Mary Ellen Broach, Ed. D., CTRS

Mary Ellen Broach, Ed. D., CTRS

Associate Professor, Department of Health, Kinesiology and Sport
Therapeutic Recreation and Sport Management and Recreation Studies


B.S., Leisure Studies, Therapeutic Recreation emphasis, University of South Alabama, 1980
M.S., Therapeutic Recreation, University of South Alabama, 1986
Ed.D., Therapeutic Recreation & Leisure Studies, University of Georgia, 1998

Teaching Philosophy

I enjoy teaching and guiding students in their education so they can apply theories, concepts and principles of therapeutic recreation and recreation in practice. I also enjoy teaching as a method of personal learning and development. I learn from each class that I teach and work to continuously improve my methods to assist students in their educational journey. I attempt to utilize teaching techniques that reflect my values related to the importance of critical thinking, teaching by example, and service learning. Valuing global experiences, I strive to develop and provide international educational opportunities students when possible.


Writing, research, presentations and professional development have been practices that I have enjoyed throughout my career. My research and publications involve psychosocial and physical outcomes from therapeutic recreation interventions for individuals with and without disabilities. Activity interventions in my research involve aquatic therapy, cycling, exercise, adventure, and creative arts. I have also written or co-written book chapters pertaining to aquatic therapy, assistive technology, therapeutic use of exercise, and the role of recreational therapy in the schools.


While good teaching and good research are mutually enhancing activities, service is another area of importance to practice. I believe that it is important give back to our profession, community and the University through service. I strive to do this through active participation in professional organizations related to my areas of interest. Therefore, l hold or have held elected offices and serve on committees in the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC), the National Therapeutic Recreation Society, and the Aquatic Therapy and Rehabilitation Institute (ATRI). I am co-editor for the Annual in Therapeutic Recreation, on the editorial board for the International Journal of Aquatic Research and Education, co-sponsor for Gulf Coast Coming Together for TR (regional therapeutic recreation workshop), the advisor for an active student Therapeutic Recreation Association , and a member of our university faculty senate. I additionally serve on a number of community boards and volunteer my services for a variety of non-profit agencies in Mobile County. Internationally, I maintain a relationship with the World Leisure Organization as an editor for the Young Peoples Book on Leisure and through participation with students in the international editorial camps and activities.


I was a recreational therapy practitioner in a variety of settings for over 15 years prior to acquiring my doctorate. Specifically, I was a recreational therapist and aquatic therapist in general physical rehabilitation for Lakeshore Hospital (2yrs), spinal cord injury rehabilitation at the Shepherd Center in Atlanta (7 yrs), and for United Cerebral Palsy (2 yrs). For 5 of my practitioner years, I was the camp director for Camp Partlow - a year round day and summer residential camp for individuals with intellectual disabilities. I continue my practice in the areas of aquatic therapy and outdoor recreation. I also conduct research and write articles and manuscripts pertaining to my interest areas in recreational therapy and teach aquatic therapy workshops nationally. Some of my favorite leisure interests include kayaking, paddle boarding, backpacking, camping, hiking, bicycling, walking, running, and travel.




LS 292 - Outdoor/Adventure Recreation 
LS 295 - Introduction to Therapeutic Recreation 
LS 375 - Management in Therapeutic Recreation 
LS 395 - Therapeutic Recreation Process 
PE 461 - PE for Atypical Child-Youth
LS 466 - Program Design and Interventions in TR II 
LS 467 - TR for Phys Disabilities
LS 468 - Facilitation Techniques in TR
LS 490 - Special Topics: Advanced Facilitation in TR 
LS 471 - Evaluation and Research in LS
LS 483 - Issues and Trends in Leisure Studies
HS 494 - Directed Study
LS 498 - Internship in Therapeutic Recreation


LS 567 - Special Projects and Research
LS 569 - Leisure and Society 
LS 570 - Procedures in TR I
LS 571 - Procedures in TR II 
HPE 594 - Directed Study and Research 
LS 580 - Internship in Therapeutic Recreation
LS 596 - Directed Study in Leisure Studies