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Rebecca Hnilica, MSSW

Brief Bio

Interested in educational systems and leadership, Becky Hnilica intends to conduct research and provide interventions aimed at improving student experiences and outcomes. A primary aim is to get local public schools to increase the time students spend learning outdoors. She holds a Tennessee license in school social work and enjoys working with youth and young adult student populations. When not in school, Becky spends time adventuring with her three sons.


  • BA, Christian Brothers University, 1996
  • MSSW, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2018
  • PhD, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, 2021

Research Interests

  • Improving the K-12 public school experience
  • Outdoor learning experiences and outdoor classrooms
  • Nature as medicine
  • The influence of outdoor exposure on epigenetics and neural function
Rebecca Hnilica
Rebecca Hnilica