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GTRA TODAY


We have initiated our 2021-2022 Board of Directors! Get to know each board member below. 

We continue to work diligently towards building our membership. As our membership base grows, we are continuing to open more opportunities for members to get involved in the mission of GTRA by serving on committees and through our mentor/mentee program. 

The GTRA BOD will also continue to pursue Recreation Therapy Licensure in the state of Georgia alongside Representative Jan Tankersley. We have made some great progress towards this goal, but there is still a long way to go. Check out the Licensure Updates tab for the newest information!

BOARD OF DIRECTORS

PRESIDENT


KATHRYN MITCHELL, MS, CTRS

As the Recreation Therapist at Shepherd Center's SHARE Military Initiative, Katie provides leisure programming that addresses a range of needs for active duty or separated service members with mild to moderate brain injury and co-occurring diagnoses. Her experience as a practitioner, advocate, and researcher has bolstered Katie's confidence in the transformative nature of recreation and solidified her passion for ensuring the quality and reach of RT services in a range of settings. She seeks to empower recreational therapists and support consumers through providing resources for evidence-based practice, conducting and publishing practice-based research in ATRA newsletters, AJRT, and TRJ, and facilitating interdisciplinary and community connections. Katie has served in various roles in ATRA research committees and sections,  and she is thrilled to continue serving recreational therapists in the state of Georgia as President this year. 

EducationB.A. Psychology, Minor: Political Science, Clemson University, 2015; M.S. Recreational Therapy, Clemson University, 2017 

Population Expertise: Older Adults; Veterans

PRESIDENT-ELECT


ELIZABETH COWARD, CTRS

Elizabeth Coward serves as a Recreational Therapist in the SCI Unit at Charlie Norwood VAMC in Augusta, GA. She previously served on the 2021 Board of Directors as Secretary, as well as spearheading the initiative to increase program protocols for membership access.  Elizabeth additionally has experience working with persons being treated for mental health needs. 

Education: B.S. Recreation, Emphasis: Recreational Therapy, Minor: Psychology, Georgia Southern University, 2018

Population Expertise: Veterans; Mental Health; SCI


PAST PRESIDENT


BRIANNA PANOSIAN, CTRS

Brianna is the Past President for GTRA, and she has held multiple positions over the past several years serving on the board, including her roles as President, President-Elect, and Secretary. She is committed to sharing knowledge through presenting at ATRA's national conferences on topics pertaining to the facilitation of recreational therapy interventions in older adult settings. She has worked in a variety of Recreational Therapy positions in long-term care and assisted living for the past 4 years, and recently transitioned to her role as the Director of Sales at Sunrise at Huntcliff Summit Independent Living. She continues to promote recreational therapy and her passion for the field through this position. 

Education: B.S. Recreational Therapy, East Carolina University, 2017 

Population Expertise: Older Adults

TREASURER

KAROLYNE BELL, MA, CTRS

Karolyne Bell is the Senior Manager of Blaze Sports, overseeing ten adaptive sports programs, serving 300 veterans and 90 youth with disabilities and developing and managing nationally recognized certifications in the adaptive sport profession, including Certified Adaptive Recreation Sport Specialist, Certified Adaptive Sport Coach, and Certified Adaptive Rowing Coach. With expertise in recreation administration, higher education, community mental health, veterans and youth with physical disabilities, Karolyne brings experienced insight into business management and community outreach to her role as Treasurer on the board.

Education: M.A. Recreation Administration from the University of Mississippi; B.S. Therapeutic Recreation, University of Southern Mississippi;    

Population Expertise: Higher Education, Clinical Mental Health, Community Settings; Youth and Veterans with Physical Disabilities

SECRETARY

KATE LIPTON, CTRS

Kate Lipton has been in the health and wellness field since graduating with a BS in TR in 2002. From physical rehabilitation, skilled nursing, community recreation, personal training, and 500-hour advanced yoga instruction, Kate brings a holistic, body and mind approach to health and wellness. Kate has served as the Warrior Family & Kids Program Coordinator at Camp Twin Lakes since 2010, providing programming for military families who have experienced trauma. She loves talking about what camp can do and how you can help others have the gift of camp any time! Kate also supports the RT program at Shepherd Center SHARE Military Initiative per diem. When she isn't busy working, she enjoys an active lifestyle. Whether cycling, hiking, traveling, volunteering, playing with her therapy poodle Lyla, she is always on the go. 

Education: B.S. Therapeutic Recreation

Population Expertise: Veterans

MEMBER AT LARGE


ISABEL JONES, CTRS

Isabel Jones is a a recreational therapist at the Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. Isabel has previously served on GTRA's board as our student representative.

Population Expertise: Veterans

MEMBER AT LARGE


THURSDAY CURRENCE, CTRS

Thursday Currence is a graduate student studying Recreational Therapy remotely at Indiana University of Bloomington. Thursday has experience working with children in several different settings from schools to hospitals, to summer camps. Thursday is currently working as an office assistant manager for Spaces Co-Working Office in Atlanta, GA while she finishes her degree. Thursday was eager to join GTRA's board ever since she first engaged with GTRA in 2020. She says that GTRA's board members were very welcoming to her and helped her in the field of RT in any way that they could, and she couldn't wait to pay it forward in her role as Member at Large to help new GTRA members in the same way she was helped.

Education: B.S. Psychology

Population Expertise: Children; Schools; Acute Care; Camp

STUDENT REPRESENTATIVE


ALI VANDERSLICE, CTRS STUDENT

Ali is currently studying recreational therapy at the University of Tennessee. She is an intern with EmpoweRT. 

Education: B.S. Therapeutic Recreation


CONSUMER REPRESENTATIVE - JEREMY MADDOX

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Georgia Therapeutic Recreation Association

PO Box 24021
St. Simons Island, GA 31522

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