BOONE — Melissa Weddell has accepted the position of chair for the Department of Recreation Management and Physical Education in Appalachian State’s Beaver College of Health Sciences after a national search.

Weddell, who has served as an interim chair for the RMPE department for the past nine months, has worked at Appalachian for nine years. Previously, she served as program director of the department’s recreation management program.

Marie Huff, dean of the BCHS, said, “Dr. Weddell has proven to be a collaborative problem solver and a strong advocate for faculty and staff, as well as for students.”

“I’m honored to serve as RMPE chair and excited about our future in the Beaver College of Health Sciences,” Weddell said. “We serve as the foundation of health through teaching physical activity, offering K–12 health and physical education certification as well as training parks, recreation and tourism professionals, all of which improve individuals’ and the community’s quality of life.”

Weddell’s research focuses on practices and public policies, specifically focusing on the responsible development of rural recreation and tourism destinations that boost economic commerce. Through her research, she examines how to balance local concerns in developing protected areas, encouraging recreation and attracting tourism while working collaboratively to foster policy change and provide large-scale, benefit-based recreation to improve overall quality of life.

She has held previous positions in various public and private business and industry settings as a small business consultant, corporate trainer and human resource manager.

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