Peter A. Witt

Peter A. Witt
Year Elected ALS Fellow: 
Highest Degree: 
Ph.D., Univeristy of Illinois, 1970
Current Position: 
Professor Emeritus, Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences, Texas A&M University

Dr. Peter A. Witt retired in 2012.  He previously held the Elda K. Bradberry Recreation and Youth Development Endowed Chair and was a Professor in the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences at Texas A&M University.

Peter's major interests are in determining and validating impacts of out-of-school time youth development programs.

Dr. Witt has conducted after-school program evaluations for a number of communities including Dallas, Austin, Fort Worth, Corpus Christi, San Antonio, Harris County Youth Program, Bryan, and College Station.

He has conducted workshops for youth leaders in both the United States and Canada and co-initiated the Prevention through Recreation Services School.

In 2008, Witt helped to found the Youth Development Initiative as part of AgriLife Extension at Texas A&M (

Dr. Witt has written or edited seven books and authored more than 150 articles and technical reports.

In 2005, he published Recreation and Youth Development (with Linda Caldwell), the first textbook in the area of recreation and youth development. He has also published Best Practices in Youth Development in Park and Recreation Settings (with John Crompton), Recreation Programs that Work for At-Risk Youth: The Challenge of Shaping the Future (with John Crompton), Recreation and Leisure: Issues in an Era of Change (with Tom Goodale, 3rd edition) and The Leisure Diagnostic Battery (with Gary Ellis).

Dr. Witt is the former editor of several of the major journals in the park and recreation field, including the Journal of Leisure Research, Therapeutic Recreation Journal, and the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

In 1999, he received the Distinguished Professional Award from the National Recreation and Parks Society.

He has received the same award from Texas Recreation and Parks Society, along with the society's Presidents Award (1999) and Educators Award (1998).

He has received the Theodore and Franklin Roosevelt Award for Excellence in Recreation Research from the National Recreation and Park Association (1988), and the Distinguished Colleague Award from the Society of Park and Recreation Educators (1992).

In 1986 he was elected as a member of the Academy of Leisure Sciences (President 1992-93; President's Award, 2000) and in 1994 he was elected as a member of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration (Board Member (President 2003-04).

He has also been awarded the Sapora Research Award by the University of Illinois (1986), and the Outstanding Achievement Award (1995) by the American Alliance of Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and delivered the J.B. Nash lecture in 2000. In 2010, he received the Bush Excellence in Community Service Award.

Prior to coming to Texas A&M, Witt served as Assistant Vice President and Associate Dean of the Toulouse School of Graduate Studies at the University of North Texas, where he was also a Professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies.

He also served as Associate Vice President for Research and Assistant Provost at the same Institution. From 1970-79, he taught at the University of Ottawa in Ottawa, Canada. Dr. Witt received his PhD from the University of Illinois.