Dr. Tyler Tapps
Associate Professor in Recreation
“Be diligent. Time moves fast so stay caught up. Make it a priority to block out time to complete the required tasks for each module weekly. Also, have fun. Learning and thinking is a valuable asset. Embrace it!”
- Ph.D. in Health, Leisure and Human Performance – Oklahoma State University, 2009
- M.S. in Recreation – Northwest Missouri State University, 2006
- B.S. in Corporate Recreation/Wellness – Northwest Missouri State University, 2004
I currently serve as a Fellow for Institutional Strategy and assistant director in the School of Health Science and Wellness at Northwest Missouri State University. I have been fortunate to have led multiple university initiatives and projects on campus. Previously, I worked as executive director of a contract research nonprofit and served as the journal editor for the state health science peer-reviewed journal.
I often publish and have authored/edited four books and more than 30 peer-reviewed works. I am currently working on my fifth book focusing on dimensions of recreation pursuits over the life span. I was very fortunate to be selected as the “Young Professional Award” winner in 2014 by the National Recreation and Parks Association and was named the “Outstanding Young Alumni” by Northwest in 2012.
In 2014, I was inducted by the Oklahoma Health Association as the organization’s first “Research Fellow” for my multiple projects to enhance the health of the residents of Oklahoma. In 2017, I was recognized for my significant research contributions by Northwest Missouri State University by being awarded the Faculty Excellence Award for Scholarship and in 2019, I received the Excellence in Agility and Innovation Award by Northwest leadership.
In which online program(s) do you teach?
M.S. in Recreation – Therapeutic Recreation, Recreation Management and Sports Management
In what ways do you connect with online students?
I love to stay in touch using email, twitter or text.
Why did you start teaching?
I thoroughly enjoy being in front of the classroom sharing the knowledge I have gained both in the professional environment and academic environment. I believe that the students and I gain from discussions, which take place during the academic instruction time in my classroom. I believe that through these types of interactions the students gain valuable insights and knowledge into the profession.
My desire is to promote critical thinking and help the students reach their full potential in life and their profession. I believe the best environment for that type of learning to occur is for the instructor to have an active awareness of the student‘s interests. I get to know my students as people so I can relate the information I am providing to fit their needs. Learning is best accomplished in a comfortable environment that challenges the students; therefore, I create caring relationships with my students. They then feel comfortable enough to approach me with questions about both the subject and life in general, thereby allowing me the opportunity to offer my guidance from my own experiences. I ultimately felt the most comfortable and absorbed the most from teachers that took an interest in my life and seemed devoted to my success.
What advice would you give to your online students?
Be diligent. Time moves fast so stay caught up. Make it a priority to block out time to complete the required tasks for each module weekly. Also, have fun. Learning and thinking is a valuable asset. Embrace it!
What qualities make someone particularly successful in the field in which you teach?
Being clear on what your values are. These are mine: collaboration, learning, empathy, accountability and respect.
What is the one book you think everyone should read?
“The Energy Bus” by Jon Gordon.
What do you do when you need a laugh?
I just sit and chat with my kids. They always make me laugh and realize that you can't take everything too seriously.
Tell us something your students may not know about you:
Not really that interesting but I enjoy running. I love clearing my head and gathering my thoughts. So, long runs really help keep me sane.