The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is a division of the Faculty of Health
Contact Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Support Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Map and directions
Congratulations to all of our Recreation and Leisure Studies Distinguished Alumni Award recipients for their significant contributions to their professions and their communities.
Note: Citations below are from date of presentation and may not reflect current employment/affiliations.
DeAnn is currently transitioning to a new position as a clinical practice consultant, Allied Health with Fraser Health’s Professional Practice and Integration. She has a passion for therapeutic recreation (TR) and was instrumental in the development of the Fraser Health TR Professional Practice Council. DeAnn is actively involved in both her provincial and national TR Associations, and is a member of the Douglas College Therapeutic Recreation Advisory Committee. A self-described life-long learner, DeAnn is currently enrolled in the MA in Leadership with Specialization in Health program at Royal Roads University. She lives in Surrey, BC with her husband and two children.
Shane first worked with emotionally challenged children, then established Adventure Guide Inc. with Peter McGovern. Shane became sole proprietor soon after, and the store was awarded “Retailer Of The Year” for Waterloo Region in 2000, recognizing years of quality service to customers and the community. In 2002, Shane sold the store to pursue new interests closer to the home that he has built next to Algonquin Park. He lives with his wife of 30 years, fellow Recreation graduate, Lynda, and they have three grown children. Recently he has worked as a Business Consultant, written business articles, served as municipal councilor and volunteered for a variety of organizations
Chris is acting executive director with the Active Living Alliance for Canadians with a Disability. He also manages the Canadian Paralympic Committee’s Changing Minds, Changing Lives program in Ontario. As a competitive triathlete, Chris has competed in 4 World Triathlon Championships, winning a gold, 2 silver and a bronze medal. He has also competed in 3 World Disabled Water Ski Championships. Between these 2 sports he has competed in more than 100 events. With a passion for sport development for persons with a disability, he is the Chairperson of Water Ski and Wakeboard Canada’s Adaptive Water Sports Committee and sits on the Disabled Commission of the International Water Ski Federation.
Darcy was inducted into the University of Waterloo Athletics Hall of Fame for leadership and development of the Campus Recreation program along with brother John. He holds a Master of Education Degree from Ontario Institute for Studies in Education of the University of Toronto/University of Toronto. He is an energetic, self-motivated adult educator with over 20 years experience consulting, collaborating and advising post-secondary students, staff and faculty on leadership and physical education programs. He is particularly interested in providing leading edge mentoring programs for students, and ensuring that students always have the opportunity to be the best leaders they possibly can. Darcy lives in Oakville with his wife and two daughters.
John worked as team travel manager with the Toronto Blue Jays for 14 years after completing a Master’s in Sport Management. He received 2 World Series rings during that time. In 2001, he decided to spend more time with his family and cofounded Moore Sports Tours with University of Waterloo friend Mike Moore. Together they create customized itineraries for teams interested in travelling around the world. John was inducted to the University of Waterloo Athletics Hall of Fame for his leadership and development of Campus Recreation programs along with brother Darcy. John is married with two children and now spends time coaching baseball and hockey, and travelling to Europe a couple of times a year.
Dawn first worked for Parks Canada as a co-op student. After graduating, she held assignments with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, Interpretation Canada and the National Capital Commission, before returning to Parks Canada for various positions in national, regional and field locations. She has contributed to research, policy development, planning and operations, with a focus on visitor opportunities and experiences in our national parks and national historic sites. She has spent the last 10 years as the superintendent of the Manitoba Field Unit, with responsibility for 7 national historic sites and Wapusk National Park.
Rosalie is an internationally known fitness expert promoting physical fitness as part of a healthy lifestyle. She aims to make fitness fun, exciting and affordable for both novice and experienced fitness enthusiasts. This year Rosalie was voted one of Canada’s most influential personal trainers by the country’s leading fitness organization, Can-Fit-Pro. She conducts research testing fitness products and programs, influencing product development. Rosalie appears regularly as a fitness expert on radio and television programs, and at special events. In addition, she volunteers with fundraising for Sick Kids Hospital, Heart and Stroke Foundation and Mothers Against Drunk Driving (MADD).
