Portrait of Patricia Thomas

Patricia K. Thomas, MPA, CTRS

  • Clinical Associate Professor, Programs in Occupational Therapy Science, Technology & Rehabilitation
  • Program Director, Occupational Science and Technology
  • Coordinator, Therapeutic Recreation Certificate


MS Public Administration Long Island University 1997
BS Recreation University Wisconsin-LaCrosse 1981

Speaker Topics

  • Therapeutic Recreation/Recreation Therapy
  • Online and Hybrid Teaching and Learning
  • Group Process Activities
  • Disabilities

Interests & Expertise

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.

Honors & Awards

Illinois Recreation Therapy Association Award of Excellence (2017, November 7) Illinois Recreation Therapy Association.
Outstanding Teaching Award (2010, October) University of Wisconsin Milwaukee.
President’s Award for Outstanding Service (2007) American Therapeutic Recreation Association.
Conference Coordinator Award (2007, September) American Therapeutic Recreation Association Awards Committee.
Golden Apple Teaching Award Nominee (2004, May) College of Health Sciences, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
Presidential Award (2002, September) American Therapeutic Recreation Association.
Outstanding Member of the Year (2001) Therapeutic Recreation Association of Greater Milwaukee.
President’s Award for Outstanding Service (1988) American Therapeutic Recreation Association.