Dr. Linda Oakleaf, Assistant Professor
HRC 102
Office Phone

Linda Oakleaf


North Carolina State University
Dates: 2006-2010

Ph.D. - Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management

University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Dates: 2004 - 2006

M.S. - Recreation Administration

Western Carolina University
Dates: 2001-2003

B.S. - Parks and Recreation Administration


Benedict College
Dates: 2011 - Present

Assistant Professor

In addition to teaching, serves as both the Program Coordinator and the Internship Coordinator for Recreation and Leisure Services.

Teach the following courses:

  • Recreation Field Work
  • Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Services
  • Organization and Management of Recreation, Sport, and Leisure Services
  • Leadership and Group Processes in Recreation and Sport
  • Outdoor Adventure Education
  • Administration & Management of Recreation and Sport Areas & Facilities
  • Recreation and Sport Management Volunteer Services
  • Sophomore Seminar
  • Junior Seminar
  • Senior Seminar
  • First Aid & CPR
North Carolina Central University
Dates: Spring, 2011

Adjunct Instructor 

Taught the following courses:

  • Finance in Parks, Recreation and Leisure Service Agencies
  • Introduction to Recreation and Leisure Studies.
North Carolina State University
Dates: 2006 - 2010

Graduate Teaching Assistant

In addition to teaching, served as the Assistant Internship Coordinator.  Met with students about their internship plans, helped students locate and apply for internships, approved all internship proposals and ensured that all students registered for internship credits submitted the required paperwork.  Reached out to local parks, recreation, and sport organizations to help place interns and meet the agencies’ needs.  Maintained department’s internship website.  Streamlined site, and regularly posted internships on the site. 


Taught the following courses:

  • Analysis and Evaluation in Parks, Recreation
  • Introduction to Parks, Recreation and Tourism – including online course
  • Internship Orientation
  • Leisure Behavior, Health and Wellness
  • Writing and Speaking in Sports Organizations 
University of North Carolina - Chapel Hill
Dates: 2004 - 2006

Graduate Teaching Assistant

 Taught the following courses:

  • Outdoor Recreation and Environmental Issues
  • Evaluation of Recreation Services
  • Administration of Recreation Services
North Carolina Zoo
Dates: 2009-2010

Visitor Educator

Created an evaluation plan for the zoo educator program. Formulated and implemented research projects. Visit K-12 students in classrooms and at the zoo to provide hands-on activities designed to engage students across the curriculum.  Create age-appropriate environmental and conservation programming and projects and update existing materials. Write quarterly newsletter for teachers with activity ideas and information that meet North Carolina curriculum standards.

Carolina Kids Camp, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill
Dates: 2005 - 2007

Camp Director

Supervised 20 staff members, crafted and implemented orientation training that included techniques for working with children, programming, working with diverse populations, and personnel policies.  Developed and helped staff members implement programs for children ages nine to fifteen. Maintained contact with parents, assisted staff with developing programming, helped to provide an atmosphere for developing good morale and well-being at camp.  

Groups and Associations

American Camp Association
Dates: 2000 - Present
National Recreation and Park Association
Dates: 2005 - Present

Secretary, Student Branch Board, 2007-2009

National Forum Representative, 2008-2009

Honors and Awards

Benedict College Service Learning Fellow
Dates: 2012-2013
  • Committed to providing students with quality service-learning experiences
  • Encourages increased engagement in service-learning within the department and campus-wide
  • Engaged in research about service-learning at Benedict College
Peak Performer Alumni Award
Dates: 2011

Awarded by Western Carolina University's College of Education and Allied Professions

H. Douglas Sessoms Graduate Scholarship
Dates: 2005
Ralph J. Andrews Outstanding Parks and Recreation Management Major
Dates: 2002

Western Carolina University


Degree Research

Oakleaf, L. (2010). Managing identity: The experience of residential summer camp staff who identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. Doctoral dissertation. North Carolina State University.

Oakleaf, L. (2006). “Green Blood”: A phenomenological study of adult Girl Scout volunteers.  Master’s thesis: University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.



