RT Blog

Location: Indiana, United States

I became a Professor Emeritus after serving 29 years as a recreational therapy faculty member at Indiana University. I'm a long-time Hoosier, having grown up in Hanover, Indiana. My RT practitioner work was in psych/mental health. After completing my Ph.D. at the University of Illinois, my first faculty position was at the University of North Texas. RT has been a wonderful profession for me as I have had the opportunity to serve as an author and national leader.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Immediae RT Opening in Cincy

There is an immediate opening for a CTRS with subacute and LTC experience. The position is with Brookwood Retirement Community. Brookwood is a part of The Health Care Management Group, 1200 Reed Hartman Hwy, Cincinnati, Ohio 45241. The phone and email address listed on The Health Care Management Group web site (www.HCMG.com) are (513) 605-2700 and info@hcmg.com

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Position Opening at Canada's Douglas College

Douglas College faculty member Lee Chamberland, M.S., CTRS, just sent out an announcement on an opening for a TR faculty member. Douglas College is located in New Westminister, British Columbia, Canada. The Department is seeking someone with a doctorate. The person selected will begin teaching in the new Bachelor degree program in TR on September 1, 2007. The closing date is December 1, 2006.

The position announcement states that interested candidates apply quoting Competition #2006-064F to personnel@douglas.bc.ca

The web site for the Human Relations office of Douglas College is http://www.douglas.bc.ca/employees/employee-relations.html

Lee Chamberland will gladly answer questions or supply additional information at (604) 777-6235 or chamberlandl@douglas.bc.ca

Another Hoosier Recognized with National Award

A few days ago there was a post on Diane Baumann receiving ATRA's Outstanding Professional Award. Well, another Hoosier was recognized at the ATRA Conference. Heather Sedletzeck received the Frank Brasile Clinician of the Year Award. Heather, like Diane, is an IU graduate. All us Hoosiers are very proud of her. Nice going, Heather!

RTI Conference Rooms by October 4th

Heather Sedletzeck, President of the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI), just sent out a reminder regarding the 2006 RTI Annual Conference to be held November 9 and 10 at the University Inn in West Lafayette. To receive the discount rate of $75.00 for a single or $85.00 for a double, reservations must be made by October 4th.

The phone number listed on the web site for the University Inn in West Lafayette is (765) 463-5511. Call soon and tell them you want the RTI Conference rate to save some money.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Recruit Psychology Majors into M.S. Programs

I just read an article that indicated psychology was the second most popular college major -- second only to business. It has been my experience that RT master's students coming from undergraduate degrees in psychology have been some of the best students. Being excellent RT grad students is probably due to (1) having to be bright or they wouldn't have gotten into their psych major and (2) the psych background provides a great foundation for RT.

Which leads me to the question: Why not recruit psychology departments for graduate students in RT? There are many more psych students than places for them in psychology graduate programs -- so there will be a lot of bright psych majors looking for alternatives for graduate study. Why not RT?

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Diane Baumann ATRA's Outstanding Professional

At the recent ATRA Annual Conference in Orlando, Diane Baumann, M.S., CTRS, received the Outstanding Professional Award. Diane is a Hoosier, from New Albany. Most in Indiana know of her from her extensive leadership within the Recreation Therapists of Indiana (RTI) but she is known nationally for her dedicated service within ATRA. While Diane has taken any number of roles within ATRA, perhaps her most significant have been serving as ATRA Treasurer and leading ATRA's Public Policy Program.

Diane has two degrees from Indiana University and is a member of the IU Clinical Faculty. I know the RT faculty at IU are proud to have her as an alum. Congrats Diane!!

Health Professions Press

Today in the mail I received a brochure titled "Activities for Older Adults" from Health Professions Press. I can't recall previously seeing their publications but the brochure featured several titles that may be of interest to RTs working with older clients. Included were titles such as Movement with Meaning: A Multisensory Program for Individuals with Early-Stage Alzheimer's Disease, The Positive Interactions Program of Activities for People with Alzheimer's Disease, and Therapeutic Thematic Arts Programming for Older Adults.

