Colleen Whyte, PhD

Associate Professor

colleen whyte

Office: STH 342
905 688 5550 x3124

My research program focuses on aging within Canadian society, and the contributions of recreation and leisure to quality of living for older adults. I am particularly interested in examining the experiences of older adults within long-term care (LTC) homes, understanding the meanings and contributions of leisure for older adults’ well-being, and working to foster a cultural shift away from societal discrimination based on age. I have been a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (C.T.R.S) since 2000, and was previously employed as a Recreation Therapist working in out-patient rehabilitation, in-patient mental health, and geriatric services within the Ontario health-care system.

  • Understanding community and belonging in long-term care homes
  • Exploring sustained friendships for individuals living with dementia
  • Advancing culture change practices in long-term care
  • Advocating for therapeutic recreation and its contribution to person-centred practices
  • Promoting intergenerational service learning
  • Member, TR Provincial Educator’s Steering Committee, Therapeutic Recreation Ontario (2012 – present)
  • Member, Executive Committee, Niagara Therapeutic Recreation Network (2014 – present)
  • Director, Canadian Association for Leisure Studies (2014 – 2017)
  • Member, Canadian Association on Gerontology (2007 – present)
  • Member, Canadian Association for Leisure Studies (2008 – present)

Dupuis, S., & Whyte, C. (in press). Participatory approaches to research with marginalized individuals and groups: Ensuring relevancy. In N.J. Stumbo (Ed.), Professional issues in therapeutic recreation: On competence and outcomes (3rd ed.). Champaign, IL: Sagamore. (18 pages)

Whyte, C., & Sharpe, E.K. (2016). Key concepts: Inclusion and belonging. In E. Sharpe, H. Mair, & F. Yuen (Eds.), Community development: Applications for leisure (pp. 27-38). State College, PA: Venture.

Whyte, C., & Fortune, D. (2016). Natural leisure spaces in long-term care homes: Challenging assumptions about successful aging through meaningful living, Annals of Leisure Research, 4, 1-16.

Genoe, M.R., & Whyte, C. (2015). Confronting ageism through therapeutic recreation practice. Leisure/Loisir, 39, 235-252.

Dupuis, S.L., Mitchell, G., Jonas-Simpson, C., Whyte, C., Gillies, J., & Carson, J. (2015). Igniting transformative change in dementia care through research-based drama. The Gerontologist, 55, 1-11.

Dupuis, S.L., Whyte, C., Carson, J., Genoe, R., Meschino, L., & Sadler, L. (2012). Just dance with me: An authentic partnership approach in understanding leisure in the dementia context. World Leisure Journal, 54, 240-254.

Dupuis, S.L., Gillies, J., Carson, J., Whyte, C., Genoe, R., Loiselle, L., & Sadler, L. (2012). Moving beyond patient and client approaches: Mobilizing authentic partnerships in dementia care. (Dementia).

Jonas-Simpson, C., Carson, J., Mitchell, G., Whyte, C., Dupuis, S.L., & Gillies. J. (2012). Phenomenological shifts for healthcare professionals after experiencing a research-based drama on living with dementia. (Journal of Advanced Nursing).

Dupuis, S.L., Whyte, C., & Carson, J. (2011). Leisure in long-term care settings. In H. Gibson & J. Singleton (Eds.), Leisure and aging (pp. 217-237). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics.

Mitchell, G., Dupuis, S.L., Jonas-Simpson, C., Whyte, C., Carson, J., & Gillies, J. (2011). The experience of engaging with research-based drama: Evaluation and explication of synergy and transformation. Qualitative Inquiry, 17, 379-392.

Dupuis, S.L., Gillies, J., Mitchell, G., Jonas-Simpson, C., Whyte, C., & Carson, J. (2011). Catapulting shifts in images, understandings and actions for family members through research-based drama. Family Relations, 60, 104-120.

Fortune, D., & Whyte, C. (2011). Re-imagining institutional spaces: The role of leisure in negotiating social change. Leisure/Loisir, 35, 19-35.

  • Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation
  •  Leisure and Aging
  • Therapeutic Recreation Program Planning
  • Qualitative Approaches to Inquiry
  • Whyte, C. (PI), Fortune, D., & Genoe, M.R. (Co-applicants). (2016). Exploring the meaning of deep and sustained friendships for people with dementia. SSHRC Insight Development Grant.
  • Whyte, C. (2015). Stories of meaning: Photo narratives of older adults. Brock University Service-Learning Course Development Grant.
  • Whyte, C. (2013). Exploring feelings of belonging in a long-term care home: Perspectives of residents, family and staff. Brock SSHRC Institutional Grant (BSIG).