Distinguished Alumni Awards

W. W. Patty Distinguished Alumni Award
J. Robert Rossman - 2009

J. Robert Rossman, is an author, speaker, and consultant on recreation program design and management as well as designing customer experiences. He has held a variety of roles in park and recreation administration for over 38 years. Most recently he was Professor and Dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology at Illinois State University, where he still holds the titles of Professor Emeritus and Dean Emeritus.

Dr. Rossman’s distinguished career began in Oak Park, Illinois. While there, he supervised the operation of seven neighborhood recreation centers and developed several community-wide programs including special events and other activities. During this time he also earned a master’s degree through an extension program offered by the Department of Recreation and Park Administration at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. In 1975, he accepted an appointment as a Lecturer in the Department of Leisure Studies at the University of Illinois and held this position while he earned his doctorate in 1981. Upon completing his PhD, he was appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Leisure Studies at the University of Illinois. Since leaving the U of I in 1983 he held academic and administrative appointments at three universities including the University of North Texas, the University of Nevada Las Vegas and Illinois State University.

Dr. Rossman is the recipient of several awards and honors including, but not limited to, the Charles K. Brightbill Award from the University of Illinois, and the Garrett G. Eppley Distinguished Alumni Award from Indiana University. In 2006 he was selected to present the Jay B. Nash Scholar Lecture by the American Association for Physical Activity and Recreation. Dr. Rossman earned his B.S. in Recreation from Indiana University in 1968.