2014 Adriana Estrada-González
Adriana Estrada is a leisure and tourism professor in the Faculty of Business Studies at Universidad de Monterrey (México). She received a BA in Leisure Management Studies from Universidad Mexicana del Noreste (Monterrey, México). She continued her postgraduate studies at the WLRA International Centre of Excellence in Leeuwarden, The Netherlands, holding a MA in International Leisure Studies. Adriana studied a PhD on Leisure and Human Development at Universidad de Deusto in Bilbao, Spain. Her research interests are in the field of tourism management and marketing, social tourism, leisure education and edutainment.
In 1993, Adriana Estrada collaborated in the Local Secretariat of the 3rd World Leisure Congress in Jaipur, India, on the topic “Leisure, Tourism and the Environment: Issues for Human Development”. She also organized in 1998 the WL International Seminar “Leisure Education and Youth at Risk” in Monterrey, México. Adriana has served as a member of the World Leisure Organization’s Board of Directors from 1997 to 2003, and she participates in the WLO Leisure Education Commission and the Leisure Management Commission.
She has been the Chair of the Leisure Management Department at Universidad Mexicana del Noreste, but is also active in the public and social sector, engaging with a national association supporting the education of senior citizens as well as delivering training activities at the Ministry of Education.
Adriana has published widely, chapters for foreign books, refereed publications for national and international journals, as well as articles for newspapers and magazines. She has also participated extensively in national and international congresses, seminars and conferences, specially being a presenter in ten WLO World Congresses. She has also been invited as a Guest Professor by several North American universities. “Rethinking Leisure Education in Later Life: a Mexican Experience” was the topic for the 2014 Hillel Ruskin Memorial Scholar Lecture delivered in Mobile, Alabama. This lecture focuses on the importance of a pre-retirement program in a university environment.
2012 Brenda Robertson
Dr. Brenda Robertson served as a leisure studies professor at Acadia University in Canada for 30 years prior to retiring July 2012. Her interest in the area of leisure education developed in the 1980’s reading the work of Jean Mundy and Forest McDowell. Her PhD research focused upon understanding why certain individuals engage in delinquent activity as leisure. As a scholar practitioner she has developed leisure education models, initiatives and resources; facilitated program delivery to a variety of disenfranchised groups; taught academic courses and workshops with a leisure education focus; conducted and published related research; as well as being an advocate for leisure education presenting her work throughout North America as well as in Europe and Africa. Specific settings in which she has worked include youth centers, correctional facilities, schools, treatment centers, rural communities, and universities. It is her belief that leisure education is necessary for a healthy satisfying lifestyle and is a lifelong process of personal development.
Highlights of her leisure education work include the creation and implementation of 7 leisure education delivery models; development of a leisure education text simply entitled The Leisure Education Manual; and having the opportunity to work with scholars from other countries including the late Hillel Ruskin. Recently, she has become a dedicated advocate for leisure literacy in public schools. She describes leisure literacy as culturally defined knowledge and skills required by individuals in order to take responsibility for personal positive leisure functioning. This was the focus of her Hillel Ruskin Memorial Scholar Lecture in Rimini.
2010 Elie Cohen-Gewerc
Elie Cohen-Gewerc is a Senior Lecturer and researcher in Beit Berl College (Israel). He received his Ph.D. in 1988 from the University Sorbonne (Paris I), the Department of Philosophy. Freedom and the human challenge of being free is the main issue he investigates. He wrote tens of articles and four books; the last one was in 2013 Serious Leisure and Individuality, with Robert Stebbins, McGill University Press, Montreal.
He was Director in the board of directors of the Israel Broadcasting Authority and contributed to enlarge the part of arts, in it. These activities in the Media field lead him into Leisure issues. His interest in Leisure studies date from the nineties as an expansion of his concrete experience and his interest in philosophy of Aesthetics focused on freedom and creation. This interest was intensified thanks to the tight collaboration with Prof. Hillel Ruskin in various programs in order to improve Leisure Education in general and teachers training in the field.
His Hillel Ruskin Memorial Scholar lecture was published in World Leisure Journal, vol. 54 Issue 1 March 2012.
2008 Atara Sivan
Prof. Sivan is Associate Dean of the Faculty of Social Sciences and Professor in the Department of Education Studies of Hong Kong Baptist University, Hong Kong. She holds a PhD from The University of Hong Kong (Education) and MA; PDGE (Social Sciences); and BA (Education and Sociology) all from Bar-Ilan University in Israel. She is the President and Senior Fellow of the World Leisure Academy and the Founder and President of the World Leisure Organization: Hong Kong Chapter. She is also the Editor-in- Chief of the World Leisure Journal. Prof. Sivan has served as a member of the World Leisure Organization’s Board of Directors and is active in the World Leisure Organization’s Leisure Education Commission.
Prof. Sivan’s research interests are in the areas of youth development and leisure education, curriculum, pedagogy and teacher education. She has contributed to the development of leisure education internationally through the preparation and dissemination of position papers, serving as a scientific adviser to the development of a comprehensive leisure education curricula for schools in Israel, examining leisure education cross culturally and publishing extensively in this area. She has published extensively in her areas of academic endeavor. Among her books are: Leisure Education Towards the 21st Century; Leisure Education, Community Development and Populations with Special Needs; Leisure Education in School Systems; and Leisure Education: A Cross-National View. She has also authored articles in journals focusing on pedagogy and teacher education. Prof. Sivan has made a number of keynote and invited presentations including ones made in Korea, Canada, The People’s Republic of China, Germany, Israel, United States of America, Spain, Austria, Mexico, United Kingdom, Singapore, Thailand and South Africa.
Her Inaugural Hillel Ruskin Memorial Scholar lecture was written as an academic paper entitled: “Leisure education in educational settings: From instruction to inspiration” and published in 2008 in Society and Leisure, Volume 31, Issue 1.