Kimberly J. Lopez

Assistant Professor
Kimberly Lopez

Contact information

Office: B.C. Matthews Hall (BMH) 2211

Phone: 519-888-4567, ext. 42009



Pronouns: she/her/hers

Remote video URL

Research interests

I critically examine social structures that reinforce difference and marginalisation. As a community-engaged qualitative scholar, I value working collaboratively and creatively to know more about: leisure and self-care in caring work, invisibility in caring labour, aging well in long-term care homes, leisure in and through helping professions, and digital leisure technologies.  With a background in facilitating inclusive leisure and recreation experiences, I am committed to social change through transformational inquiry, inclusive organisation, advocacy, and activism. Guided by intersectionality, critical race and feminist theories, my current research with women of colour uses narrative methods (body maps and digital stories) to discuss the ways racialising, gendering, and classing occurs through caring labour and the impacts of these social processes.

Graduate supervision and student opportunities

I am currently accepting applications from graduate students with research interests related to:

  • Leisure, well-being, and wellness
  • Intersectionality
  • Politics of care labour/work
  • Caring practices, culture change, and leisure in long-term care
  • Critical, critical race, feminist theories
  • Qualitative methodologies (narrative inquiry, community engaged and action-oriented research)
  • Arts-based and digital methods

Graduate studies application details

Teaching interests

  • Therapeutic recreation, difference, inclusion, advocacy, and activism
  • Race/ethnicity, gender, and class
  • Wellness, well-being, health, and leisure
  • Aging well and leisure in later life
  • Qualitative methodologies and critical theories


  • REC 357: Theories and Evidence for Therapeutic Recreation
  • REC 405: Leisure and Well-being
  • REC 455: Advanced Seminar in Therapeutic Recreation
  • REC 673/REC 773: Advanced Qualitative Research Design


BSc, University of Toronto

Post-Graduate Certificate in TR, Georgian College

MA, University of Waterloo

PhD, University of Waterloo

Awards and recognitions

  • Awarded the Faculty of Health Emerging Graduate Mentorship Award in 2021. This award recognizes faculty who foster students’ skills in problem-solving, critical thinking, self-directed learning and communication; commitment to students’ personal and professional  development; effective research planning; and providing a supportive environment that stimulates creativity, debate, engagement and  progression toward career goals.
  • Emerging Leisure Scholar Award from the Canadian Association for Leisure Studies (CALS) in 2020. This award recognises the significant early and potential contributions to the field of leisure studies by a Canadian leisure researcher who is within seven years of completing his or her doctoral studies.

Selected publications

See Google Scholar for full list of publications.

Kwarko-Fosu, A.* & Lopez, K. J. (In press, 2022). “It’s the small stuff you can’t see”: Stories of Mental Wellness, Community, and Leisure as told by new Arrivants to a Mid-sized City in Ontario, Canada. Leisure/Loisir.

Lopez, K. J., Leighton, J.*, Berbary, L. A., & Pirruccio, M. M.* (2022). Relational mentorship for justice-oriented scholarship: Making spaces for reckoning and supported discomfort. Leisure/Loisir Special Issue: Engaging in Struggle: The Deconstruction of the Academy in Leisure Studies.

Lopez, K. J. & Sène-Harper, A. (2022). Leisure Research Amid Socio-Political Unrest: A Reflection on Struggle in Turbulent Times. Leisure/Loisir Special Issue: Engaging in Struggle: The Deconstruction of the Academy in Leisure Studies.

Berbary, L.A., Lopez, K. J., Moran, R.*, Pereira, M.* & Becoming Coalition (2022). Musings on Becoming the Ghost in the Machine: Writing into Practice Subversive Academic Relations of Care. Engaging in Struggle: The Deconstruction of the Academy in Leisure Studies. 

Labdallah, L.*, Stolee, P., Lopez, K. J., Whate, A., Boger, J., & Tong, C. (2022). "Virtual care yes, but it has to be in addendum": A Qualitative Study of COVID-19's Impact on Older Adults' Perceptions of Virtual Care. Journal of Medical Internet Research (JMIR) Aging. 5(3).

Tong, C. E., Lopez, K. J., Chowdhury, D.*, Arya, N., Elliott, J. Sims-Gould, J., Grindrod, K. & Stolee, P. (2022). Understanding racialized older adults’ experiences of the Canadian healthcare system, and co-designing solutions: Protocol for a qualitative study in nine languages. British Medical Journal (BMJ) Open. 12(10), e068013.

Griffin, M., Bailey, A., & Lopez, K. J. (2022). #BodyPositive? A critical exploration of the body positive movement within physical cultures taking an intersectionality approach. Frontiers in Sports and Active Living Special Issue: Thinking and Doing Intersectionality in Sociology of Sport.

Lopez, K. J., Tong, C., Whate, A., & Boger, J. (2021). “It's a whole new way of doing things”: The digital divide and leisure as resistance in a time of physical distance. Leisure and Aging in Difficult Times Special Edition of World Leisure Journal. 

Leighton, J*., Lopez, K. J., & Johnson, C. W. (2021). “There is always progress to be made”: Reflective narratives on outdoor therapeutic recreation for mental health support. Therapeutic Recreation Journal. 55(2), 185-203.
Kabetu, V.*, Snelgrove, R., Lopez, K. J., & Wigfield, D.* (2021). Hockey Is Not for Everyone, But It Could Be. Case Studies in Sport Management, 10(1), 7-14.

Lopez, K. J. & Leighton, J*. (2021) Production Pedagogy: Exploring New Vistas in TR through Videomaking, SCHOLE: A Journal of Leisure Studies and Recreation Education, 

deWitt,L., Lopez, K. J., Dupuis, S. L., McAiney, C., Ploeg, J., & Carson, J. (2020). Dawn Work: Key Relational Processes for Building a Foundation for AI. AI Practitioner: International Journal of Appreciative Inquiry, 22(4).
Lopez, K. J., McKeown, J. K. L., & Muldoon, M. (2018). One day of #Feminism: Twitter as a complex digital arena for wielding, shielding, and trolling talk on feminism. Leisure Sciences.
Lopez, K. J. (2018). “We are not a machine:” Personal support workers’ (ante)narratives of labours, leisure, and hope amidst politics of genderacialised care in long-term care homes (Doctoral Thesis). University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON.