Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D.

Associate Professor - Leisure, Youth & Human Services

Rodney B. Dieser's Vitae


Rodney B. Dieser, Ph.D., currently is an Associate Professor 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, with a graduate level minor in educational psychology. He holds a Doctorate of Philosophy in Physical Education and Recreation from the University of Alberta (Canada). His research and teaching interests include: (1) cross-cultural therapeutic recreation and leisure practice, (2) therapeutic recreation as an adjunctive therapy for people with mental illness and people with disabilities, (3) historical and philosophical foundations of leisure, youth, and non-profit human services, including Hull-House from 1889-1953, (4) the connection between leisure, sport, and physical activities with gender identity, and (6) the philanthropic labor and service of musician, Bruce Springsteen.

Rod has written one academic textbook and has co-authored two academic textbooks in Leisure Services, has written over 70 academic articles, and has made countless national and international research and professional presentations. 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.


(319) 273-7775
(319) 273-5958
Office Location: 

WRC 225

Mailing Address: 

University of Northern Iowa
203 Wellness & Recreation Center
Cedar Falls, IA 50614-0241