My name is Paul A. Schlag and my wife, Abigail (Farnsworth) and I live in Macomb, Illinois with our four wonderful children. I am an Associate Professor of Recreation, Park and Tourism Administration at Western Illinois University and my interests include: recreation in the areas of spiritual, intellectual, physical and intellectual development, instructional technology, lifelong learning and recreation administration.
I was born and raised in Colorado Springs
and attended Keller Elementary, Russell Junior High School and Doherty High School. After high school I attended Brigham Young University for one year. I then served a volunteer, two-year mission for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormons) in Rostov-na-Donu Russia. While on a mission I lived in Volgagrad, Rostov, and Krasnodar.
Upon returning to the United States after my mission, I resumed my studies at Brigham Young University. While still in school my wife and I were married in the Salt Lake Temple. I then completed my degree in Recreational Management/Youth Leadership and we moved to Colorado.
After working at the Country Club of Colorado, I began working toward a Masters of Public Administration from the University of Colorado at Colorado Springs. While there I learned of a new training method using online technologies. Since the recreation field is heavily invested in training seasonal and full-time staff, I was intrigued with the idea of using technology to train employees in a cost-effective manner. My final project at UCCS consisted of a digital video and website training program for Farmers Insurance.
My study of Instructional Technology continued as I pursued a doctorate in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Georgia. There I was able to design online training for a special needs camp and for the American Camp Association ( "Camp is for the Camper Online Training"). I also obtained a Masters in Instructional Technology while at the University of Georgia and created other training programs for NextMD, Georgia Family and Child Services and the Athens Institute of Religion.
As I worked on my Masters and Doctorate at UGA, I took many courses in learning and learning theory. As such, I began to see how learning theory, human development and recreation and leisure overlap. Thus began a broadening of my understanding of leisure in terms of its importance in human development. I began to see how leisure pursuits can be the vehicle through which humans learn, grow and develop. Leisure should be a context for people to grow spiritually, physically, intellectually, emotionally and socially.
My dissertation combined all of my areas of interest as I examined how computer education programs affect older adults' development. This was a tremendous learning experience for me as I worked under the tutelage of Dr. Douglas A. Kleiber, a venerable expert in human development, who nurtured this passion in me.
Since 2006, I have been a professor at Western Illinois University in the Recreation, Parks and Tourism Administration Department and am a scholar who is committed to teaching, service and research in my varied areas of academic interest.