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.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Death of Ed Kesgen Reported

I am still in shock and do not want to believe the post by Dan Ancone -- but I feel responsible to repost Dan's announcement. Here it is:

From Dan Ancone:
This message is for friends and colleagues that know Ed Kesgen. It breaks my heart to share this but Ed passed away last night at his home in Sylva, NC. He will be missed by anyone who ever had the priviledge of meeting him. He no doubt left a huge foot print in the lives of others. There will never be anyone like Ed. If there ever was a living legend, it was Ed. Ed was more focused on "process" than anyone I knew in our professsion. So Ed's death is not the final destination for him but only the beginning of a new process. Take my friend and I know you will continue to make a difference!

N-west Symposium April 20 & 21

From Debbie Pate, M.S., CTRS comes this announcement:

For anyone who would like to visit the beautiful Pacific Northwest in April, the Washington State Therapeutic Recreation Association is holding their 13th Annual Northwest TR Symposium: Better Together at Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA, April 20 - 21, 2012. For info check out http://www.wstra.org/conted.html

Monday, February 27, 2012

It Made Me Feel Good to Receive This Message!

It is not everyday that I receive a message like the one that appears below. I really appreciated receiving it -- so I wanted to share it on the RT Blog. The message came on my Facebook page from Christina Fern, who is an RT at Columbus Regional Hospital. It seems that both Christina and I have found a good home in RT.

Here is Christina's post:
"Dr. Austin, thank you for the comment. I don't know how many times I've told the story of the day that I met you, and about how after meeting with me for a short time about what I was searching for in a career and all my various interests, you told me that I had the potential to become a great Recreation Therapist. That conversation certainly stuck with me, and I've been working as a CTRS in mental health since graduating in 2006. Today, I couldn't imagine doing anything else with my life. So although it's long overdue, thank you so much for your guidance at IU and all you do for our profession. I will be forever grateful to you. :)"

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Buettner Research on Mentally Stimulating Activities

Thanks to someone who provided access to the article via the ATRAnet, I was able to retrieve and read Linda Buettner's and her colleagues research article showing the value of mentally stimulating activities for men with early-stage Alzheimer's.

The article titled "Cognitive Stimulation for Apathy in Probable Early-Stage Alzheimer's" appeared in the Journal of Aging Research, Volume 2011.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Resource on Depression and Multiple Sclerosis

I ran across a report by the Multiple Sclerosis Association of American titled "Understanding and Treating Depression in Multiple Sclerosis." Included are some positive suggestions for dealing with depression, most of which might be employed in RT programs. They are:
1. Exercise
2. Create a stress management program
3. Talk about your feelings
4. Commit to one activity each week
5. Journal your feelings
6. Develop a spiritual interest (e.g., time in nature, prayer, meditation)
7. Find you bliss (i.e., the thing in your life that makes you want to get up in the morning)
8. Help others (volunteering)
9. Reward yourself (i.e., do something that makes you feel good)
10. Adopt a pet (for nonconditional love)
11. Create a gratitude list
12. Maintain a sense of humor

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Enjoyed Indiana State Students

It was the Hoosier RT's (aka David Austin) pleasure to travel to Indiana State University today where I met with Professor Don Rogers' RT class. What a fine group of students Don has in his program. I really enjoyed talking with them about concepts from my book, Lessons Learned,and my Reformulated Health Protection/Health Promotion Model.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

ATRA Awards Nominations Being Accepted

From Elizabeth Hall Weybright, M.S., CTRS:
We are currently accepting nominations for 2012 ATRA Awards! The criteria for each award can also be found at: http://atra-online.com/displaycommon.cfm?an=1&subarticlenbr=47. Please note that nominations are due by Monday June 4th and can be emailed to: ehweybright+awards at gmail dot com. Please let me know if you have any questions or would like further information. Thanks!

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Job Opportunity in South Carolina

Life Enrichment Leader (RT) position in the Skilled Nursing Facility at Summit Hills Retirement Community. The LEL position requires creating monthly calendars, planning and implementing activities, and completing the MDS assessments. If interested please email or call Halina Riddle at hriddle@cascades-verdae.com. Look us up on the web at http://www.cascades-verdae.com/. Click on contact, then careers, and select Life Enrichment leader and fill out the application.

Cascades Verdae | Greenville South Carolina Independent Retirement Living

Monday, February 20, 2012

Webinar Reminder for NCTRC Program

From Jean Folketh:
This is a big webinar week! The webinar for students given by NCTRC will be this Wednesday at 7:00 EST! Remember the cost is only $25 per college or university but the big news is REPLAY for this webinar has been extended to 6 WEEKS! This means you can play this webinar anytime you wish (but only once) using replay! However, you MUST be signed up by this Wednesday! What a deal! Remember, no CEUs will be given for this webinar.

