The College of Applied Science and Technology welcomed a fantastic group of new faculty at the start of this academic school year. Some of CAST’s newest faculty members took the time to answer a series of questions that share their background, research interests, hobbies, and more.

Wrapping up this week’s set of profiles is Dr. Nicky Wu, an assistant professor in the School Kinesiology and Recreation.

Tell us a little bit about your background. Where are you from? Where did you study?

I grew up in Taiwan and got my bachelor’s degree in Chinese literature back home. I played intramural and extramural basketball so much when I was in college that I recognized my passion in leisure and sport management. Then, I earned a master’s degree in sport and leisure management from National Taiwan Normal University. I moved to the USA in 2007 and went to Michigan State University to get my doctoral degree in sustainable tourism and protected area management.

Tell us about your research interests. Any items on your agenda that you’d like to share?

I care about environmental and social justice issues. My research interests mainly revolve around leisure behavior and natural resource management, with the special focus on using technology, such as Geographic Information System (GIS) and Virtual Reality (VR), to discover behavioral patterns and aid in informed decision making. I have been actively involved in several research and planning projects, including trail and waterway use, environmental policy and issues in Michigan and Resource Management Plans for state parks and public land in Oklahoma.

Are there any courses you are particularly excited to teach?

I’m particularly excited about teaching study abroad courses! I led a study abroad course titled “Cross-Cultural Perspectives in Recreation and Tourism” to Mendoza, Argentina, during spring break. I enjoy introducing different types of tourism to students and exploring various cultures and customs with my students. Studying abroad is definitely worth the time and effort to make happen and would be one of the highlights of college experience.

What do you like to do during your free time?

During my free time, I love to cuddle with my two cats. I have a tabby named Roody and an orange cat named Zoey. I also enjoy traveling to different countries and hiking in national and state parks.

How does it feel to become a Redbird? Any goals for the upcoming year?

Becoming a Redbird is a new journey of my career and I look forward to getting to know the community better. My goals for the upcoming year are to improve my health and well-being and get back to campus to meet my colleagues and students face-to-face.

Check out the School of Kinesiology and Recreation’s website to learn more about majors, programs, or courses that Dr. Wu teaches.