As far as I could tell, none of the books had been authored by a recreation therapist -- mostly social workers and art therapists. Nevertheless, Health Professions Press may be a good resource for some RTs and, perhaps, a publisher for RT authors to consider. The publisher has a web site. If you want to check further go to www.healthpropress.com

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

Congratulations Pam Wilson!

Pam Wilson, from North Carolina, received ATRA's highest award, the Distinguished Fellow Award, at the ATRA Annual Conference recently held in Orlando. It was my pleasure to serve on the ATRA Board of Directors with Pam in the 1990s. I can say that I have never known a more dedicated officer and board member than Pam. Her work as ATRA Treasurer and President was exemplary. Congratulations to Pam Wilson on this occasion! She is most deserving of this high honor.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Interesting Article on Clinical Doctorates

An interesting article recently appeared in the Chronicle of Higher Education titled "A Look at Clinical Doctorates." The article discusses clinical doctorates in such fields as audiology, OT, and PT. It suggests the clinical doctorate programs may produce revenue streams for universities but may do little more.

It would seem to me that the clinical doctorate programs in OT and PT could provide RT with an opening. If RT can produce really well prepared M.S. graduates, they may be preferred by employers over clinical doctorates in OT or PT due to being less costly. Also, maintaining the Ph.D. credential for university faculty in RT (and not watering down the quality of scholarship by having those trained as clinical doctorates hired as university faculty as may happen in OT and PT) could result in the strongest university academic programs being in RT.

If you wish to read the Chronicle article the address is http://chronicle.com/free/v52/i46/46b01201.htm

Friday, September 15, 2006

CDC 2006 Disability and Health State Chartbook

The 2006 Disability and Health State Chartbook has been published by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The book is available online and contains a wealth of information. For example, the book covers both national and state-by-state information on the numbers of persons with disabilities. Also listed in the book are resources. Among those listed are the National Center on Physical Activity and Disability and the National Center on Accessibility.

This CDC publication is certainly worth a look. The address is http://www.cdc.gov.ncbddd/dh/

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Research on Rec Participation of Children with Physical Disabilities

The latest issue of the journal Children's Health Care (Summer 2006, Vol. 35, No. 3, pp. 209 - 234) contains a research article titled, "Predictors of Leisure and Recreation Participation of Children with Physical Disabilities." The article is authored by a group from Canada.

The findings should prove informative to RTs working with children with physical disabilities. The authors concluded: "Service providers can play an important role in helping children and families to recognize the multiple factors influencing (recreation and leisure) participation. Service providers may find it beneficial to formally assess children's functional abilities and activity preferences, family engagement in social and recreational activities, and family activity preferences and to discuss these aspects with families, because these are the major factors influencing participation" (p. 229).

It is good to see research related to recreation being conducted by those from outside of our field. To me, this reflects that others are beginning to understand the importance of recreation and leisure.

Monday, September 11, 2006

APA Dictionary of Psychology is out

The American Psychological Association (APA) recently published the APA Dictionary of Psychology. This reference book defines 25,000 words and phrases. The Dictionary should prove to be a valuable resource for graduate students, academics and practitioners. It is available through APA for $49.95 ($39.95 for APA members). The ISBN is 1-59147-380-2.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Site for Your List of Favorites

I just read an email message from Ed Kesgen. It was great to hear from him. Many RTs know that Ed recently retired from the faculty at Western Carolina University (where he was replaced by Peg Connolly).

If you don't know about Ed, you should. He is truly one of the most talented individuals within the world of RT. Among his many skills are presenting keynote addresses, conducting workshops, leading outdoor therapy sessions, and teaching T'ai Chi Ch'uan.

It has been my pleasure to attend conference sessions and workshops provided by Ed. I have never been disappointed. He is one of the best leaders at working with groups that it has been my pleasure to experience. With his caring approach he is quick to win over any audience.

Ed has a web site that you will want to check out -- and I think after looking it over you will want to add it to your list of favorites. The address is www.kesgen.com

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

First Online TR Course Offered by Indiana University

Yesterday's post regarding UWM's online courses brought to my mind the online course I developed during a sabbatical I had at Indiana University (IU) in the late 1990s. I decided that as a part of my sabbatical leave I would develop an online TR course. My purpose was twofold. First, I wanted to put a course up on the web that we might use as a graduate prerequisite and that others might take to achieve NCTRC certification. Second, I served as the DE Coordinator for the School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation at IU at the time and I wanted to learn first-hand what was involved in putting together an online course so that I might be more helpful to other faculty developing online offerings. I was successful in developing R378, Techniques in Therapeutic Recreation, as a web-based course.