Questions? Contact me at jfolkerth@hotmail.com

Sunday, February 19, 2012

U.S. Vets Deserve & Benefit from Rec Programs

It seems to me that our combat veterans deserve the many special recreation programs provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs’, as well as nongovernmental organizations.

There are more than 8,700,000 U.S.Vietnam era veterans and 2.1 million U.S. veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan, many of whom have had difficult readjustments due to health related problems such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), according to the Institute of Medicine.

Research studies on the effects of participation of veterans in the National Veterans Wheelchair Games and Winter Sports Clinic (Sporner, et. al, 2009) and adaptive sports and recreation activities (Lundberg, Bennett, & Smith, 2011) have displayed positive outcomes resulting from such veterans’ special recreation programs.

I would like to see more research published on the value of RT in the lives of veterans. I am sure those in the VA and others are doing great things in clinical programs for our vieterans. This work should be documented and shared. What say you?

Saturday, February 18, 2012

Grad Assistantships Available at SIU

From Heewon Yang, Ph.D., CTRS:
I will appreciate if you can pass on to your qualified and interested TR students the following information on Graduate Assistantships at Southern Illinois University Carbondale.

The Department of Health Education and Recreation (HER) at Southern Illinois University Carbondale (SIUC) is actively seeking qualified Graduate Assistants in Therapeutic Recreation for the fall 2012 semester. The Recreation graduate program in HER offers a broad interdisciplinary program of studies preparing students for administrative careers in recreation. The program leads to the Master of Science in Education (MS. Ed) degree with a major in Recreation.

There are multiple Graduate Assistantships available throughout the department. Graduate Assistants are hired to assist faculty in teaching and research. The assistantship includes a stipend, tuition waiver, and health insurance. Applications for assistantship will be considered through March 9, 2012.

For more information regarding the Recreation Graduate Program application, please go to: http://web.coehs.siu.edu/public/her/recreationgraduateapp.php

For more information regarding the TR Graduate Assistantship please go to:

If you have any questions regarding the application process please contact either Dr. Heewon Yang (hyang@siu.edu, Recreation Graduate Coordinator).

Heewon Yang, Ph.D., CTRS
Associate Professor
Health Education and Recreation
Southern Illinois University Carbondale, IL 60901-4632

Oklahoma State has RT Grad Assistantships

School of Applied Health and Educational Psychology
180 Colvin Center Stillwater, Oklahoma 74078

Graduate Teaching Assistantship
Recreational Therapy Content Area
Oklahoma State University

Concentration Recreational Therapy

The Leisure Studies program at Oklahoma State University invites potential doctoral students with a specialty in Recreational Therapy with an active CTRS credential, to apply for admission for the fall 2012 semester. The program offers a Ph.D. in Health, Leisure and Human Performance with an option in Leisure Studies (concentration Recreational Therapy). The Undergraduate Program is pursuing accreditation by the Committee on Accreditation of Recreational Therapy Education (CARTE).

Graduate Teaching Assistantships are available for candidates interested in pursuing a Ph.D. who have a minimum of 2 years of clinical experience in the profession of Recreational Therapy. Selected individuals will be assigned theory courses to hone and develop their instructional abilities in the area of Recreational Therapy and other theory based course instruction. The positions require the willingness to work with students, professionals, and faculty in classroom, research, and clinical areas.

Graduate Teaching Assistants (GTAs) selected will receive training and guidance in classroom instruction, classroom management, as well as other aspects of higher education. Graduate Teaching Assistants will be fully engaged in the classroom and will be assigned one to two theory based courses per semester.

Graduate Teaching Assistants receive a waiver of out-of state tuition, plus full in-state tuition waivers for six (6) credits each fall and spring semester, three (3) credits during the summer semester, a monthly stipend, and a health insurance policy. One selected Graduate Teaching Assistant will receive an additional $5,000 dollar stipend for the initial academic year as “Supplemental Graduate Assistant Support”. At present Doctoral Graduate Teaching Assistants’ (GTA) may be employed during the summer months in addition to the regular academic year.

To apply, go to http://app.it.okstate.edu/gradcollege/ and apply online. Interested individuals are encouraged to contact Dr. Tim Passmore, Ed.D., CTRS/L at tim.passmore@okstate.edu for additional information.

