Dr. Ryan Zwart joined the Montreat College faculty in Spring 2020. He has a B.S. in recreation and leisure studies and psychology from Calvin College, an M.S. in recreation administration from Indiana University, and Ph.D. in leisure behavior from Indiana University.
Dr. Zwart teaches in the outdoor recreation studies department primarily within the outdoor leadership and adventure education concentration. His research interests include psychological and physiological response to nature exposure; health promoting components of nature and outdoor recreation; outdoor adventure influence on teamwork, leadership, and decision making; and administration and efficacy of college and university outdoor adventure programs on participants.
Dr. Zwart has worked with youth and young adults in the private, not-for-profit, and public sectors with a focus on pre-college and college-aged populations. He has worked as an outdoor educator at several institutions with a focus on leadership development and outdoor adventure programming. He has also led expeditionary outdoor trips throughout the United States and Canada in a variety of activities including cycling, rock climbing, sea kayaking, and backpacking, and is a certified wilderness first responder.
When reflecting on the purpose of the outdoor recreation studies discipline, Dr. Zwart says, “Outdoor education is important because it transfers over to so many other parts of one’s life, whether it is leadership development, communication skills, or decision making and risk management. While our goal is to produce solid outdoor recreation professionals, a side effect is that we are also producing well-rounded, thoughtful individuals who are able to have a positive influence wherever God leads them!”