Oakleaf, L. (2013). “Having to think about it all the time”: Factors affecting the identity management strategies of residential summer camp staff who self-identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender. Leisure/Loisir. DOI:10.1080/14927713.2013.856100

Henderson, K.A., Oakleaf, L., & Bialeschki, M.D. (2009). Questions raised in exploring spiritual growth and camp experiences. Leisure/Loisir, 33(1), 179-195.

Hickerson, B., Moore, A., Oakleaf, L., Edwards, M., James, P. A., Swanson, J., & Henderson, K. A. (2008). The role of a senior center in promoting physical activity for older adults.  Journal of Park and Recreation Administration, 26(1), 22-39. (Winner of the 2009 National Institute of Senior Centers Research Award).

Henderson, K.A., Oakleaf, L., James, P., Swanson, J., Moore, A., Edwards, M., & Hickerson, B. (2008). The experience of learning/teaching qualitative research approaches: An ethnographic autobiography. Schole, 23, 27-42.

Oakleaf, L., & Grube, A. J. (2007). Sexual harassment at camp: Reducing liability. In H. Lowe (Ed.), Staff training by the experts (pp. 106-109). Indianapolis: American Camp Association. (Reprint of 2003 article in Camping Magazine, 76(5), 1-3.)

 Oakleaf, L., & Grube, A. J. (2003). Sexual harassment  at camp: Reducing liability. Camping Magazine, 76(5), 1-3.


Research Presentations

Oakleafl, L. (2014). Bigots at the dog park: The experience of transgender adults with public recreation. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Leisure Research Symposium, Charltotte, October 16.

Oakleaf, L. (2012). “It’s not like a regular job”: Lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender staff members at residential camp. American Camp Association Research Symposium. Atlanta, February 21. (Abstract accepted for presentation).

Oakleaf, L. (2011). Homophobia, heteronormativity, and identity management for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender summer camp staff. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Leisure Research Symposium, Atlanta, November 2.

Tomas, S., Oakleaf, L. (2011). Using visitor surveys to guide management decisions:  Does question format matter? International Society of Travel and Tourism Educators National Conference, Miami, October  21.

Oakleaf, L. (2007). “Green Blood”: Role identity and volunteering as a long-term serious leisure pursuit.  College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University, April 18.

Oakleaf, L. & Henderson, K.A., (2007). Spiritual growth and camp experiences. Annual Southeastern Recreation Research Conference, Asheville, NC, February 25.

Oakleaf, L. (2005). Women as volunteers: Understanding the female experience.” University of North Carolina Graduate Research Symposium, Chapel Hill, NC, December 5.

Oakleaf, L. (2003). The tapestry of peace: Weaving the fabric of community through social change. Western Carolina University Annual Undergraduate Expo, March 25.


Other Selected Presentations 

Oakleaf, L. (2014). Tweet the conference! Hands-on experience and best practices. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Charlotte, Oct. 14.

Oakleaf, L. (2012). Train wreck or triumph? Service-learning through the lens of experience. Service-Learning Faculty Fellows Showcase, Benedict College, November 29.

Oakleaf, L. (2012). Working with transgender participants: Creating inclusive policies and procedures. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Anaheim, Oct. 16.

Oakleaf, L. (2011). Student organization tune-up. National Recreation and Park Association Congress and Exposition, Atlanta, November 1. (Session proposal accepted for presentation.)

Oakleaf, L. (2010). Campus organizations: Tips for organizing or revitalizing student clubs. National Recreation and Park Association Congress, Minneapolis, October 26.

Oakleaf, L. (2009). GLBT welcoming environments in the Workplace. 4th Annual Diversity Summit, College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University, October 13.

Oakleaf, L. (2008). Creating an inclusive LGBT campus or workplace. 3rd Annual Diversity Summit, College of Natural Resources, North Carolina State University, October 18.

Oakleaf, L. (2006). Camp staff as adult learners: Making staff training more effective. American Camp Association Southeastern Conference, September 26.