We would be delighted to visit with any interested students; graduate assistantships are generally awarded the end of March, those receiving a Supplemental Graduate Assistantship will be notified by April 15, 2012 if they have been selected for this initial additional support.

Tim Passmore, Ed.D., CTRS/L Tel: 405-744-1811
School of Applied Health & Educational Psychology Fax: 405-744-6507
186 Colvin tim.passmore@okstate.edu
Oklahoma State University
Stillwater, OK 74078

M.S., CTRS Preferred

RT needed to work in adolescent mental health at Parsons Center, a residential facility in Albany, NY. M.S., CTRS preferred. Apply online at www.parsonscenter.org

Allyson Dedic, CTRS, passed along this opportunity:

Job Title: Activity Director
Location: Margate Health Care Center
Closing Date: Open until filled
Job Type: Full-time

Description: To plan, organize, implement, evaluate and direct activity programs in accordance with current federal, state and company guidelines governing the facility and as may be directed by the Administrator, to ensure that the emotional, recreational and social needs of the residents are met and maintained on an individual basis.
•HS diploma; able to read/write follow oral/written directions
•Completion of post secondary education
•CTRS or Activity Certification
•Relate positively/favorably to residents, families outside agencies and work cooperatively with other associates
•Maintain regularly scheduled hours which may include evenings, weekends and holidays
•Must meet all local health regulations and pass post-employment exam if required
•Must be able to perform essential job functions of this position with or without reasonable accommodation(s).
•Related experience at a level necessary to accomplish this position
Please fax all inquires Tony Farinella 954-970-7016

Director's and Assistant Director's Positions Open

Sharon Nichols, CTRS/L has announced:

I have openings for a Recreation Director and an Assistant Recreation Director at Genesis facilities In Andover, MA, Westford, MA, and Brookline, MA. We want CTRS especially for short stay patients and for residents with dementia.

Sharon Nichols, CTRS/L
Northeast Area
Therapeutic Recreation Specialist

RT Position at Montana State Hospital

Here is a job posting from Beth Eastman, CTRS, for a Recreation Therapist at the Montana State Hospital. Please share with interested parties.

Beth Eastman, CTRS
Rehabilitation Department Manager

Position Title: Recreation Therapist *Applications must be received by Midnight
on the closing date.
Listing Number:6934-1220
For more information contact:
State Agency:
Public Health and Human Services
P.O. Box 300
Warm Springs, MT 59756
- OR -
Local Montana Job Service Workforce

ID Number(s): 69132742
Openings: 1
Location: Warm Springs
Job Status: Full-Time Permanent
Shift: Daytime
Date Posted: 2/1/2012
Closing Date:
Department: Public Health and Human Services
Division: AMDD
Bureau: Montana State Hospital
Union: MEA/MFT
Bargaining Unit: 024
Band/Grade: 5
State Application Required: Yes
Salary: $14.69 - $15.54
Salary Unit: Hourly

New Deadline for ATRA Research Institute Proposals

Jo Ann Coco-Ripp, PhD, LRT/CTRS recently announced the call for proposals for the 2012 ATRA Research Institute has been extended with the deadline now March 13.


A book of abstracts will be published for all accepted work

Researchers, students, and practitioners can all connect to impact the profession through sharing results and learning how to utilize results in everyday practice
Even though quite a few very promising submissions have been received, you are encouraged to share your work with others and take advantage of the extended deadline to send in a proposal.

Jo Ann Coco-Ripp, PhD, LRT/CTRS
Assistant professor
Therapeutic Recreation Program Coordinator
Winston Salem State University
Office: 336-750-3459

Position in Oregon

Activities & Social Service Coordinator
Accepting applications until filled
Anticipated start date: March 1, 2012

Friendsview Retirement Community is looking for an exceptional individual with a passion for working with older adults and a commitment to excellence in person-centered services that uphold the dignity, choice and independence of each resident. The community offers a full continuum of senior living, with 31 residential care (Assisted Living) apartments, a 29-bed health care center, and a 14-unit memory care neighborhood. Friendsview has a reputation for providing the highest standards of care and service and has been awarded 3 deficiency-free surveys over the past 4 years.

This full-time position plays a key role in our Health Care Team. Responsibilities include working with care services staff, families, volunteers and other community resources to provide meaningful, therapeutic programs for health service residents. Provide support and offer resources to residents and family members regarding psycho-social needs, and financial or other issues related to long-term care. Also iIncludes supervisory responsibilities for bachelors’ level student interns and volunteers.

