Member Biography

Dr. J. Robert Rossman Ph.D.

J. Robert Rossman, Ph.D. has been an administrator for over twenty-eight years, including positions in a municipal recreation department and two universities where he served as a department chair (13 years) and dean (10 years). He has also been involved with designing and staging leisure experiences and writing scholarly papers on programming experiences through his entire career. He has operated numerous programs during his career including university and college commencements, band concerts, sport events, Science and Technology Week at Illinois State University, family reunions, and church dinners. He was a co-producer of the NRPA Student Quiz Bowl staged for six years at the NRPA Congress.

Dr. Rossman is coauthor of a text book, Recreation Programming; Designing and staging leisure experiences, that is currently in its seventh edition and has been used for over twenty-five years to teach programming at over 100 universities in the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand and other countries. He has worked with Morale, Welfare, and Recreation operations for the US Air Force, Navy, and Army to help improve their programming practices. He has given keynote addresses and educational workshops on programming to a variety of organizations in the U.S. and abroad including invited addresses to the New Zealand Recreation Association Annual Conference and the annual conference of the New Zealand Association of Event Professionals. 

Throughout his career Dr. Rossman has served a number of professional development roles. He provided leadership to help develop the Certified Park and Recreation Professional examination and was co-author of the CPRP Study Guide for ten years through three editions. He has served as a board member and president of the Society of Park and Recreation Educators, as a board member for the Academy of Park and Recreation Administration, and he served on both the National Forum and the Accreditation Council.

Dr. Rossman earned in B.S. in Recreation With Distinction from Indiana University in 1968 and earned his graduate degrees from the University of Illinois (MS 1975, PhD 1981). He was selected as a Distinguished Alumni by the School of Public Health at Indiana University and has received other professional awards including the NRPA National Literary Award and the Charles K. Brightbill Award from the University of Illinois. AAPRA has elected him a Legend in Parks and Recreation for outstanding contributions to the field. He is a member of the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and an elected Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences who have designated him a Distinguished Colleague. Currently he serves as a consultant, speaker, and author while also enjoying traveling, grandchildren, singing, and golf at his home in Phoenix, AZ.