Lynda has worked as a therapeutic recreationist in a variety of settings including long term care and spinal cord rehabilitation. Currently, she is the outreach supervisor at Variety Village in Scarborough where she is responsible for overseeing the Diversity in Action Program which teaches inclusion for people of all ages and abilities. She also teaches inclusion and activity adaptation at the College and University levels throughout the Province. Lynda is an active member of the Junior League of Toronto and is the director of development on Paralympics Ontario’s board of directors.
Victor is the president and founder of iLogic Inc., a Toronto based information technology firm with clients including major corporations and government sectors across North America. He consults in technology planning and implementation, internet-based solutions in logistics, knowledge and association management. He has also done extensive work with not-for-profit organizations, many in the sports and recreation sectors. Victor was a co-founder and past-president of the Lifestyle Information Network (LIN). He has also been involved with the University of Waterloo Advisory Council and is currently serving as a member of the Applied Health Sciences Dean’s Advisory Council.
Bob has both a BA and an MA in Recreation and Leisure Studies and currently serves as director of athletics and recreational services for University of Waterloo. After working with Branada Sports Communications, he came to University of Waterloo Athletics and Recreational Services in 1996 as manager of marketing and alumni development. He moved to the Office of Development and Alumni Affairs in 2001 and worked in management positions in Development before his appointment as associate vice president for development. Building on his MA thesis, Bob is a published author and recognised Canadian expert with respect to fund-raising, sport and recreation sponsorship issues.
Sandy completed her BA while working full-time in the department and starting her family. Now, as Recreation and Leisure Studies (RLS) administrative assistant, a position created by combining two jobs, she provides valuable support to the RLS department with specific attention to graduate studies. In addition to supporting her children’s activities, Sandy has been actively involved with a variety of church and community activities. Most recently, she has spent a large portion of her summer holidays running a children’s vacation Bible school program in remote First Nations communities in northern Ontario and Manitoba. Her next goal is to complete her MA degree before her oldest child completes his university degree.
Dorothy is senior vice president of marketing and sales for Best Western International. She has more than 20 years of experience within the hospitality and travel industries. Currently, she directs the execution and delivery of all Best Western brand marketing strategies, including frequency, consumer and field marketing programs, advertising/creative services, public relations, and e-commerce initiatives. A respected veteran in her field, she has served on a number of boards of directors nationally and internationally and received several awards for marketing and best practices in guest loyalty programs.
Sherry is associate professor of Recreation and Leisure Studies at University of Waterloo, director of the Murray Alzheimer Research and Education Program and director of the Aging, Health and Well-Being collaborative PhD program. Influenced by her work with residents and their families in long-term care settings, Sherry’s research is guided by an authentic partnership philosophy which focuses on later life issues, especially persons with dementia and their family members. She is committed to transferring research into action through participatory approaches such as the Changing Melody forum and by developing educational tools such as I'm Still Here, a research-based, professionally produced play.
Kathy began her 30- year career with the City of Waterloo in 1975 as the supervisor of programs for older adults. The city became a leader both provincially and nationally in a wide range of recreation and support programs for active and frail older adults, as well as in the development of research and education in the field of gerontology. Kathy has maintained a volunteer role in many community organizations and has shared the Waterloo message with many national and international audiences. She is currently chair of the Waterloo Wellington Local Health Integration Network. She has been married for 31 years and has two children.
Pam has served in many roles: manager, administrator, educator, program developer, community organizer, communicator, researcher, fund raiser, event coordinator, writer, fitness leader, and advisor. She was a YMCA manager/executive director in Kitchener-Waterloo and Orillia for 17 years and taught at Georgian College. Pam has provided a variety of services, including fund-raising, for non-profit and commercial organizations and she volunteers with United Way and a women's shelter. Pam was a Future Scholar Award recipient (Academy of Leisure Sciences/SPRE) and her Master of Arts research was published in Leisure Sciences. Pam currently works for Parks Canada on the Trent-Severn Waterway.
Fred is president of his own consulting practice formed in 1989 and has managed over $100 million in capital projects. He has served on a number of boards of directors including Fanshawe College’s board of governors, the 2001 Canada Summer Games, the 2005 Memorial Cup, and five sets of Ontario Games. Fred continues to serve on a number of foundations including past chair of the Monsignor Feeney Foundation, chair of the recreation sub-committee of the London Community Foundation, and site selection committees for the Canada Games Council. In 2002 he was awarded an honorary diploma by Fanshawe College for community service. He is married with two sons.
