Emily Mozena

Associate Professor of Instruction
Director of Graduate Studies - MS Child Life
Director of Undergraduate Studies - BS Therapeutic Recreation

Emily Mozena CV


Emily Mozena is an Associate Professor of Instruction, teaching several courses at the undergraduate and graduate level each semester and is the program director for the B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation and the M.S. in Health & Human Physiology with a sub-Track Child Life. Emily Mozena has an undergraduate bachelor of Fine Arts degree, with an emphasis in Painting. as well as a master's degree in Leisure Studies with an emphasis in Therapeutic Recreation. In addition, she is currently working on her PhD in Educational Psychology and Learning Sciences. She is dually certified in Therapeutic Recreation (CTRS) and Child Life (CCLS), with an additional training with the Registered Wonderers and Worries Provider (RWWP) program. Emily was a senior child life specialist at the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital for 7 years and then began teaching, and now has been teaching for over 13 years at the University of Iowa. Her research interests are in school re-entry for children with chronic illness and extended hospitalization and with children and adolescents and their coping and resiliency when their parent is diagnosed with cancer. Emily assists in facilitating a virtual support group, New Wonderers, for children and adolescents whose parents are diagnosed with cancer, she is a Make-A-Wish volunteer, a faculty advisor to the University of Iowa Child Life Student Association, a board member for the University of Iowa Camp Kesam student organization, and member of the faculty liaison team for the University of Iowa Dance Marathon.

Courses taught

  • TR:1000:0001 First-Year Seminar: ore Than Words: Utilizing Books and Play with Children to Help Them Cope with Stressful Life Events
  • TR:5260:0001 Play and Childhood
  • TR:6200:0001 Child Life Graduate Forum
  • TR:5211:0001 Ethics & Practice in Pediatrics
  • TR:5167:0001 Child Life Practicum
  • TR:5165:0001 Child Life: Child Dev & Hlthcare Intvns
  • TR:5270:0001 Child Life Internship
  • TR:5166:0001 Child Life: Seminar
  • HONR:1100:0016 Honors Primetime: Children and Family in Healthcare
  • HHP:2130 Human Development Through the Lifespan

Educational/research interests

  • School re-entry programs for hospitalized pediatric patients
  • Promoting play in the hospital and community
  • Promoting happiness and resiliency in students and professionals


April 2016: Week of the Young Child, The Iowa Children's Museum, Iowa City, IA, "Permission to Play"

April 2016: Iowa Therapeutic Recreation Association Annual conference, Cedar Fall, IA, "Play: The Importance in Childhood"

September 2015: Iowa Parks and Recreation Association, Des Moines, IA, “Play the Importance in Childhood”

April 2015: Iowa Therapeutic Recreation Association Annual conference, Cedar Falls, IA, “Life Well-Lived, the Happiness Project”

Nov. 2014: Midwest Child Life Conference, Milwaukee, WI, “Child Life Well-Lived, the Happiness Project”

Nov. 2010: Midwest Child Life Conference, Kansas City, MO. “Make Time for Silly: Play Interventions”

Honors and awards

Make-A-Wish Iowa, Iowa City Committee Volunteer of the Year, April 2015
University of Iowa Fraternity and Sorority Life Awards Faculty Member of the Year, May 2014

Research areas
  • Therapeutic recreation/child life
Portrait of Emily Mozena
MA, Leisure Studies, Therapeutic Recreation, University of Iowa
Certified Child Life Specialist (CCLS)
Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS)
Contact Information

University of Iowa
E202 Field House (FH)
225 S. Grand Ave.
Iowa City, IA 52242
United States