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Debby Singleton

Debby Singleton


College of Education and Allied Professions

Human Services

Contact Information

Phone: 828.227.3971
Office: 122-J Reid Gymnasium Building
Pronouns: she/her/hers


Originally from Virginia, Debby has lived in North Carolina, Maine, Georgia, and Oregon while pursuing career opportunities in health, wellness, fitness, outdoor pursuits, and commercial recreation. Debby’s teaching career in higher education began at University of North Carolina-Asheville where she coordinated the Wellness Program for the North Carolina Center for Creative Retirement and taught in the undergraduate health and fitness program.<br><br>Prior to her position as an instructor in the Parks & Recreation Management program at WCU, Debby also worked as a fitness/wellness director for a private sports club, a small private liberal arts college, and as WCU’s Fitness Director from 1996-1999. She spent over 16 years in the ski industry as an instructor, trainer, supervisor and five years as the ski school director for Cataloochee Ski Area in Maggie Valley, NC. Her outdoor industry experience includes retail, raft and cycling guide, rental site manager, special event staff and mountain bike race series director. For her personal leisure and wellness pursuits, Debby enjoys traveling, hiking, backpacking, running, cycling, stand up paddling, whitewater paddling, painting, drawing, and playing piano.<br><br>Debby is a recognized educator-leader at WCU who has received several accolades for her teaching. Awards include: Excellence in Teaching Liberal Studies, Chancellor's Meritorious Award for Engaged Teaching, CEAP's Legislative Teaching Award, SGA's Outstanding Faculty Award, Chancellor's finalist for the Excellence in Teaching Award, finalist for the Last Lecture Award, and finalist for the WCU Award for Excellence in Community Engagement.


  • MA, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Physical Education: Exercise Science
  • BS, Longwood University, Health & Physical Education: K-12

Teaching Interests

My teaching in the PRM program encompasses a variety of content and activity based courses. The variety of teaching about budgets in one class to playing Quidditch in the next one, is what keeps me excited about each semester.<br><br>I love the challenge of taking a new idea, such as the importance of nature on our overall health and well-being, and developing that into a course that helps students learn how to apply the research in their own personal lives and professionally as future educators, leaders, and guides.<br><br>The chance to brainstorm with colleagues about new courses and then have the opportunity to actually teach them as a travel course keeps me excited to be a part of the PRM program. Watching students have a “life altering” experience as they ski powder for the first time and then meet with major players in the industry, is what teaching is all about.<br><br>I am constantly self-evaluating my teaching methods and content to make sure students leave my classes with a desire to learn more, do more, and be more of a "recreation citizen" who engages with their community on multiple levels.<br><br><u>PRM Courses Taught</u>:<br>PRM 255: Active Recreation & Leisure<br>PRM 270: Leadership& Group Dynamics<br>PRM 310: Stand Up Paddling<br>PRM 365: Nature Rx (Liberal Studies P4, ULP)<br>PRM 370: Professional Planning in PRM<br>PRM 430: Entrepreneurship & Commercial Recreation<br>PRM 435: Parks, Recreation, Sites, Facilities (Utah travel course)<br>PRM 461: Management & Administration of PRM<br>PRM 480: Independent Study<br>PRM 483/484: Capstone Internship

Research Interests

Debby is actively involved with a variety of recreation, health & wellness based projects in the local community designed to increase access to outdoor recreation and physical activity in youth and adults. These include before and after school walking/running clubs, increasing physical activity in the classroom setting, creating and enhancing school employee wellness programs, and providing opportunities for youth to experience the outdoors through active leisure pursuits.<br><br>She has delivered over 40 presentations and workshops at regional, state and national conferences due to her expertise in active learning strategies, experiential education, physical activity, leisure pursuits and wellness. With her years of experience in the fitness and outdoor industry sector, Debby is a sought after consultant, speaker, expert, and collaborator for regional projects and agencies.<br><br>For more information on presentations and research, please refer to her CV.

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