Therapeutic Recreation Faculty

Get to know the faculty members for the Therapeutic Recreation program on this page.

Tricia Rachfall, CTRS

Diploma Therapeutic Recreation (Ƶ); BEd (Victoria), MEd (British Columbia)

Involvement in the TR Program has given me a wonderful opportunity to share my excitement and passion for Therapeutic Recreation as well as my knowledge and experiences. It is inspiring to be involved with the future leaders of this profession. 

Opportunities for using Therapeutic Recreation are endless and there has never been a time where the benefits of leisure have been more accepted. I believe the TR profession will continue to grow, change, develop and blossom! 

Dr. Colleen Reid

PhD in Interdisciplinary Studies in Health Promotion Research (University of British Columbia), MA in Human Kinetics (University of British Columbia), BA in Psychology (Queen’s University), B.PHE in Physical and Health Education (Queen’s University). 

In my career I have been actively engaged in research and advocacy in health promotion with a particular focus on the experiences of disadvantaged groups. I am interested in how a person's social context and status influence his or her health and well-being. In my program of research I focus on health inequalities, community development, access to leisure and recreation, and community-based research. I have taught and worked towards "democratizing" research, or, in other words, increasing the ways that people use and engage in research so that the research itself is relevant, meaningful, and action-oriented.

Prior to my time at ƵI spent four years as a postdoctoral researcher in the Faculty of Health Sciences at Simon Fraser University. I am an Adjunct Professor, and supervise graduate students, at UBC, SFU and Dalhousie University. Since 2013 I have been principal investigator on 2 community based research projects in partnership with therapeutic recreation practitioners:

Imagining Inclusion: Creating Upstream Change in Community Mental Health 

The Imagination Network: Raising the Curtain on the Lived Experience of Dementia

These research projects have strong participatory and knowledge translation components with high levels of student and community involvement. Together with these research teams I have developed TR program protocols, written research manuscripts, presented at conferences, hosted art and photo exhibits, and produced an interactive play.

Janice Spencer

Assoc. of Arts (Trinity Western University), BA (Southwest State University, Minn), Therapeutic Recreation Diploma (Ƶ), MEd (University of British Columbia)

In my role as department co-coordinator, I liaise with Therapeutic Recreation professionals and community groups to ensure the department delivers high educational standards and prepares students for professional practice in a wide range of therapeutic recreation settings. As an instructor in the Therapeutic Recreation program, I teach in the areas of life span development, inclusion, mental health, current issues in TR and supervise students on practicum.

Research interests include exploring and understanding transformative learning and the lived experience of students and clients in practicum settings; how the intersectionality of engagement, interdependence and valued social roles can shift perspectives, change meaning making and transform lives. I am actively involved in the Uganda Project, including past coordination of the student practicum project and the International Youth Internship program (IYIP).

One of the strengths of our Therapeutic Recreation Department is the creation of shared space and collaborating with students, faculty and community to enhance teaching and learning.

Dr. Deborah Tysor, PhD, CTRS

PhD in Health, Kinesiology, and Recreation (University of Utah), MS in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (University of Utah), BA in Sociology (Azusa Pacific University).

My interests in Therapeutic Recreation practice and research focus on the mental health benefits of nature-based recreation, with an emphasis on social support and trauma recovery. In my career I have largely focused on evidence-based interventions for veterans with posttraumatic stress disorder and other co-occurring conditions. As an instructor in the Therapeutic Recreation program, I teach about introductory and advanced components of the TR process (assessment, planning, implementation, evaluation, and documentation), chronic health conditions, stress management, professional trends and issues, and I also supervise internship students. Prior to joining Ƶ I taught courses and engaged in research at Clemson University and the University of Utah.

Jennifer Affolder, CTRS

Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Recreation Administration, Special Populations (University of Alberta), Masters of Arts Degree in Leadership and Health Specialization (Royal Roads), Certificate in Advanced Practice in Child and Youth Mental Health (Ƶ). 

My clinical background in TR is varied, and I have extensive experience in mental health, adolescent psychiatry, and have also worked as a TR supervisor in acute care and in community settings. I currently work as a consultant with the Foundry.

My passions and interests are with health promotion, fitness, group leadership, and mentoring others. I value innovative and collaborative practice and learning.  It is inspiring to work at Ƶ and engage with future leaders in the field of TR. I am excited for the year ahead!