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Shay Dawson

Shay Dawson M.A., CTRS is the Director of Bradford Woods, Indiana University’s Outdoor Center.

Bradford Woods is host to over 17,000 clients annually within five program areas. The 2500 acre facility specializes in therapeutic outdoor programs, equine-assisted therapy, outdoor education, and professional services. Shay is also an adjunct lecturer in the Recreation Therapy Program within the Department of Recreation, Park, and Tourism Studies at Indiana University teaching the TR interventions course as well as working on therapeutic outdoor programming research projects.

Education: Master’s and bachelor’s degrees with an emphasis in therapeutic recreation from Kent State University – minor in psychology

Certifications: Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) through NCTRC.

Professional Memberships: American Camp Association (ACA), American Therapeutic Recreation Association (ATRA), and Recreational Therapist of Indiana (RTI).

Therapeutic Recreation Experience:

Chairman of the Board – National Council on Therapeutic Recreation

Director of Therapeutic Recreation at Bradford Woods

Supervisor, Department of Therapeutic Services at Bethesda Hospital

Program Director, Family Respite and Recreation Program for youth with specific medical and behavioral needs, Kent State University

Clinical Intern, St. Thomas Hospital serving clients with mental illness and chemical dependency. Founding hospital for Alcoholics Anonymous

Wilderness Guide, Summer’s Best Two Weeks Camp

Board Member, Cool Springs Retreat

Research and Habilitation Assistant, Hattie Larlham Foundation for Children with Severe and Profound Disabilities

Group leader & Master Teacher for the Movement and Leisure Skills Program at Kent State University.

Research Interest: Therapeutic Outdoor Programs specifically related to efficacy studies on the benefits of camp for children and adults with disabilities and chronic illness, adventure therapy, and outdoor programs that benefit families impacted by disability, disease, or behavioral health challenges.