Professors make the most of sabbaticals despite pandemic challenges

February 25, 2022

Academics on sabbaticals often invest their time away from regular assignments in travel, fieldwork, or additional research. But recent events brought about by the global COVID-19 pandemic have affected many initial sabbatical plans, especially those involving travel.

However, two faculty members at Arizona State University’s School of Community Resources and Development, who spent the fall 2021 semester on sabbaticals, were still able to make the most of their absence.

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Professor Dallen Timothy planned to travel to Asia and Africa to collect data related to transboundary environmental management in his area of ​​Tourism Geography. Instead, he focused on writing two book manuscripts and writing two special issues of scholarly journals.

Timothy has co-edited a book with Professor and Associate Dean Gyan Nyaupane, to be published in July 2022 by Routledge in London. It is entitled “Tourism and Development in the Himalayas: Social, Environmental and Economic Forces”.

The second book, co-edited with Alon Gelbman, senior lecturer and head of the Department of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Kinneret College on the Sea of ​​Galilee in Israel, is titled “Routledge Handbook on Tourism and Political Borders”. . Also published by Routledge in London, it will be released in October 2022.

Timothy said he was happy to have completed the manuscripts and his editing work, but was disappointed “not to have gone to Zimbabwe to meet with the village chiefs”, he said.

Tourism is now starting to pick up around the world, Timothy said, as many destinations continue to ease restrictions in light of the easing of the pandemic in several regions.

“A lot of places have completely opened their borders, like Switzerland,” he said. “We are also starting to see places like Australia, which was closed for almost two years and left many Australians stranded outside their country, reopen.”

Just before his sabbatical began, Timothy won a national award honoring his long and distinguished career.

The American Association of Geographers’ (AAG) Recreation, Tourism and Sport Specialty Group presented Timothy with its 2021 John Rooney Award. According to the AAG, the award recognizes “a lifetime of outstanding contributions to the field and discipline of geography application of leisure, tourism and sport”.

Timothy said the award was meaningful to him because, on the one hand, it is only awarded every few years and is in the name of John Rooney, a pioneer in the academic study of sport, tourism and Hobbies.

In 2005, the AAG presented Timothy with another honor, the Roy Wolfe Award, named after another pioneer in the field.

Associate Professor Mark Hager, who teaches nonprofit leadership and management, worked on a federally funded research project on the use of technology in the administration of volunteers by nonprofit organizations. nonprofit during the pandemic.

Hager said he and ASU graduate student research assistant Rachel Nova wrote a December 2021 article about his research on technology and volunteers for Nonprofit Quarterly (NPQ) titled “Remote Technology in the Pandemic: Rebalancing Forward Equity and Access”.

Hager said one of the most insightful things he did during his sabbatical was to embed himself and his research assistant into Free Arts, a Phoenix-based nonprofit that helps children who have experienced trauma to express themselves artistically to achieve resilience. Hager and Nova spent four days a week in one of the association’s small conference rooms to work on their research and writing.

“The appeal was that since I was writing about volunteer administration, it was immersive to be able to work within an organization that does a lot of volunteer work,” Hager said. “Although the pandemic has hit their volunteers quite hard, we have at least been able to have regular lunch with their employees who organize their volunteer operations. If you’re going to write about how nonprofits work, it helps to sit there for an extended period of time.

Hager said he intends to write more on the subject, which involves finding and using a better hybrid model of in-person and online methods of managing volunteers to achieve equity and access.

He also spoke about the same topic on the Jan. 21 episode of the Time and Talent podcast.

Additionally, Hager was interviewed in November by WalletHub for his feature on his Charity Calculator, asking the question “Should you donate time or money?” Hager replied that “personal commitment is more important than donating money.”

“Public policy encourages volunteering because civic engagement fosters healthier communities and a smarter electorate. Civic engagement is fundamentally more important, more valuable and more fun than our jobs,” Hager said. “Of course, people gain skills and experiences through volunteering that may well translate into jobs, but that’s not why we should be doing it. If we volunteer just to get a better job, we’re doing it badly.


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