Apply for the Award


To be eligible as a scholarship recipient, the applicant shall:

  • be a final year graduate or undergraduate in a college or university program, from any country of the world, with a major in recreation, leisure studies, leisure services, leisure resources or tourism studies
  • have a cumulative grade point average of: 3.5 on a 4.0 scale, if an undergraduate, or 3.8 on a 4.0 scale, if a graduate
  • be recommended by two faculty members in his or her college or university department
  • have exhibited interest in recreation, leisure and/or tourism internationally
  • have had either volunteer or paid work experience in the recreation/leisure services or tourism fields
  • submit a copy of the abstract submitted to the World Leisure Congress Program Committee
  • if the college or university does not have a major in recreation, leisure studies/services or tourism, the applicant shall obtain a letter from his or her major professor indicating the major area of study as such; and
  • if the college or university does not require course work, the applicant shall obtain, from his or her major professor, a letter indicating the applicant’s required learning/research activities and a performance evaluation of the applicant.
Application/Award Procedures

Students applying for the Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award shall:

  • Complete Part I of the Application Form and submit the Supplemental Documentation requested in Part II of the application.
  • Submit the Faculty Validation of Student Applicant form (see page 4) to a faculty member or advisor in the student’s college/university department and request that it be completed and emailed to the Program Manager of the Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Committee, along with a letter from the student’s major professor.

More information about the application can be found here: Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship

Email the Scholarship Application Form and all supporting documentation by April 1st, 2018 to:
Dr. Cari E. Autry, CTRS
Program Manager, Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Committee
Florida International University
11200 SW 8th Street ZEB 335B
Miami, Florida, USA 33199
Telephone: +1 (305) 348-3472

The Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award was established in 1970. The Scholarship is awarded biennially in conjunction with the World Leisure Congress. Funding for the scholarship is provided by World Leisure Organization, sponsorship, and individual contributions.

The Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship is intended to provide opportunities for senior or graduate students who are studying recreation, leisure studies, leisure services, leisure resources, or tourism studies in college or university programs to attend and present a scholarly paper at the biennial international World Leisure Congress.

Tom Rivers served as the first Director General of the International Recreation Association (IRA), later known as the World Leisure and Recreation Association (WLRA) from 1956 – 1974. He was known as a global ambassador for recreation and lifted what was perceived as a technical subject to a level of statesmanship. His wife, Ruth, was his constant companion and was known to have softened Rivers’ “hard-boiled shell.” For their family, life was experienced as “loving, community focused, and rich and rewarding.”

The Scholarship: Benefits

The Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award provides the scholarship recipient(s) the opportunity to attend and participate in an international congress. The recipient(s) are provided a world-wide forum for the presentation of a scholarly paper.

Each scholarship recipient is awarded a scholarship of USD1000 to cover the costs associated with attending the 2018 World Leisure Congress to be held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 28 August to 1 September 2018. The recipients will also receive free registration to the Congress.

The scholarship recipient(s) are expected to provide the funds to cover additional costs.


“My experience in attending the World Leisure Congress was unprecedented in terms of the quality of the research presentations I was able to attend, as well as to the numbers of inspirational scholars that I was privileged to get to meet from all around the world. I was also very fortunate to present my dissertation research, under the auspices as one of the recipients of this award, and received a great deal of supportive and critical feedback at a critical time in my own research. The highlight of my participation at the Congress, however, has to have been the afternoon that I got to spend exploring the highlights of Durban with three senior scholars, whose work I have been reading for years.” Meghan Muldoon, University of Waterloo. 2016 TRISS Scholarship Winner


2016 Thomas and Ruth Rivers International Scholarship Award Winners

Meghan Muldoon. University of Waterloo, Canada.

Rosangela Martins de Araujo. University of Sao Paulo, Brazil.

Sally Duan. The University of Hong Kong