Adrienne is a proud and exuberant member of the first University of Waterloo RLS BA class. Known to virtually all UWaterloo RECers, she has served the Department as lecturer since 1983 and as associate chair for undergraduate studies since 1987, over half the life of the RLS program. Her diverse research interests relate to therapeutic recreation theory and practice, inclusion, and relationships between leisure, health and well being, including eating disorders. She served in various positions on Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (TRO) over the past 10 years, including president, and is founder and past co-editor of the TRO Research Annual. She volunteers as an instructor for the Track 3 program for disabled skiers. Adrienne is married with 3 daughters.
Pam is founder and president of Congress Canada, which she has developed into one of Canada's leaders in the management of group events including incentives, corporate meetings, trade shows, scientific, technical and medical international congresses. Pam has been featured in many business publications and has made many presentations to industry colleagues. She was the founding president of the Canada East Chapter of the Professional Conference Management Association, and has served on several other tourism management and marketing boards of directors and councils.
John Haddock is currently CEO of the YMCAs of Cambridge and Kitchener-Waterloo. With over 20 years experience within Canadian Ys, he is known for expanding YMCA delivery systems to impact more people’s lives.He has provided local, provincial and national leadership within the YMCA movement. He is actively involved in a number of community organizations in Waterloo Region. John and wife Kathryn, a fellow recreation graduate, recently celebrated their 30th anniversary and have three adult children. He pursues an active and healthy lifestyle with his main interests being distance running, hiking and white water canoeing.
Leigh began her cycling career at 24 when, by chance, she signed up for the Hidden Valley Road race. With some good advice from her dad (a former cyclist) she hung on until the finish of her first novice race. The last ten years she’s raced over some of the most beautiful terrain in 20 countries around the world through the Women’s Tour de France, Giro d’Italia, and World Championships. Her final race at the Beijing Olympics was an incredible experience where she finished 17th, and first on the Canadian team. When not racing, Leigh is a physical education and geography teacher at Galt Collegiate Institute. She is also looking forward to running a mountain biking club at the school.
Peter was director of Campus Recreation, football coach, tutor in residence and associate provost for student affairs, responsible for improving the quality of life for students, before retiring from UWaterloo early in 1996. He developed the Campus Recreation program into the most diversified award-winning program in Canada, working alongside many student leaders including many recreation students, and the largest student employer on Campus. He graduated in the first MA Recreation class in Canada, and was founder and first president of the Canadian Intramural Recreation Association (CIRA). Even in retirement he is working to create a full-service YMCA for the Parry Sound area.
A professor of therapeutic recreation in the College of Health Professions at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA, Yoshi’s research examines health, life quality, and cultural/diversity issues including the roles of leisure in coping with stress, healing from trauma, and promoting health among non-dominant population groups (e.g., cultural minorities with disabilities), using mixed methods such as community-based participatory research (CBPR) and longitudinal field studies. His team has received $4.5 million in research grants. He has served our discipline as editor of Leisure/loisir. This fall, Yoshi became the first UWaterloo Recreation and Leisure Studies graduate elected to the Academy of Leisure Sciences.
An assistant professor of Kinesiology at Kansas State University, Andy has, over the course of his young career, compiled a remarkable level of academic achievement. He is a two-time winner of the American Academy of Park and Recreation Administration best paper for both his Bachelor of Arts honours thesis (UWaterloo) and his Master of Arts thesis (Texas A&M). He won the American Association for Leisure and Recreation R. W. Crawford Literary Award (2004) and was a SSHRC Canada Scholar (2004-2007). His doctoral dissertation earned recognition as AHS Alumni Gold Medal nominee (2007). His current research focuses on physical activity in built environments, especially urban parks; and recreation marketing.
Verna is a founding member and current president of the UWaterloo Recreation Committee, established in 2004 to enrich the quality of life for UWaterloo employees. Through her ability to encourage and motivate others, the committee has held a large number of successful events for the benefit of staff, faculty, and retirees. In addition, Verna has volunteered her time over the years with several community agencies including the Volunteer Action Centre, several theatres in Kitchener-Waterloo, the House of Friendship and the Out of the Cold program for the homeless. Not only has she given of her own time to these activities, but she has also encouraged her children to participate.
