A Christian College of the Liberal Arts & Sciences

Issue: Spring/Summer 2013

Faculty Innovation - Leisure Studies

Cindy (Prentice '82) Austin

Spring/Summer 2013Thomas Kettelkamp

Professor of Recreation and Physical Education

During his 38-year tenure at Houghton, Dr. Thomas Kettelkamp, “TK,” has made the most of every opportunity God has placed in his path. He has taught courses in recreation and wellness, coached baseball (and now golf), led 22 groups of students to Honduras for Mayterm, taken students to Munich, Germany, for Onkle Tom’s Baseballercamp, and taken at least one trip down a river for a college fundraiser.

TK has also served as a consultant for government-sponsored development programs in Costa Rica, Honduras, Bolivia and El Salvador. Last spring, TK and his wife, Margo, spent a sabbatical semester in Bolivia on a Fulbright Scholarship from the U.S. State Department. He taught several intensive courses and led workshops at the Universidad Evangelica Boliviana in Santa Cruz, an affiliate member of the Council for Christian Colleges and Universities.

TK was also the keynote speaker for an International Congress for South American health care professionals, sponsored by the Bolivian Ministry of Public Health. His topic was “The Connection between Poverty in Rural Bolivia and Obesity and Cardiovascular Disease.” Obesity and cardiovascular diseases are drastically increasing in Bolivia, particularly among indigenous populations such as the Incas. The recent availability of unhealthy (but cheaper) food is having a huge impact, and health professionals there are just beginning to understand the link between nutrition and health. TK and Margo plan to return to Bolivia in June 2013 to follow up with those who participated in last year’s workshops and to continue development of a master’s degree in community health.

From my first class with TK in 1980, to introducing him to baseball players in Germany, to working with him again back at Houghton, I have been amazed at his ability to network and to teach – all the while mixing in a healthy dose of crazy adventures. For this tall “Gringo” with his doctorate in leisure studies, life has been anything but leisurely!


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