Stephens City, Virginia
Major: Recreation, Parks and Tourism in the College of Education and Human Development
Campus involvement: Radford University Outdoors trip leader, RU Adventure Based Learning Experience (RU ABLE) facilitator, and Rho Phi Lambda National Honors Fraternity for outstanding students in Recreation, Parks and Tourism
TJ Hicks believes outdoor recreation can have a positive impact on people’s lives. His vision of helping others through recreation made Radford University’s Recreation, Parks and Tourism program an ideal fit for his undergraduate education.
“The outdoors has always been a place where I can relax and de-stress,” he said. “I look forward to a profession helping others experience the same.”
During his undergraduate experience, Hicks took part in Recreation, Parks and Tourism’s Wilderness Institute in the summer of 2012. The Wilderness Institute is an intensive five-week-long, nine-credit course that uses experiential learning to promote the development of leadership and teamwork skills. The institute exposes participants to a variety of adventure activities, such as backpacking, whitewater canoeing and climbing, while developing sound outdoor living skills.
“It was a real outdoor living and learning program that offered me great experiences,” he said. “I developed an incredibly strong bond with my peers. We had to work together against adversity while carrying everything we needed to survive on our backs. It was by far the greatest month of my life.”
After graduation, Hicks has a 14-week internship in Fort Carson, Colo., with the U.S. Army Directorate of Family, Morale, Welfare and Recreation (MWR). He will be guiding white water rafting trips on the Arkansas River, and leading rock climbing excursions and mountain biking trips for military personnel and their families.
“My Radford University degree has prepared me well,” he said. “My time in the classroom as well as the extra-curricular opportunities I had have given me a lot of experience. It’s all built a giant skill base for my career. I feel ready for anything!”