Recreation, Sport and Tourism

Laura L. Payne, Ph.D., Professor, Director of Graduate Studies ▼

Laura L. Payne, Ph.D.


Office phone:

(217) 333-4410

Office fax:

(217) 244-1935

Download Curriculum Vitae


Ph.D., Leisure Studies with a minor in Gerontology, Pennsylvania State University, 1998

Research and Professional Interests

As an Extension Specialist, Dr. Payne's overall goal is to improve peoples' health and well-being through research, education and outreach programs that result in the delivery of quality and sustainable recreation, parks and wellness programs/services. Her research examines the effects of leisure behavior on aspects of health and well-being among older adults. More specifically, she examines the relationship between leisure style and health of older adults with chronic conditions and the role of local parks and recreation agencies in health promotion and health behavior change. She has directed several statewide outreach and research programs such as the Illinois Rural Recreation Development Project, Illinois Senior Wellness Initiative, Take Charge of Your Health: Live Well be Well, and the Illinois Health Care Reform Initiative. Her work has been supported by the State of Illinois Division of Human Services, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the National Recreation Foundation, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.


Specializations/Research Interests:

  • Community parks and recreation management and planning
  • Evidence-based practice and programs
  • Health and leisure across the lifespan
  • Healthy aging