[Originally Published 10/26/23 at https://news.clemson.edu/recognizing-outstanding-park-and-tourism-service/]
The Clemson University Institute for Parks recently celebrated five individuals for their career contributions to the parks and conservation fields and exemplary leadership in addressing environmental issues and concerns at the 45th George B. Hartzog Jr. Lecture Series and Awards program.
The program is named for the seventh director (1964-1972) of the National Park Service (NPS), George B. Hartzog Jr., whose administration led the largest expansion of the national park system in NPS history by developing urban proximate parks and expanding its role in urban recreation.
During the awards luncheon, Fran Mainella, 16th director of the NPS and first female director; Robert Stanton, 15th director of the NPS and first African American director; and David Vela, former interim director of the NPS and first Latino director, were in attendance. The Walter T. Cox Award winner Charles “Chuck” Sams III, 19th director of the NPS and first Native American director, delivered the Hartzog Lecture.
“Each year, I am honored to participate in this longstanding tradition to recognize leading figures in the field of parks and environmental conservation. With one current and three former National Park Service directors in attendance, it was incredibly special to celebrate alongside these national park trailblazers,” said Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “Parks and protected areas play a critical role in community health and well-being, and through their work, these individuals are making a positive impact on communities across the nation.”
This year the following were recognized:
Kathryn Stevenson, Ph.D., associate professor at North Carolina State University, received the William C. Everhart Award for achievements throughout her career that cultivated an appreciation of natural and cultural heritage. Stevenson was recognized for advancing the practice of environmental education and a sustained commitment to developing the capacity of our nation’s environmental educators. Kathryn Stevenson, Ph.D., is an associate professor in the parks, recreation and tourism management department at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, N.C. She researches the benefits of time outdoors and how youth offer unique perspectives for environmental challenges. Her most recent projects include building capacity of evaluation both in North Carolina and nationally and understanding how youth-led conversations around the environment may help overcome political polarization among adults. Her work has been featured in several national news outlets, including the New York Times, Washington Post and National Public Radio. Stevenson is an active environmental education practitioner in communities in North Carolina and beyond. She oversees an undergraduate environmental education minor at N.C. State, serves on the N.C. Environmental Education Certification Advisory Board, and is active in both the Environmental Educators of North Carolina and the North American Association of Environmental Education. She enjoys partnering with organizations to support program evaluation, including work with the N.C. Science Museums, Muddy Sneakers, the N.C. Arboretum and the National Recreation Foundation.
Amanda Stronza, Ph.D., professor at Texas A&M University, received the Benton H. Box Award for her distinguished career as a leader in environmental preservation and a teacher who inspires students in their quest for knowledge, encouraging curriculum innovation to include environmental ethics as a rule of conduct. Stronza was recognized for her lifetime of research, advocacy and dedication to the protection of some of the world’s most iconic endangered wildlife and her innovative approach coupling research, arts and advocacy to assist in these efforts.
Ian E. Munanura, Ph.D., associate professor at Oregon State University, received the Dwight A. Holder Award for his outstanding work and sustained achievement that fosters understanding, wise use and conservation of natural and cultural resources. Munanura was recognized for his continuous efforts to improve sustainable tourism practices and protect critical habitats across Africa.
Charles F. Sams III, 19th director of the National Park Service, received the Walter T. Cox Award for excellence in public service, providing leadership in the administration of public lands and policy formation related to the nation’s natural and cultural resources.
Lisa Sumption, director of the Oregon Parks and Recreation Department, received the Fran P. Mainella Award. Sumption was recognized for her state and national leadership as one of the longest-serving State Park directors, president of the National Association of State Park Directors and a member of the U.S. National Park Service System Advisory Board.
The Clemson University Institute for Parks (CUIP) provides research, education, training, and outreach that enhances the management of the world’s parks and protected areas. It accomplishes this by providing park and protected area managers with innovative research to support science-based decision-making; and by developing current and future leaders in the park movement by providing interdisciplinary and transformative education and training programs. Currently the CUIP has over 40 Clemson University Faculty affiliates (Fellows) from 4 colleges. For more information, see www.Clemson.edu/cuip
CUIP is part of the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management in the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences, a 21st-century land-grant college joining together a unique combination of schools and departments: Communication, Nursing, Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management, Political Science, Psychology, Public Health Sciences and Sociology, Anthropology and Criminal Justice. These areas have distinctive characteristics and missions – all joined together by a common thread of service to people and communities.
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