Clemson University Professor Becomes First Black Woman Inducted into Prestigious Organization on Intellectual Advancement of Leisure Science

by Xara Aziz
Clemson University

A Clemson University professor has been named the first Black woman to be inducted as a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences (TALS), the school’s publication has reported.

Dr. Corliss Outley, a professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management and director of the Race, Ethnicity, Youth and Social Equity Collaboratory (REYSE) at Clemson University was tapped into the role after the organization made the announcement Thursday. She becomes the first Black woman in the organization’s 43-year history.

According to its website, TALS is an international organization devoted to the advancement of leisure studies through research, education and advocacy. The Academy embodies several disciplines, including recreation, tourism, hospitality, sports and outdoor education and recognizes fellows as eminent honorary members that showcase exceptional experts in the leisure profession. 

“It is an honor to be recognized as a Fellow of the Academy of Leisure Sciences,” Dr. Outley told Clemson News. “To represent our field and the Academy in this way is truly a privilege and highlight of my career.”

At Clemson, Dr. Outley teaches parks, recreation and tourism management and mentors students in youth development, cultural practices, recreation and leisure studies. According to the publication, she “is committed to improving the environment for marginalized youth through community engagement and leadership development.”

“Dr. Outley is a highly respected colleague, scholar and leader in the field of leisure sciences,” said Leslie Hossfeld, dean of the College of Behavioral, Social and Health Sciences. “Her career contributions to research and teaching – and the positive impact she has made on individuals and communities in South Carolina – are exceptional. It is outstanding that she is being recognized nationally for this prestigious Fellowship.” 

As director of the REYSE Collaboratory, Dr. Outley works with marginalized communities to help advance them as active members in their environments. Her research navigates the harms the sociopolitical system can have on Black youth and “the structural influence on human behavior as well as the unique challenges faced by Black youths in recreational settings.”

Dr. Outley holds a Ph.D. in recreation and natural resources management from Texas A&M University and began at Clemson University in 2020.  

Congratulations, Dr. Outley!

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