Academy of Leisure Sciences (ALS) Future Scholars Program

The purpose of the Future Scholars Program is to provide master’s degree students who are interested (in the next few years) in pursuing a doctorate in an area related to recreation and leisure studies the opportunity to meet some of the outstanding researchers and scholars in the field. Selected applicants will be invited to attend the NRPA Annual Congress as guests of the ALS and the NRPA Education Network. The Future Scholars will receive $1,000 to cover transportation, lodging, and meal expenses. Future Scholars are expected to register for the NRPA conference at the student rate.

Future Scholars Program

Thank you for your interest in the Academy of Leisure Sciences (ALS) Future Scholars Program sponsored by the ALS with support from the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) Education Network. This packet includes information that you will need to complete your application.

This year’s conference will be held from October 14 to 16, 2014 in Charlotte, North Carolina. At the conference, Future Scholars will be paired with a mentor and have an opportunity to interact with scholars in the field. In addition, Future Scholars will attend meetings hosted by the Academy of Leisure Sciences, the Leisure Research Symposium, and the NRPA Education Network; go to NRPA educational sessions; and participate in social functions. This will be an excellent opportunity for Future Scholars to ask questions about the field and inquire about doctoral program opportunities.

Applications should be submitted to Dr. Deb Kerstetter ( as an email attachment (.docx or .pdf formatted) by midnight April 18, 2014.

Best wishes and thank you for your interest in the Future Scholars program!

The 2014 ALS Future Scholars Program Committee Members


The purpose of the ALS Future Scholars Program is to provide graduate students who are interested in pursuing a doctorate in an area related to recreation and leisure studies the opportunity to meet some of the outstanding scholars in the field by attending the NRPA National Congress.


Individuals who meet all of the following criteria are eligible to apply:

             currently enrolled in, or have completed a master’s degree in the leisure field;

             have a grade point average of at least 3.0 (on a 4.0 scale) during both undergraduate and graduate studies;

             Is not committed to, nor enrolled in, doctoral study at a particular university at the time of application and conference attendance;

             has plans to initiate doctoral studies within the next three years;

             is interested in pursuing a doctoral degree in recreation and parks, leisure studies, tourism, or related discipline;

             has the written support of a faculty sponsor; and

             can attend the 2014 NRPA National Congress.


Members of the 2014 ALS Future Scholars Program Committee will review all applicants using the following criteria:

             academic ability (based on GPA and Faculty Sponsor letter);

             indications of scholarly potential in the field (based on publications, presentations, research experience, applicant’s cover letter, and/or Faculty Sponsor letter);

             strength of intention to pursue doctoral studies in a leisure-related subject (based on applicant’s cover letter and Faculty Sponsor letter); and

             general level of professionalism (based on format and depth of application materials, presentation of written materials, and professional involvement).

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