Tuesday, February 17, 2004

Henderson Discusses Women’s Leisure at ESF

As part of the course requirements for FOR 797 Women in Scientific and Environmental Professions, students share the responsibility for reporting on our speakers for distribution to co-sponsors and the Knothole.  The following press release was prepared by Mary Joyce G. Sali.

Dr. Karla A. Henderson, Professor and Chair of the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, presented a lecture entitled Leisure and the (Secret) Lives of Women and Girls on Tuesday, February 17, 2004 as part of SUNY-ESF’s Women in Scientific and Environmental Professions Speaker Series for Spring 2004. 
            Dr. Henderson discussed the meaning of leisure and five social factors that influence it. She emphasized that leisure is not only freedom to do certain things that a person likes but also freedom from doing certain things such as work-related activities. She also tackled how having a family affects the leisure choices of women. She specifically mentioned that for women who are mothers, the ethic of care often takes precedence over personal leisure needs.
            She discussed that the most significant obsession of our culture is focused on a woman’s body. Media plays a big part on our perception of body image and the issues of eating disorders. She also spoke on how fear and violence in American culture constrains women’s pursuit of leisure.
            The speaker inspired everyone when she discussed seven habits for a highly successful leisure life: be conscious of the myriad of choices, do something you love each day, be open to new things, make leisure a priority, savor all aspects of life, enjoy and challenge yourself, and find an activity partner. She ended her lecture by emphasizing two things- leisure is a right and leisure is a gift.    
Dr. Henderson received her B.S. in Physical Education Chemistry and her M.S. in Education (Major in Guidance and Counseling) from Iowa State University. She finished her Ph.D. in Recreation, Park, and Leisure Studies from the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.  She has authored and co-authored several books and has published in several journals. Her research endeavors focus mostly on women’s leisure and social psychology of leisure behavior. She has been a recipient of numerous awards such as the NCSU “RPTM Partner” Award, University of Illinois Allen V. Sapporo Research Award, the Julian Smith Honor Award, the NRPA Roosevelt Award for Research, and the JB Nash Scholar Award.
The lecture was sponsored by the Faculty of Forest and Natural Resources Management, the ESF Women’s Caucus, and the ESF Graduate Student Association.  It was also funded by The Kaleidoscope Project, a diversity initiative between the Division of Academic Affairs and Student Affairs to broaden the understanding of diversity and promote healthy dialogue about related issues at Syracuse University.
For more information about this or upcoming speakers in the Women in Scientific and Environmental Professions Seminar Series, please visit  http://www.esf.edu/womenscaucus.