Dr. Sydney L. Sklar

Associate Professor and Chair
Recreation, Sport and Tourism Management
Manager, USF Challenge Center






Ph.D., University of Florida; M.S., Aurora University; B.A. Albright College
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)



RADM 200 Outdoor Leadership
RADM 210 Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation
RADM 250 Recreation and Youth Development
RADM 299 Inclusion for Leisure Services
RADM 300 Team Facilitation and Leadership Methods
RADM 331 Therapeutic Recreation Program Planning and Evaluation
RADM 333 Principles and Practices of Therapeutic Recreation Intervention
RADM 335 Therapeutic Recreation Assessment and Documentation
RADM 390 Professional Development Seminar
RADM 391 Intermediate Field Experience
RADM 399 Research Methods
RADM 405 Issues and Trends in Therapeutic Recreation
RADM 422 Senior Seminar
RADM 498 Internship


Area of interest/research

Therapeutic recreation, youth and community development, outdoor/adventure education, mental health.


Recent publications and honors

Holladay, P. and Sklar, S. L. (2012). An exploratory study of learning outcomes from an undergraduate wilderness camping and outdoor leadership experience. Proceedings from the Coalition on Education in the Outdoors Biennial Symposium.

Student Affairs Above and Beyond Award, October 2010, University of St.Francis.

Autry, Anderson, and Sklar (2010). Therapeutic recreation education: 2009 survey. Therapeutic Recreation Journal.

Fisk, E. and Sklar, S. L. (2008). Where have all the children gone? Indoors. Illinois Parks and Recreation, 39 (1), 26-32.

Sklar, S. L., Anderson, S. C., & Autry, C. E. (2008). Positive youth development: A wilderness intervention. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 42 (1).

Sklar, S. L., & Autry, C. E. (2008). Youth development and therapeutic recreation. In T. Robertson and T. Long, Eds., Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation: Perceptions, Philosophies and Practices for the 21st Century. Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Fisk, E., Sklar, S. L., & Hicks (2007). The Illinois Park and Recreation Association Guide to Internships. Oak Brook, IL: Illinois Park and Recreation Association.


Teaching Philosophy

Teaching and learning is a two way street involving dynamic interaction and collaboration between teacher and students. As a teacher, I strive to create learning environments that encourage exploration, inquiry, and critical thinking around course topics. Classroom work often involves active participation, discussion, and hands-on activities. I believe students learn best when they are actively engaged and invested in the process. My teaching and learning philosophy is best encapsulated by the following quote:

“Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will understand.” -Confucious


What I like most about the USF community

USF is a warm and welcoming community that cares about its members. Small class sizes and personal advising allow me to get to know and help my students as individuals.


Personal interests/hobbies

What’s on my Ipod: Bob Dylan, Dave Mathews, Jack Johnson, Dido, Red Hot Chilli Peppers, The Beatles, REM, Buddy Guy, U2, Grateful Dead, Allman Brothers Band, Stevie Ray Vaughn, Fleetwood Mac, Eric Clapton, Etta James, Mozart, Tchaikovsky.

For fun I: play guitar; hike, rock climb, canoe, and camp with my wife and two kids.


Active memberships

National Park and Recreation Association; American Therapeutic Recreation Association; Illinois Park and Recreation Association; Illinois Recreational Therapy Association; Association for Challenge Course Technology


Service & Professional Activities

Manager of the USF Challenge Center

Experiential Education Committee Member

General Education Revision Committee Member

Education Director of the Illinois Recreational Therapy Association

Past Director of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society


Office telephone #: 815-740-3691
Email: ssklar@stfrancis.edu