Typical hours are weekdays but must have the ability to work flexible hours to participate in activities on evenings weekends and holidays. Starting hourly pay is $17.41. This is a full-time, 40 hours/week with medical/dental/vision benefits after 90 days of successful employment. All employees must pass a drug screen and criminal background check. We are a drug/alcohol-free, tobacco free campus
Prefer a bachelor or master degree in one of the therapeutic arts, recreation therapy or occupational therapy or OT assistant; or in social services/social work and completion of a 36 hour activities workshop which meets the requirements set down in the Oregon Administrative Rules. Experience in Long-Term Care setting preferred.

Requires excellent organizational skills, strong communication and leadership abilities, and the ability to serve as an effective team member. Must possess strong interpersonal skills needed to provide social services to residents to support staff and volunteers. Must be able to uphold the shared values of our faith based community.

Must have excellent organizational and communication skills in English and basic computer skills with the ability to learn software programs related to health care documentation.

Please visit our website at www.friendsview.org to learn more about Friendsview Retirement Community.

Resumes along with a letter of introduction explaining why you are interested in this position and your personal and professional qualifications, may be sent to : caguilar@friendsview.org

Friday, February 10, 2012

RT Faculty Openings -- But Where are Applicants?

I replied to an ATRAnet listserv message from Professor Chuck Killingworth in which Chuck asked how many RT faculty positions are being advertised. This is what Chuck replied to me:

"Hi, Dave! Thanks for responding. This raises, again, the question:
what is going to happen to RT/TR education? There are at least 7 universities in the process of seeking to hire someone in our area with a CTRS credential. I wonder how many eligible, potential applicants are there and what the pool is for this area?"

Chuck is absolutely right in asking the profession about what is going on in terms of the preparation of Ph.D.s to assume faculty positions in RT. The lack of an adequate number of well prepared Ph.D.s should be a grave concern for the entire profession.

Wednesday, February 08, 2012

Position in Idaho

Journeys Developmental Disability Agency is looking for a CTRS in the area to fill a job opportunity. Journeys, located in Rexburg and Rigby, Idaho, serves developmentally disabled adults and children. We provide Developmental Therapy individually and as groups, as well as Adult Day Care and other services for children.

Position Available: CTRS and Developmental Specialist

Job Description: Plan and implement group activities for Developmental Therapy as well as activities and events for Adult Day Care, involving groups ranging from 3 to 50+. Complete evaluations of participants and the renewal process for specific individualized plans, including strengths/needs assessments, objective writing, objective implementing, progress evaluations, etc.

Job Training: Training will be provided in regards to specific Developmental Specialist duties and paperwork. With group activities we strongly encourage creativity and variety but no specific training will be included with them other than a knowledge of former activities and events.

If interested, please call Andy Crossman at 208-709-0537 or email him at royaljourneys@msn.com

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

Deadline for Annual Protocol Submissions Extended

Jennifer A. Piatt, CTRS, Ph.D. has announced the deadline has been extended for submission of a protocol to the Annual in Therapetic Recreation to March 19, 2012.

Evidence-based practice is an important concept in recreational therapy. The development of evidence-based intervention protocol has been promoted as a means of integrating research evidence with clinical judgment to provide effective, outcome-based practice in recreational therapy in order to improve the knowledge base in the field (Buettner & Fitzsimmons, 2006). The Annual in Therapeutic Recreation is soliciting practitioner and student manuscripts on intervention protocols for recreational therapy practice.

Submit Practice Protocols electronically by March 19, 2012 to:

Professor Nancy E. Richeson, Ph.D., CTRS
University of Southern Maine
96 Falmouth Street
P.O. Box 9300
Portland, Maine 04104-9300
207-780-4646 (phone)
207-780-5654 (fax)

or if you have questions please contact:

Jennifer A. Piatt, CTRS, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Indiana University
School of HPER
Department of RPTS
HPER Building 133
1025 E. 7th Street
Bloomington, IN 47405-7109
(812) 855-7819

Sunday, February 05, 2012

Let’s Recognize Ira Hutchinson

During February, we are celebrating both RT Month and Black History Month. It seems to me this is a very appropriate time to recognize Ira Hutchinson, one of the true pioneers in recreational therapy.

I hope university faculty will mark the occasion of RT Month and Black History Month by exposing students to the contributions Ira made to advance our profession.

There are a couple of resources I can recommend. One is a tribute to Ira written by David Park that appeared in the book Conceptual Foundations for Therapeutic Recreation (Austin, Dattilo, & McCormick, 2002, Venture Publishing, pp. 335-336.