Maureen is one of the co-founders of HeartWood Centre for Community Youth Development, a Canadian leader in youth engagement programs in Nova Scotia which works with youth in discovering their “personal best” in service to community for their own and the community’s benefit. In 1991 she co-led, with the Ontario March of Dimes, Canada’s first integrated trek to the Himalayan mountains of Nepal for 14 people, including 4 with physical disabilities. Now celebrating 20 years of not-for-profit operation and over 25,000 youth involved in the program over the years, the program is described as inclusive, empowering and sustaining. Maureen works and studies in Montreal and continues as a director of HeartWood.
Jan volunteered for several years with her local theatre group as a stage manager and actor until she was diagnosed with breast cancer in 1990. She then became active in fundraising and awareness. She was a founding member of the Orillia breast cancer support group and worked with Willow, a breast cancer support organization for women of all cultures. Jan was involved in researching and starring in the North American play “Handle with Care?” and then a documentary based on her own life titled, “How Do We Love You?” She was a guest speaker in one of our therapeutic recreation classes before passing away in October, 2000. She is missed very much by her family, friends, and the class of ’73.
For Michelle, the completion of her Master’s degree in therapeutic recreation marked the beginning of an incredible journey that’s far from over. Michelle launched her career at the Hugh MacMillan Rehabilitation Centre, where she created Cyberkids, an accessible computer camp, and then helped develop and incorporate Ability Online, a not-for-profit award-winning resource centre for children and youth with disabilities. Due to her computer exposure at Waterloo she discovered that therapeutic recreation could work as well online as off-line. Michelle is also a special needs advisor to Girl Guides of Canada regarding the inclusion of girls with special needs into guiding.
Kate is a 2005 graduate of the Recreation and Business program and was captain of the women’s basketball team. Immediately following graduation, Kate went to Belfast, Northern Ireland with Peace Players International, an innovative global organization which uses sport to unite and educate young people in divided communities. Kate then worked with Special Olympics Canada and was integral in the development of their Long Term Athlete Development Model. Last year Kate served as assistant women’s basketball coach at Yale University. Currently Kate is back on campus with Waterloo Unlimited and as an assistant coach with the women’s basketball team.
Passionate about the field of recreation, Norma began her career at the City of Kitchener. After a decade in municipal recreation Norma combined her passion for recreation with her desire to positively impact the lives of others and ensure excellence in the field by accepting a teaching position in the Recreation and Leisure Services diploma program at Conestoga College. Norma has been honoured with a number of awards including the YWCA “Women of Distinction in Education” award, the Ministry of Training, Colleges and Universities “Leadership in Faculty Teaching” award and Conestoga’s “Aubrey Hagar Distinguished Teaching” award.
Jim’s career in recreation focused on youth organization, municipal recreation and government consulting in youth development and volunteer management. He was one of the co-founders of the Haines Centre for Strategic Management, and has co-authored three books on planning, leadership and change . He is currently completing a book on human resources management. His career goal is to be valued by his clients and customers as “the change agent that really made a difference.” Jim has served on a number of boards for non-profit organizations in the communities in which he’s lived. He and his wife celebrate their 40th anniversary of world travel together next year and have visited 31 countries to date.
Per is currently a special advisor to the chief administrative officer, Parks Canada. Over the last 20 years, he has held a variety of positions in planning, resource conservation, and resource protection. Through policy initiatives, projects, conferences and publications, Per has promoted the role of social science in decision-making and developed improved planning methods for offering opportunities for visitor experiences in protected areas. He has worked closely with universities and resource management agencies in Canada, the United States, Australia and Argentina by sharing best practices and advocating integrated approaches to park planning and management.
Karen was extremely involved in the Recreation Students' Association, helped co-found AHSUM, the faculty's integrated student society, and the Applied Health Sciences Endowment Fund during her undergraduate studies. She then obtained her J.D. from the University of Toronto Faculty of Law, where she was awarded the John Willis Award (for the student who best embodies the spirit of leadership) and Gordon Cressy Student Leadership Award (for substantial contribution to life at the law school).She is currently living and practising corporate law in New York City, where she contributes her time to pro bono matters and continues her perennial search for flow.
Don is a professor of rural planning and development at the University of Guelph. An internationally recognised expert on community development, leisure studies (including tourism and recreation) and social development, Don might rightfully claim the title of “social conscience” among southern Ontario academics. He has also published extensively on topics related to work, leisure, and unemployment. With respect to professional service, he has held numerous positions on the Ontario Research Council on Leisure, is on the editorial board of Leisure/loisir, the Board of Directors for Canadian Association for Leisure Studies and the Canadian Institute of Planners.
