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Jo Ann Coco-Ripp

Position: Associate Professor Department: Human Service Studies

Contact Info

Office: Anderson C023A Phone: 336-750-3459


Dr. Coco-Ripp practiced therapeutic recreation for many years before embracing a career change to higher education. Among the areas where she served as a practitioner, residential youth and other behavioral health settings are her preferences. Prior to WSSU, she taught at Oklahoma State, Georgia Southern and the University of Utah. While at Utah, Dr. Coco-Ripp had the opportunity to be fully involved in several research projects: A National Institute of Health study focused on patients receiving chemotherapy; a study funded by the Third District court to investigate best practices related to recreation therapy with adjudicated youth; and an after school program focused on youth from Asian backgrounds. Currently, she serves as the Co-chair for the annual Research Institute sponsored by the American Therapeutic Recreation Association. Her current personal focus for research is the development of a competency scale for Challenge Course facilitators. Over the past few years at WSSU, she has been involved in teaching the Adventure Based Programs inquiry class in the Honors program. She has also been active in the general education curriculum through design and implementation of a course focused on critical reading learning outcomes: Living Well! Benefits of Leisure for People with Disabilities. Another area of curricular involvement has been development of liberal learning seminars; currently, with Dr. Wiggins she co-teaches Blame it on the Boogie; Exploring the Music and Health Connection.

Educational Background

  • PhD, Parks, Recreation, and Tourism (PRT), 2003, University of Utah
  • Certificate, Interpreter Preparation Program, 1997, Illinois Central College
  • Graduate Linguistics Series, 1997, Gallaudet University
  • Graduate Studies in Therapeutic Recreation, 1993, Illinois State University
  • MA, Physical Education and Health, 1974, Ball State University
  • BS, Health, Physical Education and Recreation, 1973, Mississippi University for Women

Coco-Ripp, J. A. (2013). Inclusive leisure services (3rd ed.). [Book Review]. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 47 (1), 61-62.

Coco-Ripp, J. A. (2012). Should people of color be encouraged to participate in current outdoor adventure programs? In B. Martin & M. Wagstaff (Eds.), Controversial Issues in Adventure Programming (111-126). Champaign, IL: Human Kinetics, Inc.

Coco-Ripp, J. A. (2011). Lessons learned from plunging into Web 2.0 tools. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 10 (1), 5-10.

Anderson, L., Ashton, C., Carter, M., Coco-Ripp, J. A., Daly, F. S., Heyne, L., Long, T., Lundberg, N., McMahan, C., Wolfe, B., & Zabriskie, R. (2011). Guidelines for learning outcomes for therapeutic recreation education for Council on Accreditation of Parks, Recreation, Tourism and Related Professions (COAPRT) 2013 Standards.

Coco-Ripp, J. A. (2010). Teaching behavioral observations: An action research project. Therapeutic Recreation Journal, 44 (4), 311-322.