Brent Hawkins, Ph.D., Associate Professor & Program Coordinator

Brent HawkinsBrent L. Hawkins received his bachelor’s degree in Recreational Therapy and his master’s degree in Recreational Therapy Administration at East Carolina University. He received his doctor of philosophy degree in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation at Clemson University. He is a certified therapeutic recreation specialist (CTRS) and a North Carolina licensed recreational therapist (LRT). Hawkins has taught courses in recreational therapy pertaining to assessment, planning, documentation, implementation, evaluation, trends and issues, teaching pedagogy and clinical education, and research methodology, among others.

His primary line of research investigates the community reintegration and health outcomes associated with recreation, recreational therapy, and other rehabilitation programs and services for military veterans with disabling health conditions. Government and non-profit veteran service organizations have used his studies to maximize the rehabilitative and transitional impact on veterans and their supporters. Hawkins has also conducted numerous collaborative studies with colleagues and students, such as the development and evaluation of a sport-based reminiscence therapy program with individuals with dementia, understanding the use of mental health recovery oriented services for individuals with Schizophrenia Spectrum Disorder, and testing the effects of yoga on balance and fear of falling among individuals with Parkinson’s disease.

In addition, Hawkins is an active member within the recreational therapy profession. He most recently led two large, multiyear studies for the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA) on the future of education and professional preparation in recreational therapy as well as a study that identified and assessed the specific competencies necessary for recreational therapy practice across all service settings. He received the 2016 ATRA Scholarly Achievement Award along with two ATRA Presidential Citations and an ATRA Excellence in Education award in 2018 for his ongoing contributions to the field. He also serves as a member of the Southeast Recreational Therapy Symposium Board of Directors.