M. Deborah Bialeschki
M. Deborah Bialeschki, PhD., graduated from Eastern Illinois University in 1973, completed her Master of Arts degree in 1978 with a major in Recreation, Park, and Leisure studies from the University of Minnesota, and earned a Doctor of Philosophy in Continuing and Adult Education from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1984. Deb was on the faculty at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies for 20 years until she retired in 2005 as an Emeritus Professor. She is currently Director of Research and Chair of the Professional Development Center with the American Camp Association where she is involved in research and training focused on youth development and the camp experience. She has authored 11 books, collaborated on 17 book chapters, and contributed over 100 articles and presentations in national and international journals and conferences. She has lead national and state professional associations as well as university committees and boards. Deb has been editor of major research journals, chaired national research conferences, and elected to professional academies. She received academic awards including the prestigious Tanner Faculty Award for Excellence in Teaching from UNC-CH, the SPRE National Award for Excellence in Teaching, and the SPRE Distinguished Colleague Award. She received honor awards for her leadership and service to the American Camp Association as well as several other professional associations. Dr. Bialeschki’s research has focused on youth development through outdoor/camping experiences and gender issues in leisure and outdoor recreation. She contributes to her community through many volunteer opportunities, plays in the community band, has run 10 marathons, is an avid outdoor enthusiast, enjoys time with friends and family (including the four-legged furry ones), and always loves campfires and a well-toasted s’more.