Dr. Austin’s research has focused upon the social psychology of recreational therapy and professional preparation. Topics of over 140 publications have included attitudes toward serving persons with disabilities, burnout, and recreational therapy curricula.
He is the author or coauthor of five widely used textbooks:
- Therapeutic Recreation Processes and Techniques: Evidence-Based Recreational Therapy (7th edition)
- Inclusive and Special Recreation: Opportunities for Diverse Populations to Flourish (6th edition)
- Therapeutic Recreation: An Introduction (4th edition)
- Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation
- Lessons Learned: An Open Letter to Recreational Therapy Students and Practitioners
Dr. Austin produced 23 instructional videos through the federally funded Recreation Therapy Video (RTV) Project, and he is author of the Health Protection/Health Promotion Model of Practice. Dr. Austin has served on editorial boards for the Journal of Leisure Research, Schole, Annual in Therapeutic Recreation, and Leisure Today.
He is a past president of ATRA, the Society of Park and Recreation Educators, and the Academy of Leisure Sciences, as well as a past member of the NRPA Board of Trustees. Dr. Austin is a fellow in the Academy of Leisure Sciences and a founding fellow of the National Academy of Recreational Therapists.
He is the only individual to have received the NTRS Distinguished Service Award, the ATRA Distinguished Fellow Award, and the SPRE Distinguished Fellow Award. He has been awarded Indiana University‘s highest teaching award, the Frederic Bachman Lieber Memorial Award for Distinguished Teaching.
He has been named to the Union College Hall of Fame and was presented the Brightbill Award by the University of Illinois. In 1998, Dr. Austin received the NRPA Literary Award.
Dr. Austin participates in Ask the Author, a Sagamore initiative that enables professors who adopt titles to communicate with the author and really understand what the book is about and how any ancillaries are intended to be used.