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.

  • Advocating for therapeutic recreation and its contribution to person-centred practices
  • Promoting intergenerational service learning
  • Therapeutic recreation and its contribution to person-centred practices in long-term care homes 
  • Intergenerational engagement and programming  
  • Leisure and well-being for older adults
  • Member, Canadian Association on Gerontology (2007 – present)
  • Member, Canadian Association for Leisure Studies (2008 – present)

Genoe, M.R., Fortune, D. & Whyte, C. (2022). Strategies for maintaining friendship in dementia. Canadian Journal on Aging, 41, 431-442.

Whyte, C. (2022). Adventures in intergenerational service learning: Friendship, life advice and laughter. Canadian Journal of Aging, 41, 243-251.

Fortune, D., Whyte, C., & Genoe, R. (2021). The interplay between leisure, friendship and dementia. Dementia: The International Journal of Social Research and Practice, 20, 2041-2056.

Genoe, M.R., Fortune, D. & Whyte, C. (2021). Weathering change: Strategies for maintaining friendship in dementia. Canadian Journal on Aging.  

 Whyte, C. (2021). Adventures in intergenerational service learning: Friendship, life advice and laughter. Canadian Journal of Aging: 

  • Advanced Methods in Therapeutic Recreation (RECL 4F22) 
  • Internship in Therapeutic Recreation (RECL 4F02) 
  • Community Services for Older Adults (GERO 5P14) 
  • Whyte, C. (2021 – 2024). Looking back to look forward: Designing meaningful capstone experiences in therapeutic recreation. Chancellor’s Chair for Teaching Excellence, Brock University.
  • 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.

Available to supervise students interested in graduate research in the areas of leisure, aging and well-being. Please reach out to arrange an introductory meeting.

RECL 3P00 (Directed Readings): topic to be chosen in consultation with faculty member
RECL 4P00 (Advanced Topics in Recreation and Leisure): directed study in a concentrated area
RECL 4F27 (Honours Research Project): research project carried out under the direction of a faculty member