Published on Brock University (http://www.brocku.ca)
Taking the next step, from student to working professional is an exciting step for graduates. Beth Ellis graduated with an honours degree in Recreation and leisure studies with a specialization in inclusive and therapeutic recreation. Since graduating in fall 2008, she has become a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) working for Brain Injury Services in Hamilton, Ontario.
Speaking to her experience at Brock, Beth says, “Brock University has helped me accomplish many things during my time there. The first thing that has had a positive impact on my career is working as a Teaching Assistant for my 3rd and 4th years. This experience has allowed me to not only share my passion for Therapeutic Recreation but it also enhanced my own skills, knowledge and values about my career. I feel that the learning process never ends and there is always something new and exciting to add so I have continued my role as a Teaching Assistant for the department after graduating”.
During her final year, Beth had the opportunity to intern at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre in Halifax. “It was this course and experience that guided me towards my current career working as a recreation therapist with acquired brain injury. While studying in Halifax I gained skills in a variety of areas which helped me to pass my NCTRC certification exam in October 2008”. Students in the Inclusive and Therapeutic Recreation stream complete a 14-week internship as part of the program at Brock.
Her career at Brain Injury services involves a variety of different roles and tasks. First and foremost she is responsible for programming and implementing Therapeutic Recreation programs for a wide variety of client needs. Secondly, being involved in client focused committees, working with students on research projects as well as mentoring staff on the value of Therapeutic recreation for clients.
Throughout her two years working with Brain Injury Services, she has had the opportunity to present at two conferences, the provincial conference in Halifax and the CTRA/TRO conference this past June, in Hamilton. Receiving recognition with the Innovative Therapeutic Recreation Practice Awards presented by the Canadian Therapeutic Recreation Association in June 2010.
Beth’s next steps after graduation placed her in a position to make an immediate impact within her profession as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist. She commented, “I feel that Brock University and all of the Professors gave me the skills, knowledge and experiences that have allowed me to excel in my current career. I look forward to new challenges and experiences that will come with my professional growth in this position and in future endeavors”.
The next steps after graduation can be quite a transition, applying the experience and knowledge acquired through programs at Brock help to supply the workplace with the next generation of working professionals.