Address: Box 6963, Radford, VA 24142
Office: 141 Waldron Hall
Telephone: (540) 831-7644

Office Hours: M W 10:00 - 11:30 a.m. or by appointment



Dr. Susan R. Van Patten is a graduate of Utah State University (B.S. in Forestry, M.S. in Recreation Resources Management) and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (Ph.D. in Leisure Studies). She has been an Associate Professor in the Department of Recreation, Parks and Tourism since 1999 and is the Acting Core Curriculum Director at Radford University.


Dr. Van Patten has an interest in human-environment interactions, particularly as they relate to outdoor recreation and tourism. She has conducted several research projects on mountain bikers in the Moab area of Utah including conflicts with local residents and land managers. More recently, Susan has focused on the meanings and politics of place in regards to seasonal home use in northern Wisconsin, importance of recess, impact of certified instructors for the American Canoe Association, and instructional applications of podcasting.


As Executive Editor, Dr. Van Patten recently launched the Journal of Unconventional Parks, Tourism & Recreation Research (JUPTRR). JUPTRR is designed as a resource for educators, professionals, and students in recreation, parks, and tourism. As with all academic journals, manuscripts accepted to JUPTRR provide research that contributes to the body of knowledge in a field. What makes this journal unique is the focus on unconventional methodologies and topics. All articles can be accessed free online at  


Dr. Van Patten has enjoyed combining personal travel with research, including trips to Mexico and throughout Virginia, which has a wealth of tourism locations based on the Commonwealth's rich history. She enjoys the blending of a professional perspective on the tourism and leisure industries with her personal recreation.