Interim Graduate School Director and School of Kinesiology and Recreation professor Amy Hurd was inducted into the American Academy for Park and Recreation Administration (AARPA) this fall.

To be a member of this elite group of 125 top professionals, an individual must hold a high level administration position and/or be an esteemed educator in the field of park and recreation administration for no less than 15 years. Between Hurd’s employment at the Champaign Park District, her work at Illinois State University, and many other accomplishments, she is well qualified for membership in the AARPA. Hurd was nominated by J. Robert Rossman, former dean of the College of Applied Science and Technology.

“It is very humbling to be nominated and accepted into a group that has members with national and international reputations. The members have always been seen as the best of the best. To become a member is something I never expected to happen in my career,” said Hurd.

Hurd began her career at Indiana University where she earned her bachelor’s degree followed by working as a special events coordinator and marketing director for Champaign Park District.

“What makes this an exceptionally special honor to me is that the organization was started by my first mentor at the Champaign Park District. Robert Toalson taught me early on about that Academy, but I never thought I would be in its ranks,” Hurd reflected.

Hurd returned to Indiana University to obtain a master’s degree in recreation and park administration. She went on to earn her Ph.D. in leisure behavior, also from Indiana University. In the years following, Hurd served as a visiting lecturer in management at Indiana University, lectured as a visiting scholar at Srinakharinwirot University in Thailand, took students abroad to Poland and Argentina, and co-authored four books and several other publications.

In recent years, Hurd has been recognized with several awards and honors. Hurd was inducted into the American Leisure Academy in 2010, earned the College of Applied Science and Technology University Service Award in 2011, and was awarded both the ISU Team Excellence Award and took part in the ISU Leadership Initiative Program in 2012, among others. In addition to all these awards and achievements, Hurd also received the highest alumni award given by the Department of Recreation, Park and Tourism Studies at Indiana University for “Outstanding Dedication, Accomplishments, Service and Contribution to our Profession.”

Illinois State University is also home to two other members of the American Academy for Park and Recreation, alumni Liz Kessler and Jim Busser.