0 Laura Alexeichik Thayer

Laura Alexeichik Thayer

Laura Alexeichik Thayer

Associate Professor & Chair, Department of Sport, Recreation, & Wellness; Director, EPIC Adventures

An avid adventurer herself, Dr. Laura Thayer is passionate about the outdoors. She completed her dissertation, titled “Towards Mutual Respect and Understanding: A Study on an Innovative
Intercultural Development Program in an Experiential Learning Environment.” Laura’s research was based in the desert of Oman with a program called Connecting Cultures and considered processes of cultural identity and transformative learning. 


  • Ph.D. | Indiana University (2015)
  • M.Ed. | Westminster College (2008)
  • B.S. | Houghton College (2001)

Courses Taught 

  • Principles of Sport, Recreation, and Wellness Management
  • Leadership Development
  • Program Planning and Evaluation
  • Outdoor Leadership Training
  • Natural Resource Management
  • Camps and Summer Programs
  • Recreation and Tourism / Adventure Sports

Professional Experience/Achievements

  • Assistant Professor of Sport, Recreation, and Wellness
    Houghton University, Houghton NY (2022-present)
  • Assistant Professor of Sport, Recreation, and Wellness
    Houghton College, Houghton NY (2015-2022)
  • Equestrian Camp Director (Summers)
    Houghton University, Houghton NY (2022-present)
  • Equestrian Camp Director (Summers)
    Houghton College, Houghton NY (2011-2022)
  • Charles Hartsoe Fellow
    National Recreation Foundation, Bloomington IN (2013-2015)
  • Associate Instructor
    Indiana University, Bloomington IN (2012-2015)
  • Project Assistant
    Indiana University Eppley Research Institute, Bloomington IN (Fall 2012)
  • Youth Enrichment Senior Manager
    Accord Corporation Youth Services Division, Belfast NY (2010-2012)
  • Adjunct Faculty of Recreation and Equestrian Studies
    Houghton College, Houghton NY (Jan. 2010-May 2010)
  • Assistant Professor of Recreation and Equestrian Studies
    Houghton College, Houghton NY (Aug. 2011-May 2012)
  • Instructor
    16-Day Coastal Kayak course, Georgian Bay, Canada (May 2011, June 2010)
  • Adjunct Instructor
    Westminster College, New Wilmington PA (Fall 2008-Spring 2009)
  • Director
    Titan Traverse Leadership Development Program, New Wilmington PA (2005-2009)

Research Interests

  • Impacts of Experiential Education
  • Liminality & Communitas in Adventure Education
  • International & Adventure Tourism
  • Perspective Transformation
  • Cultural Geography


  • “’I Came Back Different’: A Narrative Analysis of Change and Transformation in the Desert Wilderness of Oman.” 2014 Adventure Conference. Fjord, Sogndal, Norway. Nov. 2014.
  • “Transcendent Experiences and Settings: The Role of Activity and Setting in Experiential Education.” Alexeichik, L.D. et. al. Association for Experiential Education International Conference. Chattanooga, TN. 2014.
  • “Considering the Aspect of Reentry in a Non-Traditional Semester-long Off-Campus Program.” 2014 Adventure Research Symposium. Bloomington, IN. 2014.
  • “The Space Between: using Liminality in Adventure Tourism to Consider Identity, Risk, & Reentry.” 2013 Adventure Conference. Isle of Sky, Scotland UK. 2013.
  • “Leading and Facilitating Group Discussion in the Classroom.” Doctoral seminar: Higher Education in Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies. Bloomington, IN. 2013.
  • “If You Really Knew Me.” Alexeichik, L.D. & Frawley, E.H. Accord Corporation: Youth Summit. Allegany County High Schools, NY. 2013.
  • “Using Liminality in Adventure Education.” Doctoral seminar: Leisure Behavior Poster presentation.  Bloomington, IN. 2012.
  • “Shalom Through Play and Spiritual Development in Adventure Education.” Alexeichik, L.D. & Jennings-Martin, J. Summer Institute, Master’s in Higher Education faculty and students. Geneva College, PA. 2008.
  • “Why Adventure Education?” Alexeichik, L.D. & Jennings-Martin, J. Summer Institute: Coalition for Christian Outreach Staff. Geneva College, PA. 2008.
  • “Consider Judgment and Decision-Making for Instructors during Long-Term Expedition Experiences.” Alexeichik, L.D. et. al. CCO Outdoor Leadership Team Staff Training Institute. Ligonier, PA. 2006.
  • “Leave No Trace: Stewardship in the woods.” 2006 Christian Wilderness Leaders Coalition Conference. Montreat, NC. 2006.
  • Various Class Speaking Engagements and Trainings. Houghton University, Indiana University, and Westminster College. 2005-2014.

    This entry was posted in . Bookmark the permalink.