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Hwayong Son presenting her research at podium
RST graduate student Hwayong Son, who is working on her PhD under the mentorship of Dr. Liza Berdychevsky, presented her research on the role of recreation programs for vulnerable youth in social and emotional learning.


More than 200 scholars and educators in the field of leisure studies have traveled to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign for the 2020 conference of The Academy of Leisure Sciences (TALS). Hosted by the Department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST), the conference features panel presentations that focused on both research within the field and pedagogical issues related to leisure studies in higher education. The conference got underway on February 11 and runs through February 14.

"TALS is the biggest conference in the field of leisure for researchers and educators," said Dr. Monika Stodolska, who chaired the TALS 2020 Committee. "It was an honor to bring the conference to Illinois." Joining Dr. Stodolska on the program committee were RST faculty members Dr. Liza Berdychevsky, Dr. Toni Liechty, Dr. Kim Shinew, and Dr. Bill Stewart, and graduate student Leslie Camarillo. Instructional faculty members Don Hardin and Robyn Deterding also assisted with conference planning.

The Academy of Leisure Sciences was founded in 1980 by former presidents of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators, including Dr. Allen Sapora, who played a pivotal role in establishing RST at Illinois and who served as head of the department.

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