In 1992 Lori left hospital recreation therapy to start a grass roots community program, Adult Recreation Therapy Centre (ARTC). The program eventually became fully funded through the Ontario Ministry of Health and provides adult day services to support adults in remaining independent. ARTC offers therapeutic recreation and social activities, an exercise component facilitated by a kinesiologist, and an aphasia program supported by a speech language pathologist. Lori has been an annual guest speaker in the TR senior seminar class for several years where she encourages students to be innovative in the field of TR and think beyond traditional settings.
Rein worked with seniors as a recreation consultant, leading to an appointment as executive director of the Alberta Council on Aging. During this time he helped establish the Retirement Planners Association of Canada (RPAC) and formed the registry for Professional Retirement Planners (PRP). He has taught professionally, and operates his own private retirement education practice. He created “The Joyful Noise,” a children’s choir, which celebrates its 30th anniversary and a fifth (live) recording this year. Involving over 500 children, the choir has raised funds for camp facilities for mentally handicapped children and adults in Alberta. He is married with three children and is anxiously awaiting his first grandchild.
Jerry is professor of leisure studies, Dalhousie University, cross appointed with nursing, sociology and social anthropology. He completed his Bachelor of Arts at the University of Waterloo (1975), Master of Arts at Pennsylvania State University (1977) and his PhD at the University of Maryland (1981). Dr. Singleton is certified as a Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification - NCTRC) and has been involved with therapeutic recreation and older adults for 30 years. He was made a Fellow of the World of the World Demographic Association in 2006 and was named Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association Professional of the Year in 2007. Jerry is a founding member of the Leisure and Aging Research Group.
Professor of recreation and leisure studies at the University of Waterloo, Bryan returned to his alma mater after earning a doctorate in geography from the University of Western Ontario. An eclectic researcher whose research spans the gamut from spatial issues to parks, tourism, and aging, perhaps his most visible claim to fame is creation of REC 371 and REC 672, our outstanding quantitative analysis courses. A passionate advocate for our discipline, Bryan edited the Journal of Applied Recreation Research from 1989-1993 and served as president of Canadian Association of Leisure Studies (CALS), the Ontario Research Council on Leisure (ORCOL), and the Lifestyle Information Network (LIN).
Terry is currently the information technology manager for Applied Health Sciences at UWaterloo, keeping the Faculty’s computing infrastructure on the leading edge of technology. He first worked with the Leisure Studies Data Bank where he developed a world-class data archive of recreation studies and edited such landmark publications as the Canadian Outdoor Recreation Demand Study. In the early 1980s, he developed one of the first microcomputer labs at UWaterloo. Terry has served as a school board member and chair, museum board member, community association president and minor sports coach. Terry and his wife are celebrating their 35th anniversary this year and have two children.
Julie is the program coordinator and creator of the Stride Program of Community Justice Initiatives of Waterloo Region. Stride supports the successful reintegration of women from prison following restorative justice principals. She is keenly interested in the process of putting into practice life changes upon reentry into community after treatment/incarceration, and has involved students in the program. Julie has previously worked in addictions treatment and mental health services for children and adults with developmental and physical challenges and geriatrics. She has also volunteered with several community organizations and advocates for individuals within the community.
Susan had a 20 year professional career before returning to UWaterloo Recreation and Leisure Studies as a member of our inaugural doctoral class. Three years later she became our first doctoral graduate and the first person to earn a leisure studies PhD in Canada. She is associate professor of leisure studies at Dalhousie University and director of graduate studies for the School of Health and Human Performance. A respected scholar in the area of leisure for those living at the margins of Canadian society, Susan also served the discipline as chair of the NLPRA Recreation Inclusion Committee and as associate editor for the Journal of Leisure Research, Leisure/loisir, and Leisurability. She has two children.
The Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies is a division of the Faculty of Health
Contact Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Support Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies
Map and directions
The University of Waterloo acknowledges that much of our work takes place on the traditional territory of the Neutral, Anishinaabeg and Haudenosaunee peoples. Our main campus is situated on the Haldimand Tract, the land granted to the Six Nations that includes six miles on each side of the Grand River. Our active work toward reconciliation takes place across our campuses through research, learning, teaching, and community building, and is centralized within our Office of Indigenous Relations.