Michael J. Ellis

Michael J. Ellis
Year Elected ALS Fellow: 
Highest Degree: 
Ph.D., University of Illinois, 1968

Dr. Ellis was a Founder of the Play Research Lab, University of Illinois, that formed one of the research bases from which the current Leisure Behavior Research Lab was created. From the program of research conducted in that lab Ellis wrote two books. The first, Why People Play, was a follow-up of Mitchell and Sapora's classic text, Play and Recreation. The second was a monograph entitled Activity and Play of Children. Dr. Ellis then entered university administration, first at Dalhousie University (Canada) where he was instrumental in establishing undergraduate and graduate leisure studies degrees and the Recreation Council for the Disabled in Nova Scotia. This advocacy organization coordinated the efforts of existing disability groups and organizations and became the model for Canada. Before returning to Illinois, Dr. Ellis served 11 years as Professor of Leisure Studies and Services and Dean of Physical Education and Human Movement Studies at Oregon. He has received the Brightbill Award from Illinois and the Oregon Legislature's Faculty Excellence Award, among others.