2021 TALS Future Scholar Recipients

The 2021 TALS conference is almost here, and we are pleased to announce the two Future Scholar Award recipients. The purpose of the TALS 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. 

Katie Thurson (she/her/hers) is a master’s student at Clemson University working with Dr. Ryan Gagnon; her thesis is entitled “Vaccines, Parenting & COVID-19: A Machine Learning Approach.” She also works within the Pre-Collegiate Programs Office at Clemson, managing online registration for youth programs. Katie is a “camp person” and an active member of the American Camp Association, on both the national and regional (Southeast) levels. 

Ryan McGrath is a Master’s student in the department of Recreation, Sport and Tourism (RST) at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. He is particularly interested in specializing in leisure behavior with a focus on issues related to loneliness and social isolation. He is currently involved in numerous projects including writing research-practice based articles for the Illinois Association of Park Districts, community survey projects such as the Norridge, Illinois 2021 pool referendum, and working on an advisory committee to review and revise the “Adult Children of Aging Parents” curriculum. Ryan is especially thankful of the support of Dr. Laura Payne, Dr. Kim Shinew, and Dr. Monika Stodolska, who he credits as all having been extraordinary mentors throughout his graduate and undergraduate studies at Illinois.

We look forward to welcoming these scholars and all students to our profession.

Future Scholar Committee:
Sonja Wilhelm Stanis (Chair)
Bill Ramos 
Daniel Theriault