The Department of Recreation Administration hosted the 19th Annual Central California Therapeutic Recreation Symposium on April 25th. The symposium provides an opportunity for professional development and continuing education. About 60 recreation therapists and students attended the symposium.

“Recreation Therapists from the Valley, as well as from across the state, attended as well as Fresno State therapeutic recreation students,” said Dr. Nancy Nisbett, professor and coordinator of the Therapeutic Recreation emphasis. “The sessions and speakers are selected to provide recreation therapists with the education they need to stay current in their practice so sessions explore areas like evidence based practice, trends, practice modalities, and administrative operations.”

Turcios speaking at the Symposium.

Speakers this year included alumni and industry experts. One standout speaker was 1983 alumnus Marty D. Turcios, executive director and founder of the San Francisco-based Marty Turcios Therapeutic Golf Foundation. Turcios put his own life experiences and passion to work by forming his non-profit, which promotes golf as a means of treatment for people of many abilities. Living with cerebral palsy and speech and mobility impairments, he sought out golf at a young age and quickly excelled at the sport. Today he is a golf coach and educator, creating classes and instructing individuals and coaches on ways to enhance therapeutic intervention.

Turcios (L) with members of the Recreation Association.
Turcios (L) with members of the Recreation Association.

Turcios also served as the Department of Recreation Administration’s first Professional in-Residence from the therapeutic area. A couple of days prior to the symposium, Turcios visited the Fresno State campus to speak with students about his professional experiences and to help them understand the connection between classroom theory and practice. He also stressed the importance of recreation  activities in enhancing wellness and the importance of inter-professional collaboration.

Undergraduate therapeutic recreation students, under the direction of their instructor, were also given the opportunity to present their research. View their poster projects and more photos from the event below:

Check out the inspiring video of Turcios in action on the golf course and beyond.

Learn more about the Therapeutic Recreation emphasis HERE.