The group included graduating students Elisabeth Bahr, Valerie Grinman, Michael Maish, Lindsay Marin, Emma Petkovsky, Marie Joie Tabiri, Matthew Welt and Lindsay Cecic as well as first year OT students Valerie Aziegb and Withline Olibrice.
The Department is proud to announce our departmental and Steinhardt award winners:
Marisa Davison, winner of the Letha Hurd Morgan Award, presented to one undergraduate and one graduate student in recognition of outstanding scholastic attainment and service to their department and School
Michael Maisch, the 2017 OT Department Banner Bearer at Valedictory Ceremony at Radio City Music Hall, chosen for demonstrating spirit through leadership and academic excellence
Elisabeth Bahr, winner of the Samuel Eshborn Service Award, presented to graduating graduate students in recognition of superlative and extraordinary service, exhibiting the value of strong leadership in school activities in NYU Steinhardt
Many congratulations go out to our student award winners and all of our 2017 graduates!
We sat down with new OT faculty member and alumna of the department PhD program here at NYU Steinhardt Grace Kim to learn more about her research and experiences in the classroom during her first year as a faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy.
How has your first year as faculty here at NYU Steinhardt gone?
I think really good so far, since it is something really new. It’s a long roller coaster, ups and downs, you slow down and speed up and don’t know whats around the corner. So far all of my experiences have been so positive.
What classes did you teach this year? Did anything stand out to you about them?
In the fall semester, I co-taught Clinical Neurology with Professor Karen Buckley, who is retiring this year. I also taught two Research Interpretations classes, which are more project-based. In that class, I supervised a small group of our entry level MS students, who complete a certain aspect of an ongoing project during the class. It is a nice, different approach to teaching. The class is more hands on and presents realistic scenarios students may encounter in clinical settings. The students are able to have an actual project at the end, which often manifests as a paper or poster at a future conference, so I really enjoy teaching this class.
In the spring, I co-taught Evidence Based Practice with fellow new faculty member Janet Njelesani. That class consists of post-professional OTD students who have their own perspectives and experiences in the field, so the classes end up having a rich dialogue, a different type of learning than the entry level MS students. Teaching both types of students has really helped acclimate me to the program.
What is your background, and what brought you to NYU Steinhardt?
I’m originally from California but have spent the past 15 years in New York. I completed my master’s degree in OT at Columbia University, and then worked clinically at various hospitals in the city.
Most recently, I was at Cornell Medical Center in a clinical research position. At that point, I wanted to do my PhD, and that’s how I ended up in the part-time post-professional PhD program in the OT department at NYU Steinhardt. Six years later as I was finishing up my dissertation I applied for the faculty opening here in the OT department. I’m so happy the timing worked out so well and that I ended up with the position.
Now that you are at NYU, are there any particular research topics you are focusing on?
My research interest historically has always been in neurological populations, specifically stroke and how damage to the brain manifests itself functionally in people in such different ways that you’d never imagine. Here at NYU I’m interested at this point in delving deeper into how we can integrate everyday technologies, specifically mobile wireless technologies, into community and home settings where patients are spending their time when not at a clinic.
I’d like to focus this research on how can we utilize mobile apps, such as motion sensor data (like fit bits) to be able to asses patients when they are in their natural environment, and provide feedback for them when they are moving around in the space, and also as a way to communicate with patients when they are not in therapy.
We don’t know what patients are able to do at home currently even though we give them recommendations. Technology has given us a lot of different opportunities to figure out how we can improve. Giving patients external structure through technology can help to remind patients and keep them motivated with relevant feedback, and empower them to participate in their own care and rehab.
What do you find is the most rewarding aspect of teaching future OT’s?
I think I like that it is still very new to me, so I am still learning as well along with my students. I like to know that you have to be present, everything is happening in real time in the classroom, you have to think on your feet, and sometimes it goes off in a different direction that surprises you. This reminds me that it is the same as treating patients, where the time can go in a various number of ways and you have to problem solve as things are happening, and you have to go with that, and remind students that you always have to think on your feet as an OT.
This semester, we were pleased to welcome Professor Adina Maeir and Dr. Ruthie Traub Bar Ilan of Hebrew University in Jerusalem. Professor Maeir and Dr. Traub Bar Ilan presented their 10 year summary of research and clinical activity of their project Cognitive-Functional (Cog-Fun) Intervention in Occupational Therapy for Individuals with ADHD.
