Professor 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 and an M.S. in recreation administration from Indiana University. He is a current Ph.D. Candidate at Indiana University’s School of Public Health in the Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies Department.
Professor Zwart teaches Discovery, Philosophy of Leadership, Wilderness Institute, Outdoor Programming and Leadership: Expedition Management, and is a Field Experience supervisor. 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.
Professor 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 Education discipline, Professor 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, risk management, and more. Each of these are useful in other aspects of our lives. While our goal is to produce solid outdoor educators, a side effect is that we are also producing well-rounded individuals who are able to have a positive influence wherever God leads them!”