Inclusion and Diversity

RPTM is dedicated to creating an inclusive environment that embraces diversity and is free of discrimination, including harassment. The Department is committed to ensuring that all people including applicants, students, staff, faculty and visitors have equal access to programs, facilities, admission, and employment without regard to personal characteristics not related to ability, performance, or qualifications as determined by Penn State policy or by state or federal authorities.

Penn State prohibits discrimination and harassment against any person because of age, ancestry, color, disability or handicap, national origin, race, religious creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity or veteran status. Discrimination or harassment against faculty, staff or students will not be tolerated. Inquiries regarding the nondiscrimination policy are directed to the Affirmative Action Director, The Pennsylvania State University, 328 Boucke Building, University Park, PA 16802, Tel (814) 865-4700 V/TTY.

The Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Management celebrates diversity and the international aspects of its programs. The Department has a permanent committee of faculty, undergraduate and graduate students, and staff charged with fostering diversity. Courses, where appropriate, emphasize the importance of appreciating and understanding diversity. For example, case studies may be used in courses in which managers and employees or managers and guests/clients are of different cultural backgrounds. Through means such as these, students gain a better understanding of how to manage in interracial and inter-ethnic environments. As another example, in one course (RPTM 277) students are required to spend part of a day using a wheelchair as a way to better understand the leisure needs and challenges of persons with disabilities.

Our faculty, undergraduate and graduate students come from diverse cultural backgrounds and numerous nations throughout the world, including Egypt, India, Jamaica, Japan, Korea, Portugal, Singapore, China and Taiwan. We encourage a diverse perspective for our students, since many will work in industries that will bring them into contact with guests and clients from other cultures and nations. Some of our graduates work in locations throughout the world and others will work in the US in collaborating with colleagues from other origins. Therefore, we believe that in order to succeed in the emerging global society our graduates need to be aware and welcoming of people with diverse backgrounds. They need to understand other cultures and appreciate the diversity that exists.

Here is what one of our students had to say:

"It's my great opportunity to be a part of the RPTM family here at Penn State. I hardly feel I'm away from home both in and outside the classroom. In every class we enrich our discussion by sharing our own experiences and culture from North to South, East to West which is highly encouraged and well regarded by the professors. I feel so good to share my own culture and experience and love to know others'. It's amazing how friendly all the faculty and staff are in the School. Being here with my wife and son, it's been very important for me to take advantage of the family-friendly environment of the campus." --Gyan Nyaupane, Ph.D., Leisure Studies (from Nepal)