Clemson professor named president of national recreational therapy organization

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Clemson recreational therapy professor Marieke Van Puymbroeck is the new president of American Therapeutic Recreation Association.Image Credit: Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism Management
CLEMSON — Clemson University recreational therapy professor Marieke Van Puymbroeck has been sworn in as president of American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA).
Van Puymbroeck said she is honored and excited to serve in a role that allows her to move the field forward. The position allows her to interact with many current and potential members and address the needs of recreational therapists across the country.
“My theme for the year is making connections and moving forward,” Van Puymbroeck said. “I want us to connect with our allied health disciplines and figure out how we move forward together.”
Her role is effective until next September when she will step down to be past-president.
She’s interested in increasing the efficiency of the organization, increasing visibility of recreational therapy on the health care stage and strengthening collaborations with partnering organizations. She also hopes to carry on a tradition of healthy collaboration between Clemson and the association.
“Clemson faculty have been engaged with the ATRA for years,” Van Puymbroeck said. “They are leaders of the research institute and a higher education task force and have great visibility. Clemson is a top school for recreational therapy, so I think we’ll be bringing more visibility to our graduate programs.”
Wayne Freimund, chair of Clemson’s parks, recreation and tourism management department that houses the recreational therapy program, said he is proud of the work Van Puymbroeck has done and will continue to do at Clemson and in her new role with the association.
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“She’s helped us build one of the most innovative and far-reaching doctorate programs in the country, which enriches our student experience for onsite and distance education students,” Freimund said. “She provides great leadership and …

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