I am an Assistant Professor in Recreation Management and Policy at the University of New Hampshire. Employing primarily mixed methodologies, my research examines community-based outdoor and adaptive sports recreational therapy programs for Veterans and Military Service Members with behavioral health disorders. My research can be categorized into three areas: 1) efficacy research; 2) effectiveness research; and 3) implementation research. Using efficacy research, I examine if the use of a particular modality has positive outcomes for Veterans and Military Services members with behavioral health disorders. Another area of my research focuses on the effectiveness of applying a specific model in community-based programs for Veterans with behavioral health disorders. I also examine barriers associated with the implementation of community-based outdoor and adaptive sport recreational therapy programs for Veterans and Military Service Members with behavioral health disorders.

A second aspect of my career involves educating and mentoring undergraduate and graduate students. I teach courses such as recreational therapy and behavioral health, recreational therapy leadership, planning, and facilitation, and implementing recreation services with a justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion lens. I have developed these areas of expertise through years of professional practice as a recreational therapist and my research interest areas. I include applied, experiential, and critical thinking skills throughout all of my courses to develop high quality recreational therapist and recreation professionals.

Courses Taught

  • RMP 501: DEIJ for Recreation Services
  • RMP 504: Therp Rec Mental Hlth Princple
  • RMP 563: Rec Mgt & Policy Practicum
  • RMP 612: Ther Comm Tech in TR
  • RMP 796: Independent Study
  • RMP 800: Concepts Recreation & Leisure
  • RMP 963: Graduate Field Practicum
  • RMP 970: Teaching Practicum
  • RMP 980: Independent Study


  • Ph.D., Parks, Recreation and Leisure, Indiana University - Bloomington
  • M.S., Parks, Recreation and Leisure, Brigham Young University
  • B.S., Therapeutic Recreation, Green Mountain College

Research Interests

  • Anxiety
  • Behavior and Health
  • Behavior Modification
  • Depression
  • Disabled Veterans
  • Emotional/Mental Health
  • Health, Allied Fields
  • Mental Disorders/Illness
  • Recreation and Leisure Studies
  • Recreational & Leisure Activities
  • Rehabilitation for People With Disabilities
  • Rehabilitation/Therapy, Emotional/Social
  • Rehabilitation/Therapy, Physical
  • Social/Recreation Services for People With Disabilities
  • Substance Abuse
  • Substance Abuse Treatment
  • Therapeutic Recreation
  • Veterans

Selected Publications

  • Bennett, J. L., Craig, P., Aytur, S., Thompson, T., Roscoe, H. S., & Gravink, J. (2022). Community-Based Recreational Therapy for Veterans with Behavioral Health Disorders: Impacts on Quality of Life, Participation, and Happiness. COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL. doi:10.1007/s10597-022-00962-6

  • Craig, P. J., Alger, D. M., Bennett, J. L., & Martin, T. P. (2020). The Transformative Nature of Fly-Fishing for Veterans and Military Personnel with Posttraumatic Stress Disorder. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION JOURNAL, 54(2), 150-172. doi:10.18666/TRJ-2020-V54-I2-9965

  • Townsend, J., Hawkins, B. L., Bennett, J. L., Hoffman, J., Martin, T., Sotherden, E., & Bridges, W. (2018). Preliminary long-term health outcomes associated with recreation-based health and wellness programs for injured service members. COGENT PSYCHOLOGY, 5(1). doi:10.1080/23311908.2018.1444330

  • Bennett, PhD, CTRS, J. L., Piatt, PhD, CTRS, J. A., Townsend, PhD, CTRS, J., & Taylor, MS, CTRS, J. (2017). If you don't measure it, you won't improve it: The advancement of recreational therapy through collaborative research. American Journal of Recreation Therapy, 16(3), 7. doi:10.5055/ajrt.2017.0136

  • Bennett, J. L., Piatt, J. A., & Van Puymbroeck, M. (2017). Outcomes of a Therapeutic Fly-Fishing Program for Veterans with Combat-Related Disabilities: A Community-Based Rehabilitation Initiative. COMMUNITY MENTAL HEALTH JOURNAL, 53(7), 756-765. doi:10.1007/s10597-017-0124-9

  • Thompson, C. V., Bennett, J. L., Sable, J. R., & Gravink, J. (2016). Northeast Passage PATH (TM) Program A Strengths-Based and Recovery-Oriented Approach for Veterans Who Experience Mental Health Disorders. THERAPEUTIC RECREATION JOURNAL, 50(2), 138-154. doi:10.18666/TRJ-2016-V50-I2-6788

  • Townsend, J., Hawkins, B., & Bennett, J. L. (2014). Military service members. In D. R. Austin, M. E. Crawford, B. McCormick, & M. Van Puymbroeck (Eds.), Recreational Therapy: An Introduction (4th ed., pp. 253-278). Urbana, IL: Sagamore Publishing.

  • Vella, E. J., Milligan, B., & Bennett, J. L. (2013). Participation in Outdoor Recreation Program Predicts Improved Psychosocial Well-Being Among Veterans With Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder: A Pilot Study. MILITARY MEDICINE, 178(3), 254-260. doi:10.7205/MILMED-D-12-00308

  • Bennett, J., Thompson, C., Craig, P. J., Aytur, S., & Gravink, J. (2018, September 13). Community-based recreational therapy for Veterans with disabilities: Impacts on functioning and quality of life.. In ATRA Annual Conference, Research Institute. Grand Rapids, MI.

  • Bennett, J. L., & Devine, M. A. (n.d.). Person-first philosophy in therapeutic recreation. In T. Long, & T. Robertson (Eds.), Foundations of Therapeutic Recreation. (2nd ed.).

  • Most Cited Publications