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Dr. Jon McChesney

Dr. Jon McChesney
  • Chair of Parks, Recreation, Exercise and Sport Science/Professor & Graduate Coordinator
  • Doctorate - University of Kentucky
  • Master's - Eastern Kentucky University
  • Bachelor's - Eastern Kentucky University


Contact Information

  • Department: Parks, Recreation, Exercise, and Sport Science
  • Office: Combs 209
  • Mailing Address: Combs 208
  • Email:
  • Phone: (859)-622-1835


Dr. J’s corner




BlackEye Pea & Squeaky Lou (World’s Best Cats!)

Favorite Sports Teams:

(1) UK Basketball; (2) LA Lakers; (3) EKU Football 

Culinary Specialties:

Jerk chicken, pancakes (ask REC 350!), chili


Gardening, making music compilation CD’s, movies, country drives, swimming, weight training, reading, festivals

Books Everyone Should Read:

The Bible, The Acorn People by Ron Jones, Crazy Love by Francis Chan, Encouraging the Heart: A Leader’s Guide to Rewarding and Recognizing Others by James Kouzes & Barry Posner, How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, Living on Purpose by Dan Millman, The Christmas Box by Richard Paul Evans, The Jester has Lost His Jingle by David Saltzman, Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, Your Best Life Now by Joel Osteen

Dr. J’s Baker’s Dozen Bucket List:

(1) Write a book; (2) Learn to play the dulcimer; (3) Drive to Alaska; (4) Attend the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade; (5) Hike in Death Valley; (6) Take Shellie camping at Mt. Rushmore; (7) Become a pie chef; (8) Travel the entirety of Route 66; (9) attend the UFO Festival; (10) Eat a Philly Steak in Philly; (11) Spend Halloween in Salem; (12) Take Shellie to Italy; (13) Repeat Adam Richman’s challenges!

I bet you didn’t know:

(1) I was trained by a chef! (2) I’m our church’s back-up minister!

Why am I at EKU?

I received a very unexpected phone call to my home in North Carolina in June of 1999, the type phone call you never want to receive. The news was that my brother-in-law, who I had known and cherished since a young boy, had suddenly died leaving behind my sister and her two young-teen daughters. Nine months later I received yet another call, this one informing me that my father was in the hospital and not doing very well. Two weeks later he too died. After the funeral, I returned to North Carolina. Once again, approximately three weeks later, another phone call informing me that another family member had died. Soon after my return to work from a third funeral, the Chair of my Department came into my office, closed the door, and said, “we need to talk.” I don’t know about the rest of you, but those four words and that statement is not in my top 10 of favorites! As a matter of fact, who among you cringes when this statement is made from a boyfriend or girlfriend? YIKES! OK, enough of the levity from this very difficult time of my life. Thom, my Department Chair, said with tears in his eyes that there was a position open at my alma mater, Eastern Kentucky University. He went on to say that while they wanted me to stay at East Carolina University, he felt a “human” responsibility to inform me of this position. Now the real quandary began…I was in a position at ECU that I loved…my spiritual life in NC was strong given my role as recreation director at a local church. After much internal debate, I realized that this job opening presented me with a rare opportunity to lend support to my mom, sister, nieces and other family. Further, it allowed me to continue the legacy that my father established here at EKU and within this Department. You see, my father started this Department back in 1966, serving as Chair for 23 years. I practically grew up here in the halls of Begley, walking over here every day from school until time to ride home with the first Dr. McChesney. As I write this message, I’m sitting in the very office my father occupied for years – now that’s cool!

Best Restroom Wall Advice:

This is your life…and it’s ending one minute at a time.

Author Unknown - Men’s Restroom, Begley

Dr. J’s Advice:

Do everything that has your name on it exceptionally well (be excellent) -Demonstrate initiative - always do more than required -Smile and always maintain a good attitude – be a light in the world – have fun – Resolve to never have a publicly bad day & remember Our faces show our heart! -Cultivate good manners -Open your eyes and start seeing (Eyes that look are common, eyes that see are rare!) -Open your heart – appreciate people - become someone that makes a difference in the world – set a goal to make someone’s day everyday! Practice purposeful acts of kindness! Be thankful! -Live a life of no regrets & seize each and every day!


University of Kentucky, Recreation Management Emphasis


Eastern Kentucky University, Recreation and Park Administration


Eastern Kentucky University, Business Administration-Marketing Emphasis

Teaching Career:

Eastern Kentucky University – 2000 to current

Courses Taught: Graduate REC 809, Advanced Study in Recreation REC 825, Philosophy of Recreation and Leisure REC 840, Administrative Processes and Practices REC 850, Recreation and Tourism Marketing REC 890, Independent Study REC 897, Thesis Undergraduate REC 101, Leisure Service Careers REC 280, Programming Special Events REC 349. Co-Op REC 350, Supervision of Recreation Personnel REC 409, Independent Study in Recreation REC 460, Advanced Leadership and Programming 2007

EKU Distinguished Service Award 2005

EKU Leadership Outside the Classroom Award

2005 Nominated for EKU National Alumni Association Award for Teaching Excellence

East Carolina University, 1996-2000

Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies - Assistant Professor & Director of Graduate Studies

Courses Taught: Graduate RCLS 6210, Program Development & Administration in Leisure Service Industries RCLS 6220, Managing Commercial & Tourism Industry Leisure Services RCLS 6501, Individual Study in Marketing & Management of Leisure Services Undergraduate RCLS 3003, Recreation Programming RCLS 3004, Leisure Programming Lab RCLS 4002, Administration of Leisure Services RCLS 4120, Leisure Services Marketing RCLS 4702, Independent Study in Recreation RCLS 4990, Recreation Internship

2000 Nominated for Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award 1999 Nominated for Board of Governors Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award 1999 Nominated for the Alumni Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award

1998 & 1999 Nominated for the Outstanding Teacher Award in the School of Health & Human Performance

1998 Nominated for the Outstanding Service Award in the School of Health & Human Performance

1998 Nominated for the Alumni Distinguished Professor for Teaching Award

1998-2000 Recreation and Leisure Studies Graduate Student Society Advisor

1996-2000 Recreation and Leisure Studies Student Society Advisor

Saint Cloud State University, 1993-1996

Department of Physical Education, Recreation and Sport Science - Assistant Professor

Courses Taught: Graduate PE 661, Planning Sports Facilities REC 520, Recreation and Sports Law REC 515, Administration I (personnel) REC 516, Administration II (marketing & finance) Undergraduate REC 133, Introduction to Recreation REC 233, Recreation Program Planning REC 241, Leadership Techniques and Theory REC 333, Facilities in Recreation REC 415, Administration I (personnel) REC 416, Administration II (marketing & finance) REC 420, Recreation and Sports Law PE 160, Softball PE 123, Weight Training University of Kentucky, 1990-1993 Department of Health, Physical Education and Recreation Teaching Assistant Courses Taught: Undergraduate HPR 280, Recreation Program Planning and Leadership HPR 120, Weight Training HPR 119, Softball HPR 115, Conditioning HPR 112, Aerobic Swimming HPR 110, Racquetball HPR 103, Basketball

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