• Tania Santiago Perez is an Associate Teaching Professor in the Rehabilitation and Recreational Therapy Program within the School of Education and Human Development. Dr. Santiago Perez is passionate about educating future recreational therapists at the largest Latine serving institution in the United States. Apart from her CTRS credential, she has earned the following certifications: Water Safety Instructor (WSI), Adapted Aquatics Instructor (AAI), and Open Water Scuba Diver (PADI and NAUI). Her research focuses on the influence of adapted sports on health and quality of life outcomes, with a primary interest in aquatic sports and aquatic recreational activities. Her current projects involve studying the influence of adapted scuba diving, adapted swimming, and adapted sailing on quality of life and health. She has a keen interest in exploring the development of social identity and the influence of personality in adapted sports.

    Dr. Santiago Perez is passionate about expanding access to the social, physical, psycho-emotional, and spiritual benefits of leisure and recreation to all people. Her professional experience as a Recreational Therapist includes working in the private, public, and non-profit sectors.

    Dr. Santiago Perez has received several FIU awards including the 2023 Rewarding Excellence in Teaching Incentive (RETI), the 2017 CASE Engagement Award, the 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2023 CASE Service Awards, and the 2019 Top Scholar Award for Teaching and Mentorship.

research interests

  • Adaptive Scuba Diving; Social Identity and Health; Social Determinants of Health; Adaptive Sports, Paralympic Sports, and Special Olympics Sports; Diversity and Equity in Leisure and Recreation; Recreational Therapy for Individuals living with Physical Disabilities; Recreational Therapy for Individuals with Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities; International Recreational Therapy

selected scholarly works & creative activities

full name

  • Tania Santiago Perez