Betty van der Smissen

Year Elected ALS Fellow: 
Highest Degree: 
J.D., University of Kansas, 1952 and Re.D., Indiana University, 1955

Dr. van der Smissen, a member of the bar, is author of a 3-volume reference book (1990 with 1995 supplement), Legal Liability and Risk Management for Public and Private Entities. In addition to teaching and researching in the law, she has compiled research and scholarly materials on recreation, as reflected in a series of 12 publications while Professor at Penn State, three from symposia she directed: Evaluation Strategies: Assessing Outdoor Program Outcomes; Indicators of Change in the Recreation Environment; and Research: Camping and Environmental Education. She was one of the founders of the Journal of Leisure Research. For a number of years, Dr. van der Smissen also compiled and published Theses and Dissertations in Recreation and Parks, and Research in Camping, Interpretive Services and Environmental Education. She is the principal editor of The Management of Park and Recreation Agencies, a 1999 833-page reference manual based on CAPRA standards for agencies, as well as author of 16 chapters in various books. She has been active in the development and implementation of accreditation standards, particularly for academic curricula, camping, adventure programs, and public park and recreation agencies. A former President of the American Camping Association, Trustee of NRPA, and member of the academic Council on Accreditation, she was AALR's first Nash Scholar Lecture Award recipient and also received AAHPERD's R. Tait McKenzie Award and SPRE's Distinguished Fellow Award. A member of the agency Commission on Accreditation, she served as its first chair in 1993-94. She is a member of, and has served on, the Board of Directors of the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration.