Patricia Thomas’s major interests include undergraduate education in the discipline of therapeutic recreation, disability and cultural diversity.
Thomas teaches primarily in a distance education format with hybrid and totally online courses. She uses several different instructional strategies to engage a diverse group of students from across the nation. Some examples include creative icebreaker activities, Second Life and blogs. She was recognized for her creative teaching with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee Academic Staff Outstanding Teaching Award in 2010.
Professional activities include National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) – Board of Directors during 2011-2014. She served as vice chair of the NCTRC Board of Directors from 2012-2013 and chair of Board of Directors from 2013-2014. Thomas has also been involved in the American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA). She served as the Joint Commission Team Leader for many years before becoming a NCTRC board member. She also received the ATRA President’s Award for Outstanding Service in 1988, 2002 and 2007 when she was the Annual Conference Chairperson for the national conference held in Milwaukee, Wis.