Cog-Fun is an integrated cognitive functional treatment approach designed to address the multifaceted implications of ADHD on the individuals participation in daily occupations.This approach is based on the understanding that the core neurocognitive executive deficits in ADHD interact with psychosocial factors that impact daily functioning and quality of life. The Cog-Fun change mechanisms for improving functioning and quality of life include occupation-based meta-cognitive learning, behavioral learning and environmental adaptation, as well as a positive and empowering therapeutic relationship with clients and their families.
Professor Maeir and Dr. Traub Bar Ilan presented their data as well as showed video interviews with their clients as well as sessions with them to show the impact this treatment approach can have.
“The United Kingdom has been a leader in not only looking at what individuals with autism can do instead of what they cannot, but also is at the forefront in studying long term outcomes. For example, England’s National Health Service did the first study of autism prevalence in adults. This has lead to a more comprehensive understanding of autism as children grow up, which can be used to guide our understanding of strengths and challenges of individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder,” Koenig explained. Participants will attend lectures at the NYU London academic center and conduct site visits to local institutions to examine service delivery systems. The course will also offer ample opportunity to engage local professionals and visit cultural sites throughout the city.
Visit Steinhardt Global Affairs for more information on this and other global experiences available to NYU students.
The American Occupational Therapy Association held its Annual Conference & Centennial Celebration in Philadelphia, PA from March 30 to April 2, 2017. This milestone event had record breaking attendance with over 14,000 attendees. The theme for this year’s conference focused on the History of the OT profession. The conference also had an extra celebratory tone this year with a special Centennial Bash and Centennial Ball for attendees.
For the third year, NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy had a booth in the Expo. Alumni and current students stopped by to say hello, reconnect with the department, and show their NYU OT pride by wearing our popular NYU OT Alumni, Supporter, and Students badges. We also had a number of student and faculty presenters.
The booth also provided an opportunity for prospective students to learn more about the post-professional MA, OTD, and PhD programs. We were also excited to promote our new online OTD program starting Fall 2017. Faculty members and staff were on hand to answers questions about the curriculum, admissions requirements, and our remuneration program.
We hope to see fellow alums next year at the 2018 AOTA conference in Salt Lake City!
See below for a complete list of department presentations and posters:
Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor
State of the Science Symposium:
“Resilience: Occupational therapy and its role in helping to adapt to adversity”. AOTF State of the Science Symposium Speaker at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference, Philadelphia, PA March 2017.
Presentation: Shifting to Strengths and Success: Authentic Partnerships Between OT and Autistic Self-Advocates. With Stephan Shore
Yael Goverover, Associate Professor
Presentation: Assessing Functional Cognition: Its Importance in Occupational Therapy Research and Practice
Contributing Authors: Carolyn M. Baum, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Timothy J. Wolf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA; Joan Toglia, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Grace Kim, Assistant Professor
Poster: The Effects of Attentional Focus on Upper Extremity Motor Training Using Robotics With Persons After Chronic Stroke
Contributing Author: Jim Hinojosa, PhD, OTR, FAOTA; Mitchell Batavia, PhD, PT; Ashwini Rao, EdD, OTR, FAOTA
Poster: Indoor and Outdoor Falls Among Older Adult Trauma Patients: A Comparison of Patient Characteristics and Outcomes
Janet Njelesani, Assistant Professor
Conversations That Matter: Doing, being, & becoming a tenured professor: Conversations for junior faculty on the tenure track.
