Dr. Melissa Weddell Appointed Department Chair in ASU’s Beaver College of Health Sciences

Appalachian State University’s Beaver College of Health Sciences (BCHS) has appointed Dr. Melissa Weddell as chair of the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education (RMPE).

Weddell has worked at Appalachian State for nine years, most recently as an interim chair for the RMPE department. She also served as program director of the department’s recreation management program.

“I’m honored to serve as RMPE chair and excited about our future in the Beaver College of Health Sciences,” Weddell said. “We serve as the foundation of health through teaching physical activity, offering K–12 health and physical education certification as well as training parks, recreation and tourism professionals, all of which improve individuals’ and the community’s quality of life.”

Her research focuses on public policies and practices, particularly on the development of rural recreation and tourism destinations that help increase economic commerce, according to Appalachian Today.

Through her research, Weddell analyzes how to balance local concerns in developing closed-off areas, encouraging recreation and attracting tourism while also collaborating to create policy change and offer large-scale benefit-based recreation to improve the overall quality of life.

Weddell also has experience working in several public and private business and industry environments as a small business consultant, corporate trainer and human resource manager.

Weddell has served on several committees while at Appalachian State, such as the Faculty Senate, Faculty Assembly, Quality Enhancement Plan Leadership Council and Inaugural Global Symposium Committee.

Weddell was also a visiting scholar at Vancouver Island University for the World Leisure Centre of Excellence in 2015, and was selected to participate in the Chancellor’s Academic Leadership Development Program in the 2016-17 academic year.

“Dr. Weddell has proven to be a collaborative problem solver and a strong advocate for faculty and staff, as well as for students,” said Dr. Marie Huff, dean of BCHS.

Weddell earned a bachelor’s degree in entrepreneurship/small business management from Ball State University, a Master of Business Administration from Southern Illinois University and a doctorate in parks, recreation and tourism management from Clemson University.

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