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Health, Human Performance & Recreation


Dr. Daniel Ferguson 
Health, Human Performance & Recreation
101M Student Recreation Center |620.235.4911|ferguson@pittstate.edu


Dr. Ferguson graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in Outdoor Recreation and went on to New York University and the University of Oregon. There he obtained his Masters Degree and Ph.D. in Therapeutic Recreation.

He worked as a recreation therapist in New York City for 5 years and in his home state of Oregon for 6 years. He came to Pittsburg State University in 2002 after many years of teaching at Michigan State University and Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. Computer applications in therapeutic recreation have been a primary research interest for 25 years. He was a co-founder of the Global International Internship Congress which takes place every year in various countries around the world.  His current research is in the area of recreation and fitness among orphan children in developing counties.

He has been President of two state therapeutic recreation associations and has twice served on the Board of Directors of the National Therapeutic Recreation Society.  Currently he is on the Board of Directors of the American Therapeutic Recreation Association.  He is a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) and has worked with the visually impaired, developmentally disabled and autistic, physically impaired, and in mental health.

He has published widely in therapeutic recreation. His philosophy is that all people are of worth and deserve an opportunity to achieve their maximum potential.  Wheelchair sports are one thing he has used to advance this philosophy. 


  • Teaches undergraduate courses in Therapeutic Recreation & Recreation areas
  • Advises undergraduate Therapeutic Recreation students
  • Works internationally in Romania, Mexico Costa Rica, and Guatemala with orphans, the elderly, and other persons with disabilities

Courses Taught

  • Introduction to Recreation & Leisure Services
  • Survey Research Techniques in Recreation
  • Assessment and Documentation in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Theory of Therapeutic Recreation Programs and Services Development
  • Trends and Issues in Therapeutic Recreation
  • Recreation Practicum and Internship
  • Recreation Leadership & Programming 
  • Pre-Internship Seminar
  • Field Studies in Recreation and Leisure Services
  • Foundations of Recreation and Leisure


  • B.S. Outdoor Recreation, Oregon State University 1970
  • M.S. Therapeutic Recreation, New York University 1971
  • Ph.D. Therapeutic Recreation & Gerontology, University of Oregon 1980 

Research Interests

  • A Profile of Incoming Freshman students at PSU
  • Impact of a Study Abroad Program in Romania on Therapeutic Recreation Students
  • Customer Satisfaction Study for the American Therapeutic Recreation Association

Recent Writings

  • Animal Assistend Therapy in Recreational Therapy Practice. Heather Porter, Ed. 2014
  • Teaching about disability with a wheelchair basketball tournament
  • A national study of therapeutic recreation internships and fieldwork. Ferguson, D.D. and Zabriskic, R. Annual in Therapeutic Recreation, Vol 13, 2004. pp 24-37
  • The impact of a study abroad program in Romania on therapeutic recreation students. Proceedings of the Therapeutic Recreation Educator's Conference, Chicago, IL, May 2005
  • Proceedings on the Global International Internship Congress 2003; Stuttgart, Germany, April 2003. Chief Editor
  • KAHPERD Journal, Vol 85, No 1 Spring 2013 p 47-49

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