Community and Therapeutic Recreation

Sevil Sonmez , Ph.D.
Professor and Department Head

Department of Recreation, Tourism, and Hospitality Management University of Noctr Carolina at Greensboro
P. O. Box 26170
Greensboro, NC 27402-6170
(336) 334-4413 (office)
(336) 256-1156 (fax)

Curriculum Vita

I am a professor of tourism management (Ph.D., Penn State University, 1994).  My research has evolved through three intertwined phases: (1) risks and effects of natural disasters, political instability, and terrorism on the tourism sector and travelers; (2) health risks of travel and tourism; and (3) health benefits of tourism and leisure and their link to tourism sustainability.  

My current research interests include:

  • Role of leisure travel in disease prevention: benefits of vacation, tourism, and active leisure and recreation on mental and physical health; and unique role of travel and leisure in preventing health problems.
  • Epidemiological facets of tourism: links between travel and disease acquisition and transmission; occupational health of tourism and hospitality sector employees; and preventive interventions to reduce health risks for travelers and locals they interact with.
  • Links between health benefits of tourism and destination sustainability: reduction of tourism's adverse health effects and promotion of its health benefits; diversification of tourism products away from mass toward more sustainable forms of development based on health concepts.

My work has appeared in both tourism and health journals and conferences. Recent examples include:

  • Apostolopoulos, Y. and S. Sönmez (Eds.) (2007). Population Mobility and Infectious Disease. New York, NY: Springer.
  • Sönmez, S. and Y. Apostolopoulos (2009). Vacation Travel as Preventive Medicine. In (Eds., R. Bushell and P. Sheldon), Wellness and Tourism: Mind, Body, Spirit, Place (pp. 37-51). London, UK: Cognizant Communication Corporation.
  • Sönmez, S., Apostolopoulos, Y., Yu, C.H., Yang, S., Mattila, A.S., and L.C. Yu (2006). Binge Drinking and Casual Sex on Spring Break. Annals of Tourism Research. 33(4):895-917.
  • Sönmez, S., A. Theocharous, Y. Apostolopoulos, G. Nathanael, and M. Mathioudakis (2009).  Networks of Youth Travelers, Binge Drinking, and STI Risk on a Mediterranean Island. 12th World Congress on Public Health, April 27-May 1, Istanbul, Turkey.
  • Sönmez, S. and Y. Apostolopoulos (2006). Can Travel and Tourism Actually Promote Health: Moving from Speculation to Evidence. Tourism and Wellness Conference, September 27-29, Palma de Mallorca, Spain.

Over the years, I have experienced diverse academic and professional settings in the U.S., Turkey, Cyprus, and the U.A.E.  Before joining UNCG in 2009, I served on the faculties of Zayed University (UAE),  European University of Cyprus, Emory University School of Medicine, Arizona State University, and Penn State University.

News & Events

Graduation Info

Advising for Summer and Fall 2014

CTR Club Officer Candidates
...view a presentation of candidates


Jennifer Pegram, winner of the Southeast Recreation Therapy Symposium Scholarship
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Lee Parfitt, winner of the Academy of Leisure Sciences Future Scholars
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Peggy Harris, winner of the NCRPS Fletcher Graduate Scholarship
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CTR Students Graduating in Dec 2013 With Honors
Kayla Cook-Summa Cum Laude
Sarah McPherson-Summa Cum Laude
Jocelyn Moon-Summa Cum Laude
Devyn Ziegler-Summa Cum Laude
Sage Rubenstein-Magna Cum Laude
Hannah Tyler-Magna Cum Laude
Denise Blanchfield-Cum Laude
Chelsea Boccardo-Cum Laude
Lauren Brady-Cum Laude
Andrea Redden-Cum Laude
Chelsea Tysinger-Cum Laude

Please join us Summer 2014 in the online course CTR 102-Creating a Meaningful Life a syllabus

Study finds 3rd lowest unemployment rate among recent graduates with recreation related degrees the full report