The other resource is the video “Ira Hutchinson: African-American Pioneer in Therapeutic Recreation.” This video tribute appeared in the Recreation Therapy Video titled “Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation,” which is available as a free online service from the Indiana University Library. To access the video, type Recreation Therapy Videos into the search box or use the address: https://scholarworks.iu.edu/dspace/handle/2022/3378

Once you reach the list of 23 Recreation Therapy Videos, click on the title “Portraits of Pioneers in Therapeutic Recreation,” which will open up information on the video. Click on the information following the term location and the video will come up. The segment on Ira begins at 10:23 and ends at 17:40.

Saturday, February 04, 2012

Universities Graduate Assistantships?

So far, I have seen announcements from Indiana University and the University of New Hampshire that they have graduate assistantships available for 2012-13. Other universities that have assistantships, please send your announcements to me so I can post them on the RT Blog.

Friday, February 03, 2012

RT Month AND Chocolate Month!

This is not only National RT Month -- it is also National Chocolate Month -- two of my favorite things!

Assistantships at New Hampshire

From Professor Allison Wilder, Ph.D., CTRS:

Graduate Assistantships
Department of Recreation Management and Policy
University of New Hampshire

The Department of Recreation Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire is pleased to announce Graduate Assistantship openings focused on recreation therapy for the fall 2012 semester. Students with an interest in efficacy-based research, health promotion, community-based RT, and/or aging are especially encouraged to apply.

There are two types of Graduate Assistantships offered through the department:

Teaching Assistantship: Teaching Assistants are hired to assist faculty in teaching undergraduate courses. Responsibilities may include presentation of selected lectures, group discussion leadership, class organization and management tasks and identification and organization of class resources. Teaching assistants are mentored by the faculty and receive constructive evaluative feedback concerning their pedagogy skills.

Research Assistantship. Research Assistants are hired to assist faculty in research projects related to the faculty member’s area of expertise and research agenda. Assistants have an opportunity to develop research skills in literature review, data collection and data analysis.

A full graduate assistantship includes tuition waiver and a graduate stipend. Stipend amount is determined each year. Students are generally required to work 20 hours per week throughout the academic year.

For more information regarding the Graduate Program please go to http://www.chhs.unh.edu/rmp/programs_grad_rmp.html.

If you have any questions regarding the specific concentration areas, please contact either Dr. Boyd Hegarty (boyd.hegarty@unh.edu) or Dr. Allison Wilder (allison.wilder@unh.edu)

Thursday, February 02, 2012

ATRA Newsletter Deadline

From Jean Folkerth, Re.D., CTRS, ATRA Newsletter Editor:

The deadline for the Spring ATRA Newsletter is February 15. Please send to jfolkerth@hotmail.com

The Newsletter is what you make it so we welcome all announcements, articles, news, etc. Let us hear from you.

1,700 Posts on RT Blog

There have been 1,700 posts on the RT Blog since it began in April of 2006. You can read them all as each is archieved on the RT Blog page.

Wednesday, February 01, 2012

Hope Everyone is Celebrating RT Month

I sure hope every university with a RT curriculum is celebrating RT Month -- and, of course, that all agencies with RT programs are celebrating as well! We have a wonderful profession that we should show pride in.

ATRA Webinars Available

From Jean Folkerth, Re.D., CTRS, ATRA Academy Coordinator:

We continue with our Evidence Based Practice webinars with:
Health Benefits of Aquatic Therapy: Why Water Works by Dr. Ellen Broach on February 1 and
Community-Integration: What the Research Evidence Tells Us to Improve Our Practice by Dr. Norma Stumbo on February 15.

We also offer the last 2 sessions in our Behavioral Health I webinars:
Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia by Mary Maina on February 8 and
Integration of Cognitive Therapy Techniques with RT by Glenn Kastrinos on February 22

We begin our new Management Series in February with
Moving from TR Practitioner to Supervisor by Dr. Mary Ann Keogh Hoss on February 17 and
Budgeting Basics by Rebecca Stackhouse on February 24

We also want to remind schools and universities that our Certification 101 session is offered on February 22. Remember this is a special session for schools and universities. It is only $25 and if the timing is not good for your students, you must sign up for it and then you can use it over the next 2 weeks as replay whenever is convenient for you. This is presented by NCTRC. There are no CEUs offered for this webinar.

Remember you can sign up for these webinars and others at the ATRA website. If I can assist you in anyway, please feel free to contact me at jfolkerth@hotmail.com. I look forward to meeting you on the webinars!