NRF Hartsoe Fellow, Ryan Zwart, Says Goodbye

Ryan Zwart
Ryan Zwart

Dear National Recreation Foundation Trustees, Grantees and Staff,

It has been a great pleasure to work with the Foundation and interact with you all over the course of the last four years. I am incredibly grateful for the individuals I have met and connections I have made, not only with the Board of Trustees but also with the incredible grantee organizations that the NRF works with across the country. When I first talked to NRF Trustee Dr. Tony Mobley about the Hartsoe Fellowship over four years ago, I remember him saying that while the fellow is responsible for work done in the interest of the Foundation, the position is also designed to provide the fellow the opportunity and exposure to individuals, organizations, and learning experiences that will be valuable for one’s future in the area of recreation scholarship and practice. I can honestly say that my experience with NRF has been one of significant value; and I wanted to thank you for the opportunity. Sometimes it is hard to convey to people the effectiveness and importance of recreation and leisure on one’s life. However, if everyone had the opportunity to visit places such as the Elliott Donnelley Youth Center in Chicago, ABC Park in Baltimore, or a Georgia FIRST Robotics event in Atlanta, the answers to this question would become clear. Recreation programming and the people that help provide it are capable of the some of the greatest good for the young people in America.  I want to thank you all, grantees, trustees, and staff of the NRF for the tireless work performed to aid in bringing these opportunities to those that need it most.

I wanted to take some time to update you all on what is next for myself and my wife, Lindsey. As I work to complete my dissertation this fall, we look forward to a move to Asheville, North Carolina, where I will begin a faculty position in the Outdoor Education department, focusing on Outdoor Adventure Education and Recreation, at Montreat College in the spring semester.  I look forward to taking some of the lessons I have learned through my experience with the NRF into the classroom to share with my future students. Lindsey has started a nurse practitioner program and looks forward integrating her scholarship with her bedside nursing experience to help the families of Western North Carolina as a family nurse practitioner. 

Again, thank you so much for the opportunity and experiences I was able to share with you all the last four years, and I hope that our paths cross in the future.

With gratitude,

Ryan Zwart