Veda E. Ward, Ph.D.
Department of Recreation and Tourism Management
Veda Ward was born in Washington, D.C., grew up in Baltimore County in a three-generation household. Her parents and grandmothers were employed by and retired from careers with national or state government. Ward earned her BS (Religion and Spanish, double major) from Bucknell University in Lewisburg, Pennsylvania; an MS in Urban Recreation from University of Baltimore; a Master of Arts in Management from the University of Redlands; and a Ph.D. in Recreation from the University of Maryland, College Park. Following early work experiences in restaurant and fitness, Ward worked for the City of Baltimore Department of Recreation and Parks where she focused on after school programs, designed and supervised youth employees during summer day camp, and was assisted with city-wide events prior to beginning her doctoral program in College Park. During her years at U Md, Ward taught most of the undergraduate core required courses, supervised interns, instructed the graduate foundations course, served on thesis and dissertation committees and was progressively named Field Work Coordinator, Undergraduate Coordinator, and Associate Department Chair. Her involvement with academia and community-based internship placements led to her appointment to the City of Greenbelt (MD) Park & Recreation Advisory Board, the Town of Cheverly (MD) Recreation Council and the Maryland National Council Park and Recreation Advisory Board. Veda was recruited by CSU Northridge to develop an urban recreation outreach curriculum and community service focus in the Department of Leisure Studies and Recreation. Veda earned professional certification (CPRP) through the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA) and served as a trustee for that organization for 5 years. As her CSUN department expanded its program to embrace area growth in hospitality and tourism, Ward returned to school earning a Masters in Management and the Certified Hospitality Educator (CHE) credential. She served on the Hospitality advisory group at Mission College for several years and was the liaison for the College of Health and Human Development for 4 years to help increase enrollment in the college -now the largest on campus. Veda Ward has contributed chapters and monographs in several books, authored many published articles and has presented at professional conferences across the United States, in Spain and Canada. In 2019 Ward sponsored two CSUN-RTM majors to travel to Malaysia to present her recent analysis of the impact of California wildfires on the travel, hospitality and recreation industry, which was co-authored with an RTM undergraduate now employed by a major Japanese hotel. During her years in higher education, Ward has authored publications and numerous courses focusing on gender, ethnicity, aging, large-scale events, and park management. She recently completed a long-term commitment with the California Task Force for Licensure of Recreational Therapists. As a faculty member at CSU Northridge, Veda has tackled many leadership roles within the Faculty Senate, as a member of personnel committees at various institutional levels for several academic programs, and as department chair or acting chair/administrator-in-charge for other academic units. Because she regularly incorporates community service-learning experiences into her courses, she has become familiar with San Fernando Valley community parks and recreation professionals, supports local restaurants and hotels and is currently working with the Warner-West Valley Chamber of Commerce. Always busy, Veda belongs to several professional organizations including the California Park and Recreation Society (CPRS), the International Council on Hotel, Restaurant and Institutional Education (ICHRIE), the Korea America Hospitality and Tourism Educators Association (KAHTEA); and, Phi Kappa Phi Academic Honor Society, to name a few. Veda Ward loves to travel - exploring culture, religion, food, recreation and accommodations firsthand; and has visited many of the contiguous United States, the 5 major Hawaiian islands and 12 non- US nations. Veda applauds her partner, two sons and extended family for their never-ending patience and support throughout her career.