A. Scott Rood

Faculty Profile: A. Scott Rood

As Grand Valley State University’s Hospitality and Tourism Management program has grown steadily over the last few years, faculty members have been encouraged to find practical linkages that can integrate their teaching, scholarship, and service. For A. Scott Rood, assistant professor and assistant department chairperson, the Resort and Commercial Recreation Association (RCRA) has provided an avenue to accomplish that.

The RCRA is a non-profit organization that serves as a vehicle to communicate, educate, and promote standards of professionalism within the tourism industry and to provide opportunities for continuing education, networking, and awareness of industry trends. The organization’s member constituencies include resort practitioners, academicians, and students (engaged in resort internships). Rood is president-elect of the organization.

Four years ago, Rood was asked to co-chair the annual research symposium component of RCRA’s national conference. With co-chair Mary Wisnom, Ph.D., from Florida Gulf Coast University, he has since overseen an annual speaker review process that seeks applied research presentations in the recreation, event, and travel industries. The process led to the development of the Journal of Tourism Insights as a publishing opportunity for papers successfully refereed post-conference.

The Journal of Tourism Insights is the official refereed publication of the RCRA and Rood serves as the

journal administrator, overseeing logistical issues. Initially the journal was housed on another university’s recreation department website, but that proved to be an inadequate vehicle for dissemination. In 2010 the journal was migrated to ScholarWorks, which provides a professional and easy to use format for authors, reviewers, and readers. The persistent URL links to each article provides quick search results.

“While traditional journals will remain vital for faculty for some time to come,” said Rood, “in my opinion open access to research in hospitality and tourism is a welcome and needed addition for scholars and practitioners to be able to share and learn from one another.”

Because the journal is published electronically, editors don’t need to worry about page length or limit the number of articles they publish the same way print publishers do. “A lot of good work was not able to be published previously using that paradigm,” said Rood. Each submission is blind reviewed by at least two respected commercial recreation and tourism experts from universities and colleges across the U.S.A. and Canada.

Looking forward, the journal is working on a special issue that will present research applications that expand and strengthen the applied, conceptual, and theoretical underpinnings and linkages to Caribbean cultural and heritage tourism. Michael Scantlebury, Ph.D., another hospitality and tourism management faculty member, is assisting Rood with that project.