Denise M. Anderson, PhD, is currently the Associate Dean for Undergraduate Studies in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences at Clemson University. Anderson has been a faculty member in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at Clemson University since 2003 following three years as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Community and Therapeutic Recreation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to entering academia, Anderson served as the Adult Sport Coordinator for the Gold Medal award winning Champaign (Illinois) Park District. She holds a B.A. from Illinois Wesleyan University in English, an M.S. from Eastern Illinois University in Sport Management, and a Ph.D. from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, in Leisure Studies.
Anderson’s research is focused on the role of leisure and recreation in the lives of girls and women as well as the role of leisure in college student development. One of Anderson’s passion projects combines her commitment to research, teaching, and service. The project, Finding Your Voice, is a free weekend camp offered to 50 middle-school girls in the upstate of South Carolina focused on improving confidence and body image through outdoor recreation. Working with 14-16 undergraduate female students, Anderson’s work has allowed students to gain hands-on programming experience while serving the surrounding communities. In partnership with multiple community volunteers as well as two municipal parks and recreation agencies the program has allowed hundreds of girls who would never have the opportunity to attend camp or participate in unique outdoor activities to participate in backpacking, rock climbing, and kayaking as well as participate in sessions on yoga and self-defense/martial arts. In addition to this project Anderson has completed multiple needs assessments with municipal parks and recreation agencies, published in a wide range of peer-reviewed journals, co-authored two textbooks, received multiple awards for innovate teaching, as well as served the profession through her work as an Associate Editor for the Journal of Parks and Recreation. Anderson is also the incoming President of The Academy of Leisure Sciences. [current as of Sept 2016]