Jackie Oncescu

Associate Professor


Kinesiology, Faculty of

KIN 307


1 506 452 6113

Research interests

  • Community development
  • Community recreation delivery systems
  • Poverty
  • Social inclusion
  • Leisure education
  • Community resilience
  • Rural community recreation


Dr. Oncescu is an associate professor in the Faculty of Kinesiology at UNB. She has a BRM (Bachelor of Recreation Management) from Acadia University, a MA in Recreation Management from Acadia University, and a PhD in Human Kinetics (focused on Leisure Studies) from the University of Ottawa. Jackie came to UNB in 2018 after teaching and researching in the Recreation and Tourism Department at Vancouver Island University in Nanaimo, BC.

Jackie’s research interests are embedded in recreation and leisure’s role in community wellbeing. Her research is driven by principles of community development, resilience and social inclusion. Jackie’s research has explored rural community restructuring and the impacts to rural residents’ lives, recreation’s role in community resilience, and the role of community recreation delivery systems in supporting community social and economic change. Her most recent work is focused on poverty and community recreation, with specific projects explorting community recreation delivery systems and social inclusion, and community-based leisure education programs and the impacts on low-income families’ leisure lifestyles.

Current research projects

  • Exploring the influence of a community-based leisure education delivery system on low-income families’ leisure lifestyles
  • Exploring community recreation delivery systems and access and inclusion for low-income families


Shannon, C., Oncescu, J., & Hutchinson, S. (2016). The potential for leisure education to address the ‘wicked problems’ prioritized in a framework for recreation in Canada. Leisure/Loisir. 40(3), 253-270, DOI: 10.1080/14927713.2016.1252937

Oncescu, J. (2016). Rural restructuring: The impact of a pulp and paper mill’s closure on rural community recreation services and amenities. World Leisure Journal, 58(3), 207-224, DOI: 10.1080/16078055.2016.1161662

Oncescu, J. (2015) Rural restructuring: Community stakeholders’ perspectives of the impact of a pulp and paper mill closure on community relationships. Journal of Rural Society, 24(2), 177-199, DOI: 10.1080/10371656.2015.1060719

Oncescu, J. (2014). Rural restructuring and its impact on community recreation opportunities. Annals of Leisure Research, 18(1), 83-104, DOI: 10.1080/11745398.2014.980834

Oncescu, J. & Giles, A. (2014) Rebuilding a sense of community through reconnection: The impact of a rural school’s closure on individuals without school-aged children. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 9(3), 296-319.

Oncescu, J. (2014). Creating constraints to community resiliency: The event of a rural school’s closure. Online Journal of Rural Research and Policy, 9(2), 1-30.

Oncescu, J. (2014). The impact of a rural school’s closure on community resiliency. Leisure/Loisir, 38(1), 35-52.

Ensign, S., Giles, A.R., & Oncescu, J. (2014). Natural resource exploration and extraction in Northern Canada: Intersections with community cohesion and social welfare. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 8(4), 81-102.

Oncescu, J. & Giles, A. (2013). A rural school’s closure: Impacts on volunteers’ gender roles. Journal of Rural Society, 23(1), 2-19.

Oncescu, J., & Giles, A. (2012). Changing relationships: The impact of a rural school’s closure on families with school-aged children. Leisure/Loisir, 36(2), 107-126.

Oncescu, J., & Robertson, B. (2010). Recreation in remote communities: A case study of Newport. Journal of Rural and Community Development, 5(1/2), 221-237.

Oncescu, J., Gravelle, F., & Karlis, G. (2009). Rural youth and technology: Counteracting youth cocooning with the great outdoors. The Ontario Journal of Outdoor Education, 22(1), 24-28.

Kriemadis, T., Leivadi, S., Mavromatis, C., Kartakoullis, N., Karlis, G. & Oncescu, J. (2008). Organizational culture in middle and top-level hotel units in Greece. International Journal of Sport Management, Recreation, & Tourism, 1(1), 32-35.


Oncescu, J. & Loewen, M. (2018, May). Reaching the hard to reach: Using social innovation to support low-income families’ recreation participation. Presented at: Recreation Opportunities Inc. Community Event, Steinbach, MB.

Oncescu, J. (2018, April) Exploring community leisure delivery systems and access and social inclusion for low-income families. Presented at: City of Nanaimo Parks and Recreation Staff Training, Nanaimo, BC.

Oncescu, J. (2016, December). Community-based leisure education: Using leisure education to create pathways to social inclusion. Presented: Yorkton, SK.

Oncescu, J. (2016, September). Invited Keynote. Rural matters: Reconstructing rural communities’ role in current day society. Presented: Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan, Vermillion, AB.

Oncescu, J (2016, September). Creating attractive and resilient rural communities. Presented: Alberta Rural Physician Action Plan, Vermillion, AB.

Oncescu, J. (2016, April). Leisure education, poverty and recreation delivery systems. Presented: World Leisure Centre of Excellent Innovation Series, Nanaimo, BC.

Oncescu, J. (2015, October). Invited Keynote. Reconnecting to leisure: An opportunity to rethink how we connect to leisure. Presented: Saskatchewan Parks and Recreation Association Conference, Yorkton, SK.