Ron McCarville, recipient of the Distinguished Teacher Award, 2003

Recreation and Leisure Studies

Ron McCarville, a professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, is an outstanding teacher, particularly at the undergraduate level, where he has impressed, motivated, and inspired many hundreds of students over his thirteen years at the University of Waterloo. Dr. McCarville is perhaps the most coveted and influential Canadian academic in terms of influencing public policy ranging from municipal recreation contexts to federal agencies such as Parks Canada. In 1992 and 1993, Dr. McCarville received a teaching appreciation award from the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies. A colleague notes that “since then he has gone from strength to strength, continually reviewing his teaching philosophy and approaches, and taking into account the changing needs and interests of students.” Graduate students “have greatly appreciated his enthusiasm, concern, encouragement, and academic guidance.” Ron is especially adept at communicating complicated issues and theory in a manner that is effective, yet non-threatening to first-year undergraduate students. He is an outstanding speaker and lecturer with an exceptional ability to maintain student interest through making his classes relevant, entertaining, and dynamic. His one-year sabbatical leave was actually two consecutive Winter terms in order that he could teach REC 100, the introductory course in recreation and leisure studies. His upper-level courses and seminars (REC 310: Commercial Recreation Business Development, REC 314: Quality Assurance in Leisure Services: Theory and application, and REC 413: Advanced Seminar in Leisure Service Management) are consistently over-enrolled and his personal approach to improving professional practice is legendary among Recreation students past and present. A colleague notes that “he makes a concerted effort to learn all student names as quickly as possible, and is always willing to talk about academic (or other) matters with students outside of specified class times.” Dr. McCarville is not satisfied with “reruns” of previous lectures, but constantly seeks to update his readings, other sources of information, and the examples and applications that he uses.”He believes passionately in active student participation in the learning process and is remarkably successful at encouraging student participation in discussion, even in large classes, and whenever possible he encourages students to take responsibility for their own learning and intellectual development.”