- PhD (Physical Education/Outdoor Education) University of Alberta, 1993
- MA (Education/Physical Education) McGill University, 1989
- BEd (Education/Physical Education) McGill University, 1983
Tom is committed to optimizing the intrapersonal and interpersonal growth found in outdoor groups and believes very strongly in a need for a holistic and experiential approach to outdoor recreation. Tom was born and raised in Montreal, Quebec and early in life developed a passion for people and wild places. A teacher of over 35 years, Tom has taught at a variety of levels (primary, secondary, college and university), all both in and outside of the classroom. Among other positions, he has also served as a Director of Student Services at the college level. Tom actively works to engage learners as whole beings and strives to inspire them to find and express their truth of the world and the truth within themselves. He is the recipient of the Ontario Leadership in Faculty Teaching Award (2007), the Association for Experiential Education Outstanding Experiential Teacher of the Year Award (2004), and the Lakehead University Distinguished Instructor Award (2002). Tom's teaching and research interests blend to include the pedagogy of outdoor education (including the educational use of solos), outdoor leadership, traditional technology in outdoor education, risk management, nature-based therapy, the park management, and recreational uses of Wabakimi Provincial Park. He also conducts research on student/participant transportation safety and has most recently published and presented on driver and vehicle characteristics of 15-passenger vans, 7-passenger vans, busses and cars.
Tom has presented and published a variety of research on the teaching and leading of outdoor experiential education, has editorial responsibilities on several journals including serving as past Associate Editor for The Journal of Experiential Education, and has co-edited the book Controversial Issues in Adventure Education: A Critical Perspective.
Gender Issues in the Outdoors
Tom and his partner, Teresa Socha, actively share their passion for leisure pursuits in wild places with their two children Stephanie and Andrew. They live on an acreage where they regularly see moose, bears, porcupines and other animals. Tom enjoys sliding on all forms of water and is thus an avid canoeist, sailor, and skier.