Dr. Kelli McMahan serves as the Faculty in Residence for Penland Hall which carries a Fitness and Wellness theme, as well as house the Outdoor Adventure Living-Learning Center. Dr. McMahan is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Recreation and Leisure Services program within the Department of Health, Human Performance, and Recreation (HHPR). Dr. McMahan began her career at Baylor in 2001 in Campus Recreation where she directed the Outdoor Adventure Program and developed the Outdoor Adventure Line Camp, the Outdoor Adventure Living-Learning Center, and the Great Brazos Relay race event.
In 2010, Dr. McMahan transitioned to faculty in HHPR. She teaches courses in the Recreation and Leisure Services program with specific emphasis on outdoor education and outdoor leadership courses. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she works to develop co-curricular field experiences and coordinate accreditation efforts with the Wilderness Education Association. Dr. McMahan holds a Ph.D. in Recreation, Park and Tourism Sciences from Texas A&M, Masters of Sciences in Health, Recreation and Physical Education from Oklahoma State University, and a Bachelor’s of Science in Education from Baylor University. Most recently, her research has studied the stress and impact to individuals that results from wilderness accidents and the ensuing cognitive, social and recreational response to those accidents. Dr. McMahan holds many technical outdoor certifications. She is also credentialed as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist by the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation.
Of this FIR appointment, Dr. McMahan says, “It will be an honor to be a part of students’ first year residential experience that holds its own significance in the whole of the Baylor experience. I am anxious to join conversations and experiences that inform the spiritual, social, intellectual, and recreational aspects of students' lives. In many ways, I see this opportunity as a blending of my commitment to and enthusiasm for outstanding student life programming and a strong commitment to academics that is found at Baylor." "It is hard to imagine someone who is a better fit for a new community focused on health, wellness, and the outdoors than Dr. McMahan," stated Dr. Jeff Doyle, Dean for Student Learning & Engagement. “Her passion for experiential learning is evident in her teaching and experience in Student Life."