2018 Peg Connolly Scholarship

canstockphoto25893822I [Danny Pettry] highly recommend for college students in RT/TR degree programs to apply for the Peg Connolly Scholarship.

The winners get to attend ATRA’s national conference for free and get to monitor sessions.

You’ll meet a lot of people in the field.

It is named in honor of Dr. Peg Connolly (first President of ATRA) and former Executive Director at NCTRC.

I had won the 2004 Peg Connolly Scholarship (Kansas City, Missouri). It was the 20th anniversary of ATRA. I assisted with training the Peg Connolly Scholarship winners for the 2009 ATRA conference in Kansas City.

I’ve assisted with the scholarship selection committee for several years. I won’t be reading essays for students in 2018.

Check it out here: https://unh.az1.qualtrics.com/jfe/form/SV_bdOLEuOBprXsCfX

Email questions to: PCSscholarship@ATRA-online.com

Danny Pettry disclaimers: I am a not a hired spokesperson for ATRA. I’m not an elected board member for ATRA. I am a Lifetime Member of the Association who is active with ATRA and encourages others to join the association.


Origin of the Recreation Therapy (and certification) submitted by Kenneth Davis


This blog was post submitted by Kenneth Davis for RecTherapyToday

  • The origin of the Recreation Therapy profession dates back to the early 80s when the first meeting of certification  was part of a national discussion.
  • Norma Stumbo, PH D was probably  key in developing a study guide for the  administration of the National exam given by athe National  Council for Thetapeutic  Recreation Certification now in New York.
  • Academic  development was with Dr. Scout Gunn PhD and Macia Carter, PhD and many others
  • My memory is that Dr.Peg Connelly  PhD and later a Bob Rilely, PhD  were very involved in promoting and developing the exam an making changes to the credentialing process.  Adding a staff for credentialing and having clear discussion on the job analysis http://nctrc.org/about-certification/national-job-analysis/
  • I believe, a national  testing service ETS was to review the exam before it was administered and Dr. Stumbo released a study guide later for the exam.  Additionally  individuals like Alice Burlingame were very involved in assessment  development with https://www.idyllarbor.com/. I known Alice for years and she has sold the business.
  • Additionally  Dr. Connie,Nall, and myself  worked with Leisure Scope.a developed tool for leisure assessment. Jean Forthworth, PhD  then at Central  Michigan University, and I had many discussion  on this including Dr. Marsha Cater at Michigan State University  in Lansing,  Michigan.
  • The exam and through careful developed and determining of the questions and submitting to a national testing service was critical.  Some of the concern  included accommodation for the exam for individuals with disabilities. I remember  Dr. Nancy Navar was also involved in this discussion. Dr. Navar is now retired from the University of Wisconsin at La Crosse.
  • Ed Keegan , PhD  was also developing the program at Western Carolina University and Dr. Gerald O Morrow was reaching retirement .
  •  The National Recreation and Parks Administration  NTRS was developing their own certificate. It was a bit divided and most NRPA members were not in favor of a separate certification of a Governing Body to address this issue which was NTRS.
  • Many years had gone by until thongs were actually worked out with NTRS believe at least 10 years or more. Most Parks and Recreation majors in colleges did not understand this aspect of therapeutic recreation nor a need to have certification. But stardardard for placement  were just about all that wree in place at that time. http://www.recreationtherapy.com/history/rthistory3.htm
  • Yvonne Washington, was a central person addressing this discussion with NTRS  individually with the National  Recreation and Parks Association.  Later they had  the discussion which  moved to colleges and universities and  TR sections including the Virginia Therapeutic Recreation Section, which I was a part in the 80s with Besty Kennedy MA Ed at Old Domunnion with so many other TR’s addresses the exam at Radford  and Old Dominion University  and Virginia Commonwealth  University.
  • In the mid 80s schools like Michigan State, Wayne State, University of Tennessee at Knoxville and Texas  and University of Washington, Radford  and California State were all involved in promoting the national exam.  I do remember Mick and Lee being involved at Radford as well. In fact Lee was very gracious in ;coming to Marion Virginia where I was the department head to be involved in the selection position for a job I had written specifically for our agency.  At that time I worked for Marion Correctional Treatment Center a forensic facility in Southwestern Virginia.
  • Sharon Nicholas, MA CTRS  in New Hampshire whom I’ve known over the years and still in New Hampshire was working on explaining our value in the rehabilitation settings.  I kept in contact with Sharon while m working for the VA in Manchester New Hampshire and while at Health South in Concord New Hampshire,
  • I later moved from New Hampshire to Colorado  but in  Virginia with some knowledge of the happening in both the West and East Coast because I was in contact with Ann Houston.
  • Ann Houston, MPH, CTRS, became the President of ATRA, and this was after her leaving the VA in a Palo Alto, California.  Ann spearheaded ATRA  to a much larger need and audience. With its offices in Hattersburg,  Mississippi.
  • As a member of ATRA, I remember having many discussion with Kelly Dunbar, about the formation and direction of ATRA, and NCTRC.