This course, instructed during the Spring Semester in 1999, has been documented to be the first online TR course. It has been mentioned by Tom Gushiken in his chapter titled "Technology Issues in Therapeutic Recreation Education," which appeared in the book Professional Issues in Therapeutic Recreation published by Sagamore Publishing in 2001.

Bryan McCormick and I co-taught R378 as an online course to three distance learners. If I recall correctly, one was in New Mexico, another in Utah, and the third out East, perhaps in New York. Our experience with these students was very positive.

Yet, as someone who has developed and taught an online course, I can tell you that both course development and instruction are very time consuming. We, at IU, have not since found the time to again teach the online version R378. It is wonderful that our colleagues at UWM and Pittsburg State University are willing to go to the effort to provide online courses for those in our profession.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

UWM Offers Online Courses

Patty Thomas, Clinical Assistant Professor in the Therapeutic Recreation Program in the College of Health Science at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (UWM), just sent me information on what appears to be an exciting new distance education opportunity. Ultimately, a certificate in therapeutic recreation will be available. The certificate will involve taking five online TR courses. Three online courses are now available. These are: TR 308, TR in Physical Rehabilitation and Behavioral Health (4 cr); TR 310, Facilitation Techniques in TR (4 cr); and TR 400, TR Trends (3 cr).

For additional information those interested should contact Patty Thomas at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Her phone number is (414) 229-2507. Her email address is pthomas@uwm.edu

It is good for our profession that more and more distance learning opportunities are becoming available. Chuck Killingsworth of Pittsburg State University earlier sent information on a new online course, HPER 470, Assessment and Documentation in TR. See the RT Blog post of August 2, 2006, for information.

Indiana University is in the 22nd year of its graduate program via distance learning. More than 60 individuals have completed their entire master's degrees through IU's program. For information go to IU's TR web pages and look for Distance Learning under the heading of Prospective Students. The address for IU's web pages is http://www.indiana.edu/~iutr/
The Coordinator of TR at IU is Professor Bryan McCormick who may be reached at bmccormi@indiana.edu

ATRA Election Results

I just learned the results of the ATRA election. Elected Members at Large were Mary Ann Aquadro, Charles Bond, and Judi Voelkl. Missy Armstrong was elected as secretary. And elected as the president-elect was Marcia Smith of the National Instututes of Health. The ATRA slate was the strongest I can ever recall so I am sure ATRA is assured of having excellent leadership for the coming year.

Bryan McCormick, Indiana University, completes his year as ATRA president at the Annual Conference in Orlando this month. Sandy Negley, University of Utah, is the incoming president of ATRA.

Monday, September 04, 2006

ATRA Presidents Tend to be Practitioners

Over the last 22 years, the vast majority of the presidents of ATRA have been practitioners at the time they served. In fact, 16 ATRA presidents have been practitioners while only 6 have been educators. The current ATRA president, Bryan McCormick, is a professor at Indiana University but the 8 presidents directly preceeding McCormick were practitioners.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Resources Interpret Recreational Therapy

Students are often searching for information in order to learn more about the nature of recreational therapy. Two web sites offer help to those wishing to learn more about RT.

Perhaps the best source is "The Recreational Therapy Professional," that appeared as the July, 2004, Allied Health Profession of the Month. The address for the article is http://www.healthpronet.org/ahp_month/07_04.html

The second web site the US Department of Labor's Occupational Outlook Handbook on "Recreational Therapy." The address is http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos082.htm

Saturday, September 02, 2006

Congratulations Judi!

I recently learned that Professor Judi Voelkl of Clemson University has won election to the ATRA Board of Directors. Having know her for more than 20 years, I can assure ATRA members that they have made a wise choice in selecting Judi. I'll pass on the names of others voted onto the ATRA Board when I learn of the complete results.