The Academy's Standing Committees & Task Forces
Best Paper Award Committee
Selects the Best Paper Award each year, either for a doctoral dissertation (even numbered year) or a master's thesis/special project paper (odd numbered year). Promotes opportunity for award via Academy publications, Educator listserv(s), JPRA editors, and The Academy for Leisure Sciences (TALS). Award is presented at General Membership Meeting or virtually with author invited to briefly describe their research findings.
Chair: Chris Beth
Responds to board request(s) for proposed additions or amendments to the bylaws. Prepares Board approved bylaws changes to the membership for final acceptance.
Chair: Dina Trunzo
Promotes the opportunity and selects four young professionals as externs to the annual NRPA Congress. Two of the extern opportunities are the Ernest T. Atwell Externships, intended for diversity candidates.
Chair: Bill Foelsch
National Gold Medal Award Committee
Recommends to the Academy Board program improvements; coordinates educational session (virtual or live); recommends website content; assists with development of resources; and prepares articles or marketing materials promoting the program. The Committee does not judge the Gold Medal applications.
Chair: Karen Hesser
Hall of Fame Committee (in partnership with NRPA)
Selects individuals who have made outstanding and lasting contributions to the advancement of recreation and parks (nominee must be deceased for at least five years prior to nomination). It is a memorial to those leaders who have enriched our philosophy and enhanced our environment. Induction takes place during the NRPA Conference at the Academy’s Annual Banquet. The Hall of Fame is housed at NRPA Headquarters. The Academy appoints four representatives who assist this joint committee; terms are five years.
Chair: Kara Henderson
Justice, Equity, Diversity and Inclusion Committee (JEDI)
Disseminates via the website, AAPRA’s policy statement, commitment statement, and definitions; further develops the ideas developed by the 2021 task force and present to the Board of Directors for consideration.
Co-Chairs: Roslyn Johnson & Michael McCarty
Legends in Parks & Recreation Committee
Identifies through the membership and other promotions, distinguished administrators; educators; local, state, or federal elected officials; or citizens who have made outstanding contributions to the field. Selected Legends are interviewed typically by their nominator. Academy membership is not required to nominate or be a nominee. Coordinates taping of interviews.
Chair: Carrie Fullerton
Membership Committee (established by Bylaws)
Evaluates membership nominations and submits its recommendations for election to the Board. Recommends changes to the membership nomination process including the form, criteria, and evaluation process. The committee consists of, in addition to the President, six appointed members, each having been a member of the Academy for not less than three years. Members serve for one three-year term.
Chair: Cindi Wight
Operates in conjunction with NRPA’s Young Professional Network (YPN) and Leadership Development Network (LDN) to promote mentoring opportunities with Academy members. Mentoring relationship is at least six (6) months. Secures Academy members to serve as mentors. Evaluates program annually.
Chair: Sheila Canzian
Nominating Committee (established by Bylaws)
Solicits candidates for the officer and director election. Notifies the membership of the opportunity for self-nomination. Recommends slate to the Board of Directors. Chaired by the immediate Past President and includes five members, with the majority being past presidents and the President- Elect.
Chair: Janet Bartnik
Pugsley Medal Committee (established by Bylaws)
Oversees the Pugsley Award program including submitting nominees to the Board of Directors for concurrence. Composed of five voting members, all of whom must have received a Pugsley Award, and at least three must be members of the Academy. Terms are three years, and a member may serve not more than three consecutive complete terms. In conference with the Committee Chair, the President may appoint up to two additional Pugsley recipients as honorary non-voting members, who serve in an advisory capacity. Honorary members may, but need not be, Academy Members.
Chair: Elizabeth Kessler
Research for the Profession Committee
The Research for the Profession Committee continues efforts to foster greater connectivity between research and evidence-based practice (e.g., programming, planning, administration), as well as among those who engage in such activities.
Chair: William Nelson
Branding & Social Media Task Force
Communicates the resources and value the Academy brings to the profession and communicates all Academy's processes and activities through social media platforms.
Co-Chairs: Stacie Anaya and Elizabeth Kessler
Career Development Task Force
Utilizes the collective strength of the Academy to support career development for up-and-coming professionals. Partners with Extern and Mentoring Committees.
Chair: Jean Keller