Rehabilitation Sciences

Top Watermark

Gena Bell Vargas

Gena Bell Vargas Temple University Department of Rehabilitation Sciences

Assistant Professor of Instruction 




  • PhD, Therapeutic Recreation, Clemson University
  • MS, Recreational Therapy Administration, East Carolina University
  • BS, Recreational Therapy, East Carolina University


Dr. Gena Bell Vargas is an assistant professor of Rehabilitation Science in the Therapeutic Recreation Program.  Her clinical background includes work in an urban acute psychiatric inpatient setting working with people experiencing symptoms of depression, bipolar disorder, and schizophrenia, some dually diagnosed with substance abuse.  She has also worked in inpatient physical rehabilitation, sometimes using the modality of aquatic therapy, with persons that have experienced strokes, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, and amputations.  Dr. Vargas has spent a considerable amount of time running around in the woods leading children and adults with and without disabilities in various team building activities and ropes courses.  Her interest areas include efficacy research on therapeutic recreation practice, with a focus on exploring the use of motivational theory in increasing continued participation for all.

Research Interests

  • Behavioral Health Services
  • Community Based Treatment Interventions
  • Evidence Based Practice
  • Health Promotion
  • Leisure 
  • Mental Health
  • Quality of Life
  • Recreation
  • Rehabilitation Sciences
  • Stress Management