First Advisor

Morse, Alan

Document Type


Date Created



College of Natural and Health Sciences, Kinesiology Nutrition and Dietetics, KiND Student Work


The purpose of this study was to examine how collegiate recreation professionals conceptualize and engage in diversity and inclusion efforts in their roles as well as what are the influences and perceived outcomes of that engagement. Informed by constructivist and critical paradigms, an instrumental case study design was utilized to collect data from one collegiate recreation organization. Data sources included interviews with 13 collegiate recreation professionals, observations, writing activities, document analysis, and a researcher journal. Thematic analysis was utilized to examine the data. Four main themes were identified: (a) complex layers of diversity and inclusion, (b) layers of influences, (c) layers of outcomes, and (d) layers of learning. The complex layers of diversity and inclusion theme illustrates how collegiate recreation professionals understood the concepts of diversity and inclusion distinctly but also in connection to each other. This theme also captured participants’ efforts related to those concepts. The subthemes included diversity is identity, diversity is difference, inclusion is a feeling, inclusion is action, and the work is never done. The layers of influence theme reflect how the participants articulated multiple sources of influence regarding their engagement in diversity and inclusion efforts. Some influences related to their professional lives, but many influences were personal in nature. The subthemes were personal identities and experiences, campus community members, and the collegiate recreation field. The layers of outcomes theme illuminated the perceptions of the study participants in relation to the results of their diversity and inclusion efforts. The subthemes included outcomes for recreation users, outcomes for the department, and outcomes shared by both. Finally, the layers of learning theme demonstrated how learning was an integral component of diversity and inclusion efforts. As such, this final theme connected back into the prior three themes as noted by the subthemes of learning is a personal action, learning is an influence, and learning is an outcome. The findings offered guidance for how collegiate recreation professionals could begin or enhance their own engagement in diversity and inclusion efforts as well as illustrated how efforts could occur within numerous levels of a collegiate recreation organization.


206 pages

Local Identifiers



Fall 2019 Graduate Dean's Citation for Outstanding Thesis, Dissertation, and Capstone

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