Lori Dickes has served as assistant professor in Clemson’s parks, recreation and tourism management department and program director of Clemson’s master of public administration program.
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Clemson’s parks, recreation and tourism management department has appointed Lori Dickes as its associate chair. Dickes, who has served as assistant professor in the department and program director of Clemson’s master of public administration program, will work to further establish the growing department’s strategic direction and aid it in achieving its research ambitions.

Dickes will serve as a department administrator working with faculty and staff to help shape the strategic direction of various programs and the department as a whole.

Dickes said she looks forward to taking on a role that has never existed in the department. Because the exact functions of the role are still being defined, Dickes’ immediate goal is to work with department faculty and staff to determine the areas of greatest need where her efforts can be best utilized.

“I am excited to play a role in the ongoing development and growth of the department,” Dickes said. “I believe I can be a key resource as we consider developing new academic programs and as we develop new and more innovative ways to leverage the wide range of the department’s enterprises and activities.”

Dickes said the department faculty’s already prolific research background is poised to only grow as various areas of research expand and gain momentum. These areas include adaptive sports, recreational therapy, sustainable tourism, parks and conservation area management and issues of diversity and inclusion in recreation and tourism.

Dickes said the biggest challenge in front of her is doing her part to maintain a healthy and productive departmental culture in a department that is rapidly expanding. She wants to help the department meet this growth by developing new opportunities as fields and disciplines evolve. A key to this will be opportunities for faculty development.

“I hope to help plan and implement a more formal mentoring program in the department,” Dickes said, “and we want to keep all faculty connected and build opportunities for the development of new connections and interdisciplinary efforts.”

According to Wayne Freimund, chair of the department, Dickes’ reputation and proven track record as a highly productive, innovative and respected faculty member made her a perfect fit for the position. Her background with the highly successful online master of public administration program meant that she understood the needs of a successful enterprise.

Freimund said Dickes also appreciates and recognizes the social fabric that makes the department such a special place to work. He is confident she has the ability to maintain that “special” aspect while meeting the needs of faculty, staff and students.

“With Lori’s help, we will be able to more proactively guide the department toward the future,” Freimund said. “As we grow, we want to ensure that communication channels are open and that we do not lose the family culture that our highly successful department is built upon.”

The department’s unique nature isn’t lost on Dickes; she said its diverse group of social scientists sets it apart. All are focused on work that adds value to individuals and communities and enhances the short and long-term sustainability in the places we live, work and play. She said the interdisciplinary boundaries the faculty’s work crosses creates a collaborative space that she is excited to be a part of.

“One of the things I have enjoyed the most as a program coordinator is clarifying or resolving an issue and, in the end, providing a good or even better outcome for our students,” Dickes said. “In this role there will be more puzzles to solve, more people to work with and support and I am excited to give this my best.”