The Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award was established in 1970. The Scholarship is awarded biennially in conjunction with the World Leisure Congress. Funding for the scholarship is provided by World Leisure Organization, sponsorship, and individual contributions.

The Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship is intended to provide opportunities for senior or graduate students who are studying recreation, leisure studies, leisure services, leisure resources, or tourism studies in college or university programs to attend and present a scholarly paper at the biennial international World Leisure Congress.

Tom Rivers served as the first Director General of the International Recreation Association (IRA), later known as the World Leisure and Recreation Association (WLRA) from 1956 – 1974. He was known as a global ambassador for recreation and lifted what was perceived as a technical subject to a level of statesmanship. His wife, Ruth, was his constant companion and was known to have softened Rivers’ “hard-boiled shell.” For their family, life was experienced as “loving, community focused, and rich and rewarding.”

The Scholarship: Benefits

  • The recipient will have the opportunity to present a featured scholarly lecture at 16th World Leisure Hybrid Congress in front of a large audience.
  • Free registration to attend the 16th World Leisure Hybrid Congress. (*Online registration to participate in virtual sessions if international and cannot attend in person. The TRRIS recipient will be paired with a WL mentor to assist in navigating and networking through virtual format).
  • If attending the 16th World Leisure Congress in Pinggu – Beijing a scholarship of USD $1,000 to cover the costs associated with travel and logistics. The scholarship recipient(s) are expected to provide the funds to cover additional costs.
  • Acknowledgement of her/his contribution to a large world-wide audience in a hybrid Awards Ceremony.
  • The winner of the Award will be part of the story line of the Awards in the WLO, and it will be promoted by WLO in the following means: a dedicated space in the WLO website and announcement in the WL News – Newsletter, together with an interview. Furthermore, all these communication actions will be fostered through the WLO various social media channels and specifically disseminated by leisure media strategic partners.

   
My experience in attending the World Leisure Congress was unprecedented in terms of the quality of the research presentations I was able to attend, as well as to the numbers of inspirational scholars that I was privileged to get to meet from all around the world. I was also very fortunate to present my dissertation research, under the auspices as one of the recipients of this award, and received a great deal of supportive and critical feedback at a critical time in my own research. The highlight of my participation at the Congress, however, has to have been the afternoon that I got to spend exploring the highlights of Durban with three senior scholars, whose work I have been reading for years.

Meghan Muldoon, University of Waterloo. 2016 TRISS Scholarship Winner

APPLY FOR THE AWARD

Eligibility

To be eligible as a scholarship recipient, the applicant shall:

  • be a final year graduate or undergraduate in a college or university program, from any country of the world, with a major in recreation, leisure studies, leisure services, leisure resources or tourism studies
  • have a cumulative grade point average of: 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, if an undergraduate, or 3.8 on a 4.0 scale, if a graduate
  • be recommended by two faculty members in his or her college or university department
  • have exhibited interest in recreation, leisure and/or tourism internationally
  • have had either volunteer or paid work experience in the recreation/leisure services or tourism fields
  • submit a copy of the abstract submitted to the World Leisure Congress Program Committee
  • be a member of World Leisure Organization (go to https://www.worldleisure.org/become-a-member/ to join under the free membership)
  • submit a copy of the abstract submitted to the World Leisure Congress Program Committee.
  • if the college or university does not have a major in recreation, leisure studies/services or tourism, the applicant shall obtain a letter from his or her major professor indicating the major area of study as such; and
  • if the college or university does not require course work, the applicant shall obtain, from his or her major professor, a letter indicating the applicant’s required learning/research activities and a performance evaluation of the applicant.

Application/Award Procedures

Students applying for the Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award shall:

  • Complete Part I of the Application Form and submit the Supplemental Documentation requested in Part II of the application.
  • Submit the Faculty Validation of Student Applicant form (see page 4) to a faculty member or advisor in the student’s college/university department and request that it be completed and emailed to the Program Manager of the Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Committee, along with a letter from the student’s major professor.

More information about the application can be found here:

Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship

Email the Scholarship Application Form and all supporting documentation by December 18th, 2020 to:

Cari E. Autry, PhD., LRT/CTRS

Program Manager, Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Committee
Department of Recreation Sciences
2403 Belk Building; Mail Stop 540
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858-4353

AUTRYCA18@ECU.EDU

WINNERS

2018 Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Winners
Malema Makhaya Johannes. University of the Western Cape, South Africa.

2016 Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Winners
Meghan Muldoon. University of Waterloo, Canada.
Rosangela Martins de Araujo. University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.
Sally Duan. The University of Hong Kong