players to Major League Baseball teams. Dr. Tainsky has also examined the effects of domestic population migration and steroid policy on consumer demand for professional sports events. Undergirding all his research, he says, is the desire to disseminate information that will allow fans to reflect on their values and make informed decisions. Read more about Dr. Tainsky.