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 SRU Faculty Member Selected for National American Therapeutic Recreation Association Award 



Oct. 26, 2004

Contact: Gordon Ovenshine – 724-738-4854;



SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. – For her leadership, published writings and teaching excellence, Slippery Rock University associate professor of parks and recreation/environmental education  Colleen Cooke has received a 2004 Certificate of Recognition for Meritorious Service from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

She was one of four recipients nationwide.

Cooke organized the association’s newest chapter affiliate the Western Pennsylvania Therapeutic Recreation Association, association President Melinda Conway said. She was one of the first participants in its new Leadership Program and has written numerous articles about the field and given professional presentations, both locally and nationally. 

 “She is a knowledgeable and motivating educator,” Conway said. “You can always find Dr. Cooke at each and every ATRA conference surrounded by her ‘green-shirted’ Slippery Rock University students.”

Cooke is spearheading the development of criteria for the ARTA’s new Centers for Academic Excellence designation. University therapeutic recreation programs will be able to apply for this recognition, which will add prestige, she said.

“It is an honor to be recognized. ATRA is working hard for the recreational therapy profession, and it is wonderful to be part of the process and progress of the profession,” said Cooke, who has taught at SRU since 1997.

“We’re proud of Dr. Cooke, and we’re proud of our students in therapeutic recreation,” said Dr. Jane Fulton, dean of the College of Health, Environment and Science. “To produce professionals for this field, it starts with excellent teaching.”

The American Therapeutic Recreation Association was founded in 1984 to advance therapeutic recreation.  The nonprofit dedicates its resources to promoting therapeutic recreation professionals in health care and human services.

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