SUNY Cortland Professor Lynn Anderson, a nationally recognized expert in the fields of outdoor, therapeutic and inclusive recreation, has been promoted to the rank of Distinguished Service Professor, one of the highest academic ranks in the SUNY system.
The SUNY Board of Trustees promoted Anderson, a SUNY Cortland professor of recreation, parks and leisure studies and the creator of a user-friendly database of inclusive New York recreational facilities, during its May 10 meeting in Albany, N.Y.
Anderson, as a distinguished service professor, is honored and recognized for her extraordinary service not only at the campus and within SUNY, but also at the community, regional, state and national levels. She was among 21 SUNY faculty promoted to ‘distinguished’ this year and brings to six the number of distinguished service professors currently serving at SUNY Cortland.
A highly successful grant writer, Anderson has obtained more than $700,000 in external funding, including an ongoing multi-year grant from the New York State Planning Council for Developmental Disabilities. The grant was used to establish a statewide inclusive recreation resource center that is housed at SUNY Cortland. The mission of the center is to identify Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) compliant parks and recreational sites throughout New York with the goal of ultimately providing outdoor recreation opportunities for all state residents.
“Frankly, I cannot think of a single academic in the field who has done as much to make a difference in the lives of persons with disabilities, which has had a ripple effect on their partners, families, friends and communities,” wrote Charles Sylvester, chair of the Department of Physical Education, Health and Recreation at Western Washington University. “When I pause to think of the thousands of students, practitioners and fellow educators Dr. Anderson’s research has informed, inspired, and empowered, well, you cannot help but get the picture of her massive impact.”
Anderson, who has served the College since 1998 and was promoted to professor in 2002, currently serves on the New York State Therapeutic Recreation Association State Licensure Committee. She has collaborated with the New York State Recreation and Park Society and the National Recreation and Park Association National Certification Board to ensure student access to the national exam to become a certified park and recreation professional. Through her grant work, Anderson also has collaborated with the I Love New York Tourism Division and the New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation. She has participated in Park Ranger Training Workshops in New York state.
From 1998 to 2001, Anderson served on the committee that reviews national credentialing standards in the field of therapeutic recreation. For this and her many other contributions to her profession, Anderson was named the recipient of the New York State Therapeutic Recreation Society 2011 Member of the Year Award.
In addition, more than 1,400 outdoor recreation practitioners nationwide have been trained in ways to enhance the quality of life for individuals with all types of disabilities through “Inclusion U” an innovative program established by Anderson through ongoing funding from the New York State Developmental Disabilities Planning Council.
Anderson served as chair of SUNY Cortland’s Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies Department for her first 12 years at the College. As chair, she led strategic planning and successful accreditation visits.
As a teacher, Anderson has few peers. She was recognized for her superior teaching with the 2003 Teaching Award at SUNY Cortland for Incorporation of Service Learning and with the 1998 McDermott Outstanding Undergraduate Teaching Award at the University of North Dakota. She was listed in the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers in 1998, 1999, 2004 and 2005.
Anderson is the published author of two books, 22 journal articles and book sections on therapeutic and inclusive recreation that were published in refereed journals. She also wrote 55 articles in non-refereed journals.
Anderson’s 2011 book, Inclusivity Assessment Tool and User Guide, is already considered a seminal work within the recreation and leisure studies discipline. Her most recent manuscript, a co-authored book currently in press called Therapeutic Recreation Practice: A Strengths Approach, is a much-anticipated addition to the profession.
Anderson serves on the editorial boards of several prestigious journals in her field and has shared her expertise in presentations at national, state and local conferences. In 2011, she was an invited keynote speaker at both the Canadian Congress for Leisure Research and the Colorado Therapeutic Recreation Association Conference.
“Dr. Anderson’s work is resulting in extending the theoretical base of the profession as well as serving as a national model and resource for communities and states to create and manage inclusive opportunities,” said Marcia Carter, professor of recreation, park and tourism administration at Western Illinois University-Quad Cities.
Candace Ashton, professor and coordinator of recreation therapy at University of North Carolina, Wilmington, commended Anderson for her leadership and service on the national task force on therapeutic recreation curriculum accreditation, which drafted the standards and student learning outcomes for the profession.
“She is committed to making sure therapeutic recreation students from every university in the nation are provided with the best learning experiences possible as they become our future recreation therapists and have an impact on the lives of people with disabilities,” Ashton stated.
Of major significance to the College in the past two years was Anderson’s willingness to serve as faculty co-chair for the SUNY Cortland 2012 Middle States Decennial Self-Study and Site Visit. She played a key role in drafting the self-study and educating the campus about the Middle States initiative.
Richard Kendrick, director of SUNY Cortland’s Institute for Civic Engagement, said Anderson has an extraordinary ability to integrate service with learning throughout the undergraduate and graduate courses she teaches..
“Dr. Anderson has for many years involved her students in real-world research projects that have assisted numerous community agencies in program evaluation and assessment,” Kendrick wrote. “By integrating teaching, service and scholarship, Dr. Anderson extends the value that she places on service to her students and prepares the next generation for citizenship.”
For example, in 2005 and 2006, Anderson and 538 SUNY Cortland students created useful program manuals on the Peer Assisted Inclusion in Recreation (PAIR) Program for the local Cortland community’s JM Murray Center and published Individualized Recreation Inclusion Services (IRIS) Program manuals for the Cortland-Madison ARC.
She is active in recreation opportunities within the greater Cortland community and has conducted needs assessment analyses for the local YWCA and the Cortland Youth Bureau. She has established numerous student internships and volunteer opportunities at the nearby Lime Hollow Center for Environment and Culture and with the Adaptive Snowsports at Greek Peak in Virgil, N.Y. She has instructed members of the Migrant Education Outreach Program in kayaking and served as a member of the Tompkins Cortland Community College Recreation Leadership Advisory Board.
She volunteers frequently at sustainability events and for three years has spearheaded the Community Bike Program on campus, which provides free use of bicycles to students, faculty and staff on campus.
Anderson earned her Bachelor of Arts in French from the University of North Dakota; her Master of Science in Recreation and Park Management from University of Oregon; and her Ph.D. in education with emphasis in therapeutic recreation from University of Minnesota.