  • ATRA, became very involved in therapeutic recreation both locally and on Capital Hill. During the Clinton administration health care reform years , The Joint Commission o established that lTR was a part of treatment.   Many of its members ATRA including myself went to Washington DC in 1980s  to speak on behalf of the organization to our local representatives dto educate  them on the three hour rule of health care reimbursment, which continues today

Kenneth Davis MA CTRS,  is now a Independent Therapeutic Educational Consultant and Chief Executive of tge Business  Educational Planning and Counseling Services LLC www.educational-planning-and-counseling.org

Kenneth  is a graduate of Pepperdine  University holding Masters in Educational Technology and Organizational Leadership currently Certified by NCTRS. Business Owner, CEO Educational Planning and Counseling Services Lives in Sun City Wesrt, Arizona

Anna Monaham – a 2016 Peg Connolly Scholarship winner!


Anna Monaham (pictured above)

Here is a picture of Anna Monaham who had won the 2016 Peg Connolly Scholarship.

She was punching my CEU form for one of the training sessions.

Anna told me that she recalled me encouraging her to apply for the Peg Connolly Scholarship several years ago when we were talking at the conference in Pittsburgh, PA.

How cool is that?

I’m so glad she won this award!  She was the only student from Slippery Rock University to win this year, which I thought was amazing because there are so many students at SRU.

Here instructor Dr. Deborah Hutchins from Slippery Rock University had also won the 2016 Distinguished Fellow award from ATRA.

Peg Connolly Students

Peg Connolly was the first president of ATRA and a founding member of the association.

She was formerly the executive director of NCTRC.

She has done a lot for our profession.

I’m happy to say that I had won the Peg Connolly student scholarship in 2004 ATRA conference in Kansas City! That was a great experience!

I had the honor to assist with training the Peg Connolly students at the 2009 ATRA conference in Minneapolis, MN.

I was one of the essay reviewers for the 2016 Peg Connolly Scholarship. It was complete blind so there was no way of knowing any student applicant names or identifying college, which was really great.

I got to meet two of the 2016 Peg Connolly student scholarship winners this a.m. at the Management in Rec Therapy Pre-conference session (seen in picture below).


Deborah Tysor is a doctorate student in recreational therapy at the University of Utah.

Spensir Mowery is a doctorate student in recreational therapy at Clemson University.



University of Utah

University of Utah had a booth at the 2016 ATRA conference in Chicago.

Dr. Sandra Negley was there! She was honored with the 2015 ATRA Distinguished Fellows award!

Dr. Negley gave me a pair of red “UV” eye protection sunglasses that say “Recreational Therapy” and University of Utah on them.

She said, “Your future is so bright you’ll need these glasses.”

I loved it! What a creative marketing idea.

I let Dr. Negley know that I had met one of her students at the conference.

Deborah “Debbie” Tysor (Doctorate student at University of Utah) had won the 2016 Peg Connolly Scholarship! Debbie was the room monitor for the pre-conference training session on Management.

Here is a link to the University of Utah: