Karla A. Henderson is a professor in the Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management at North Carolina State University.
She teaches primarily graduate courses in the area of recreation and leisure theory and qualitative research methods. She has been on the faculty at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Texas Woman's University.
She completed her PhD at the University of Minnesota. Henderson has given numerous presentations throughout North America, Europe, Asia, and Australia.
She publishes regularly in a variety of journals such Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure Sciences, Research Quarterly for Exercise and Sport, Women and Health, American Journal of Public Health, and Journal of Physical Activity and Aging and has written over 150 juried articles and 200 other scholarly pieces.
She has authored or coauthored several books including Both Gains and Gaps (with Bialeschki, Shaw, and Freysinger), Dimensions of Choice, Volunteers in Leisure (with Tedrick), Introduction to Leisure Services (with Sessoms), and Evaluation of Leisure Services (with Bialeschki). She was coeditor of Leisure Sciences from 2003-2009.
Henderson has contributed to the profession in a number of ways by serving as president of SPRE, president of the AAHPERD Research Consortium, president of the Academy of Leisure Sciences, and on numerous state, national, and international boards and committees.
She has been the recipient of the J.B. Nash Scholar Award, the Julian Smith Award, the NCRPS Special Citation, the ACA Honor Award, the SPRE Distinguished Colleague Award, the North Carolina Recreation and Park Society Honor Award, the SPRE Excellence in Teaching Award, and the NRPA Roosevelt Excellence in Research Award.
When not working, Henderson enjoys hiking in the Rocky Mountains, running and playing her trumpet in North Carolina, and reading and writing wherever she goes.