East Carolina University professor Dr. Thom Skalko is extending the university mission of service to South Africa, where he is collaborating on a project that will create new jobs and enhance quality of life in the community.
Skalko, a professor in the Department of Recreation and Leisure Studies, is working with educators at the University of KwaZulu-Natal in Durban, South Africa, to establish the country’s first degree in recreational therapy. The degree will train students to use recreational activities to rehabilitate and restore function for individuals who have a disability, are recovering from a serious illness or accident, or are struggling with mental health issues. Impairments addressed may be physical, emotional, social or cognitive.
Skalko visited UKZN for two weeks in May, providing lectures on therapeutic recreation and its application in health sciences. He will return to South Africa in September to present at the Leisure and Recreation Association of South Africa conference.
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