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FSU Faculty Member Dr. Robert Kauffman Honored With USM Award for Public Service

FSU Faculty Member Dr. Robert Kauffman Honored With USM Award for Public Service

Dr. Robert Kauffman, a professor in the Frostburg State University Department of Recreation and Parks Management, has been awarded the Regents’ Faculty Award for Public Service, the highest honor that the University System of Maryland Board of Regents bestows to recognize exemplary faculty achievement. He will be honored at the April meeting of the board.

Kauffman’s honor marks the sixth time since 2007 that an FSU faculty member has been honored by the regents.

Recently and for the past 25 years, Kauffman has made a significant public service contribution in recreational boating safety that has saved lives on the nation’s waterways. His major contribution has been in the development of educational materials that are being used across the nation as well as within Maryland.

“While Dr. Kauffman continues to produce an outstanding record in professional development and teaching, it is the dedication and passion to his outreach and service in the area of water safety that sets him apart as a national expert in this field,” said FSU President Jonathan Gibralter. “His participation, influence and contributions in all of his activities have elevated the stature of Frostburg State University in the state, region and nation.”

Kauffman was the primary author of the textbook, “Integrated Risk Management for Leisure Services,” which addresses the topics of negligence, the accident process, risk management plans and the post-incident actions. Published by Human Kinetics in March 2013, the textbook brings full-circle Kauffman’s safety involvement by bringing real-life case studies from the field back to the classroom. In addition, the book services the recreation and parks profession by creating new knowledge and infusing new content into the profession. In 2008, Kauffman wrote two chapters in “Outdoor Adventures: Canoeing,” and two chapters in “Outdoor Adventures: Kayaking.” He also wrote a 126-page boating safety manual in 1995 titled “Boating Fundamentals: A Manual of Boating Safety.”

Kauffman has produced award-winning videos and boating safety materials, including “Cold, Wet and Alive,” the most widely used boating safety video among boating law educators in the United States; “Decide to Return”; and “Almost a Perfect Day,” which is being used in state boating education programs in all 50 states.

He has produced safety wallcharts, including Defensive Boating: Rules of the Road for Paddlers, Coastal Kayaking and River Kayaking, which are designed to reach paddlers at their point of contact with important safety information.

In 2005, Kauffman received the Citation Award from the Maryland Recreation and Parks Association for lifetime achievement, the organization’s highest honor. He received a Telly Award (2009) and three Golden Eagle Awards (2012, 1994 and 1989) from the Council for International Non-theatrical Events for his work on the production of boating safety videos.

In 2010, he received the Outstanding Faculty Award for Professional Achievement from FSU. He received the same award for service in 1999.

Kauffman has presented at 11 national or international conferences over the last five years, including the International Boating and Water Safety Summit, the Association of Experiential Educators and the SPRE Teaching Institute. Nine of these presentations were boating safety related. He has served on 13 expert witness cases in the boating safety area. Kauffman has received over 20 grants for a total of over $1,100,000 from the U.S. Coast Guard to the American Canoe Association, National Safe Boating Council and the National Recreation and Parks Association for boating safety projects.

Kauffman developed an off-campus four-year program using the Recreation, Parks and Leisure Studies program at Community College of Baltimore County – Catonsville in 2000, developed a collaborative hospitality management program with Allegany College of Maryland in 1999 and developed, wrote the proposal and implemented a master’s program in Park and Recreation Resource Management in 1995, which is now called Recreation and Parks Management.

He has also written a series of articles for the Cumberland Times-News supporting the repurposing of the Potomac River access in Cumberland, Md. “This initiative would allow for better recreational use of the Potomac’s resources for the purpose of appropriate community development following several nationally recognized exemplars,” noted Dr. Clarence Golden, dean of the College of Education at FSU. “This is in keeping with Dr. Kauffman’s long tradition of writing water-related books and monographs dealing with water safety and recreation from the standpoint of a scholar as well as a recreational practitioner.”

Kauffman and his wife, Sally, reside in Frostburg.

Situated in the mountains of Allegany County, Frostburg State University is one of the 12 institutions of the University System of Maryland. FSU is a comprehensive, residential regional university and serves as an educational and cultural center for Western Maryland. For more information, visit or Follow FSU on Twitter @frostburgstate.


For further information on this release, contact:

Office of News and Media Services
Frostburg State University
101 Braddock Road
Frostburg, MD  21532-2303

Telephone: 301-687-3171
Fax: 301-687-7589