Temple University

Rehabilitation Sciences

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Catherine Coyle

Catherine Coyle, Ph.D., CTRS
Associate Dean of Strategic Intiatives 


1700 N. Broad Street, Suite 304B
Philadelphia, PA 19121



Kathy is a tenured, full professor in the Therapeutic Recreation Program within the Department of Rehabilitation Sciences. An outstanding teacher, as evidenced by her receiving the 2009 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Award for distinguished teaching from Temple University and the Lindback foundation, Kathy teaches in the BS and MS recreation therapy degree programs as well as the PhD in Health Ecology. In addition to teaching and administrative responsibilities, Kathy is currently a Co-PI on an NIH/NIMH funded research collaboration examining the role of leisure in recovery and community engagement among culturally diverse adults with mental illness. She is also the project director for a demonstration project funded through the Pennsylvania Developmental Disabilities Council aimed at promoting inclusive after-school activities in high schools throughout Delaware County, PA. Kathy has contributed numerous research articles and texts to the profession and has presented at major conferences. Her research was cited in the US Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Health Promotion for Persons with Disabilities (2005). Beyond her current research projects, Kathy has directed or co-directed several federally funded research grants, demonstration projects, and professional preparation training programs. These have included an interdisciplinary collaboration with other faculty in the College of Public Health examining the health and wellness needs of women with physical disabilities, funded by NIH/NICHD, the creation, testing and dissemination of a leisure education component for the life skills curriculum in the Special Education Division within the Philadelphia Public School System, funded by the Rehabilitation Services Administration, and a personnel training project, funded by the US Department of Education, directed at teaching recreation therapists to work within the special education system to provide services aimed at enhancing the community living and recreation skills of special education students transitioning to adult life. She has also provided extensive leadership to the profession including serving on the Exam Management Committee for the National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) and serving as an Associate Editor for the Therapeutic Recreation Journal.


PhD Temple University

Recent Awards and Recognitions

2009 Christian R. and Mary F. Lindback Foundation Award for Distinguished Teaching. A teaching awarded sponsored by the Lindback Foundation and awarded by Temple University for excellence in teaching and stimulating /guiding the intellectual development of students.

2008 Scholarly Achievement Award. A national research recognition award from the American Therapeutic Recreation Association for recognition of significant contribution to the body of knowledge in therapeutic recreation.

Professional Certifications

National Certification as Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS), National Council on Therapeutic Recreation Certification, Certification # 15417, valid through 12/2015

Course Involvement

Teaching Areas

Therapeutic Recreation Principles and Practices

Research Methods

Therapeutic Recreation and Behavioral Health Care

Leisure Education and Health Promotion

Evidence Based Practice for Recreation Therapy


Journal Publications

Nelson, R. & Coyle, C. (2010). Effects of a Bedtime Massage on Relaxation in Nursing Home Residents with Sleep Disorders, Activities Adaptation and Aging, 34:216-231

Iwasaki, Y., Coyle, C., & Shank, J.(2010) Leisure as a context for active living, recovery, health, and life quality for persons with mental illness in a global context. Health Promotion International, doi: 10.1093/heapro/daq037, 1-12.

Nelson, R, & Coyle, C. (2010). Using massage to reduce use of sedative-hypnotic drugs with older adults: A brief report from a pilot study, Journal of Applied Gerontology, 29(1), 129-139.

Coyle, C., Denault, V., Miller, R., Pham, T, & Thomas, C. (2008). Understanding systematic reviews and their implications for evidence-based practice by examining aerobic exercise as a recreation therapy intervention for individuals with major depressive disorders. American Journal of Recreation Therapy,7(3), 13-22.

Moore, E & Coyle, C. (2007). Using poetry in therapeutic recreation interventions with a focus on applications in behavioral healthcare. American Journal of Recreation Therapy 6(3), 35-47

Coyle, C.& Shank, J. (2005). The role of recreation and leisure in community inclusion for adults with mental illness: Issues page, University of Pennsylvania’s Collaborative on Community Integration, Rehabilitation, Research and Training Center’s Website. Available at http://www.upennrrtc.org/.

Blair, D. & Coyle, C. (2005).  An examination of multicultural competencies of entry level certified therapeutic recreation specialists. Therapeutic Recreation Journal 39(2), 139-157.

Santiago, M. & Coyle, C. (2004). Leisure-time physical activity and secondary conditions in women with physical disabilities. Disability and Rehabilitation:  An international, multidisciplinary journal, 26(8), 485-494.

Santiago, M. & Coyle, C. (2004). Leisure-time physical activity among women with mobility impairments:  Implications for health promotion and leisure education. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 38(2), 188-205.

Coyle, C.& Santiago, M., (2002). Health care utilization among women with physical disabilities.  Medscape General Medicine, MedGenMed Ob/Gyn & Women's Health, 4(3), available at http://www.medscape.com/viewarticle/433156.

Coyle, C. Santiago, M., Ma, G., Shank, J., Boyd, R. (2000). Secondary conditions and women with physical disabilities: A descriptive study. Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, 81, 1380-1387.


Lawson, L., & Coyle, C. (2011). Therapeutic Recreation in Special Education: From Legislation to Practice. Alexandria, VA: American Therapeutic Recreation Association.

Shank, J. & Coyle, C. (2002).  Therapeutic Recreation in Health Promotion and Rehabilitation.  State College, PA:  Venture Publishing (14 co-authored chapters, 279 pp).

Chapters in Text

Coyle, C.,Vliet, N., & Shank, J. (2010). TR and Rehabilitation. In  Payne, L,. Ainsworth, B. & Godbey, G., Leisure, health and wellness: Making the connections, State College, PA: Venture Publishing, 263-275.

Murray, S. & Coyle, C. (2006). Education and Training Trends of Related Disciplines:  Learning from Others. In Carter, M. & Folkerth, J., Therapeutic Recreation Education: Challenges and Changes,Ashburn, VA: National Recreation and Park Association, 129-164.

Grants & Contracts

Recent Grant Awards

2009 - 2011          Iwasaki, Y.(Co-PI/PD), Coyle, C. (Co-PI), Shank, J. (Co-PI), Koons, G., Mitchell, L., Ryan, A., Baron,D., & Salzer, M.CBPR on Active Living and Recovery for Racial/Ethnic Groups with Mental Illness, National Institutes of Health/National Institute of Mental Health (NIH/NIMH) (R21), $412,500, 1R21MH086136


2010                       Coyle C. (PD), Shank, J (Co-PD).  Leisure Coaching Collaboration - Continuation application, Pennsylvania Council on Developmental Disabilities, $69,000, Grant #410045925


2008-2010            Coyle C. (PD), Shank, J (Co-PD), Wilhite, B. (Co-PD). Leisure coaching and collaboration: synergistic strategies for building inclusive high schools and communities, Pennsylvania Council on Developmental Disabilities, $182,088, Grant # 410045925


2007-2009            Shank, J. (Co-PI), Coyle, C. (Co-PI),Wilhite, B. Pilot-testing technology enhanced recreational activities among adults with developmental disabilities.  Temple University Bridge Grant Program, $30,000