Keith Russell, professor and director of Western Washington University's recreation degree program, was given a 2014 Leadership Award this past weekend from the National Association of Therapeutic Schools and Programs.
Russell received the award at the NATSAP national conference in Henderson, Nev. He was told he won the award for “your visionary approach to the critical role research would play in our programs, and for serving as the catalyst and standard bearer for NATSAP’s research cooperative now housed at the University of New Hampshire.”
According to the award announcement:
He is the founder and first Director of the Outdoor Behavioral Healthcare Research Cooperative established in 1999 to initiate a longitudinal research initiative with NATSAP wilderness programs still in operation and expanded today under the direction of Dr. Michael Gass. His research emphasis includes program evaluation, the study of human-nature relationships, the therapeutic value of natural environments, and international protected area management.
He teaches courses in statistics, research methods, adventure education and therapy, and human relations. In a past life, he was a wilderness educator for more than fifteen years in the US, Mexico, Costa Rica, and New Zealand. He is also a consultant who has worked with organizations in the US and internationally on the design, implementation and evaluation of wilderness and adventure programs for youth development.
He is a co-author of the recent text titled Adventure Therapy: Theory, Research and Practice (Routledge Mental Health) with Michael Gass and Lee Gillis. His research has appeared in the Journal of Youth Violence and Juvenile Justice, Ecopsychology, the Journal of Groups in Addictions and Recovery, Residential Treatment for Children and Youth, the Journal of Child and Family Studies, Child and Youth Care Forum, and the International Journal of Wilderness, among others.
He lives in Bellingham with his wife and two daughters and two large dogs. He has coached youth soccer for the last four years and routinely volunteers in the community for youth-serving organizations.