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Weather-Related Announcement


Due to forecasted hazardous road conditions, day and evening classes in Cullowhee are suspended after 2 p.m., Biltmore Park instructional site after 1 p.m.
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Debby Singleton

Parks and Recreation Management
Department of Human Services

Debby Singleton


Phone: 828-227-3971
Office Address: Reid 122J


  • Core Concepts of Public Health Certificate, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 2007
  • M.A., Physical Education with Exercise Physiology concentration, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, 1986
  • B.S., K-12 Health & Physical Education, Longwood University, 1984


  • American Canoe Association (ACA), Level 1-2 Stand Up Paddleboard Instructor
  • American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM), Certified Exercise Physiologist
  • Professional Ski Instructors of American (PSIA), Level II Alpine Ski Instructor
  • Wilderness First Aid & CPR, American Red Cross

Professional Affiliations

  • American Canoe Association
  • Adventure Cycling Association
  • American Whitewater
  • Appalachian Trail Conservancy
  • National Recreation Parks Association (NRPA)
  • North Carolina Alliance for Athletics, Physical Education, Recreation, Health, Dance, and Sport Management (NCAAPERD-SM)
  • North Carolina Recreation Parks Association (NCRPA)
  • Professional Ski Instructors of America (PSIA)
  • Rails to Trails Conservancy
  • Society of Health & Physical Educators (SHAPE)


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. 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 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.

Debby’s teaching background includes courses in Leadership & Group Dynamics, Adventure Based Physical Education, Physical Activity & Aging, Health & Wellness, Fitness Concepts, Entrepreneurship & Commercial Recreation, Management and Administration of PRM, Adventure Travel, University & Career Planning, and a variety of activity based courses.

For her personal leisure and wellness pursuits, Debby enjoys traveling, hiking, backpacking, running, cycling, stand up paddling, whitewater paddling, painting, drawing, and playing piano.

Service and Research

Debby is actively involved with a variety of health & wellness based projects in the local community designed to increase physical activity in youth, K-8. 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. She has delivered over 25 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 and collaborator for regional projects and agencies.

  • Singleton, D. F., Watterson, T. A. (Co-Principal), McKnight, M. (Co-Principal), Sponsored Research, "School Health Guidelines to Promote Healthy Eating and Physical Activity", WCU, Centers for Disease Control, American Cancer Society, Project Start Date: May 2014, anticipated conclusion: May 2016.
  • "Fitness Level of Health Liberal Studies Students" (On-Going)
    Within the WCU Health Liberal Studies courses, we collect pre and post fitness testing data each semester. Upon analysis, we have determined a positive correlation between the class and the improvement of personal fitness levels. Ongoing research, focusing on a more longitudinal model and control group addition is projected.


Singleton, D., Phipps, M., & Raiola, E. (2006). Chapter 11: Emergence and Development of Outdoor Adventure Education in North Carolina. In P. Gaskill (Ed.), Introduction to Leisure Services in North Carolina (5th ed.). Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall/Hunt Pub.

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