Poster: Test Construction of the Occupational Repertoire Development Measure- Parent (ORDM-P)
Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor
Short Course: Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Intervention for Patients With Distal Radius Fractures. With Debra T. Zizik
Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor and Jim Hinojosa, Professor Emeritus
Poster: A Postmodern Approach to Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy
Chien-Ying Yang, PhD Candidate
Poster: Motor Performance of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Fourth to Sixth Grades: Differences Among Subtypes
Yun Shi PhD Candidate and Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor
Poster: Confirmatory Factor Analysis of the Behavior-Based Feeding Questionnaire (BBFQ) for Taiwanese Mothers of Preterm Infants
Brocha Stern, PhD Candidate
Poster: Time To Learn: A Neurobehavioral Approach After Musculoskeletal Hand Injury
Poster: Older and Happier? Associations Among Age, Affective Symptomology, and Quality of Life in Multiple Sclerosis
Poster: Coaching in Hand therapy: Strategies for engagement and empowerment, with Mark Hardison
Margaret Waskiewicz, OTD student with Steve Van Lew, Daniel Geller, and Liz Martori
Poster: Adult MTBI and Sensory processing
Poster: Determining the efficacy of OT treatment of postconcussive syndrome, with Elizabeth Martori
Professional Program Recent graduates:
Catherine Stalter (MS Program), Elisabeth Bahr (MS Program), Norhora Guzman (MA Program), with Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor
Poster: Afya: A Descriptive Study of Community-Based Long-Term Rehabilitation Project in Post-Earthquake Haiti
Kristina Fusco (MS Program), Erin Devine (MS Program), Talia Zeitz (MS Program) with Kristie Patten Koenig, Associate Professor
Poster 4049 – Afya: The Impact of a Long-Term Rehabilitation Project on Pain and Function Outcomes in Post-Earthquake Haiti
Marisa Davison (MS Program), Cara Flinter (MS Program), Nylah Lummer (MS Program), Katelyn Ryan (MS Program), Mallori Seliger (MS Program) with Grace Kim, Assistant Professor
Poster: The Use of Web-Based Resources To Facilitate Stroke Rehabilitation
We sat down with new OT faculty member Dr. Janet Njelesani to learn more about her research and experiences in the classroom during her first year as a faculty member in the NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy.
How is your first year at NYU going, and what classes do you teach in the department?
My first year here at NYU Steinhardt has gone really well. NYU is such a large institution with so many resources and such strong diversity.
I am currently teaching Foundations of OT, which is a course for first year OT students and is often their first introduction to what the profession of occupational therapy really is. I also teach Evidence-Based Practice, which is a course for post-professional students in the OTD program, who are all currently practicing clinicians. Both courses draw on my research experiences and expertise in the study of occupation, so they are a pleasure to teach.
What is your background, and what brought you to NYU Steinhardt?
I completed my PhD at the University of Toronto in 2012 in a collaborative program of Rehab Science and Global Health. I had this interest as a practicing OT and a researcher in the intersection of how occupational therapy can work within a global health context. When I finished my PhD, I began to work internationally for UNICEF. What I did there was provide technical guidance to governments particularly in low and middle-income countries to help strengthen their national disability policies, national disability plans, and disability data collection.
While working at the policy level for a couple of years, I noticed that there was a gap in research, particularly about children with disabilities, so I wanted to return to academia to explore those areas.
Could you talk a little about where your research is focused, what sparked your interest in the topic, and what you are working on now?
My body of research broadly aims to enhance equity for children with disabilities in low and middle-income countries. I am especially interested in research on child protection violations against children with disabilities attending schools, and use critical qualitative methodologies to guide my work.
I am currently working on a project funded entitled “The Landscape of Child Disability in Rwanda”. The overall goal of the project is to improve the monitoring of the rights of children with disabilities in Rwanda, building on the work of the Government of Rwanda and the National Council of Persons with Disabilities.
I am also starting a pilot project in Zambia to begin to understand the experiences of school violence against children with disabilities in Lusaka, Zambia, and start generating an evidence base on why children with disabilities are more vulnerable to violence at school than their non-disabled peers. The findings will be used to inform education programs and policies in Zambia and provide evidence that school violence against this population must be a priority. Currently, no programs or policies exist in Zambia that specifically address these issues.
What have you found to be the most rewarding aspect of teaching here at NYU?
The caliber of the students in this program is so high, and I have learned so much from them already from class discussions. I have also greatly enjoyed introducing my students to new avenues of OT that they didn’t know existed, and getting them excited about the broad scope and possibilities of the profession for them to explore.
Some students weren’t aware of the work OTs can do at the macro level, be it policy and working with governments like I have done to influence change for children with disabilities. OTs don’t just have to be in a one-on-one care or hospital setting to make a difference, but can also work in more consultative roles such as developing programs in countries that do not have occupational therapists for teachers that they can implement themselves to provide intervention to school children. I’m excited to open more doors for the students I work with here at NYU.
In honor of Dr. Jim Hinojosa’s immense contributions to the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy and to the OT profession as a whole, we are honored to share the establishment of the Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award. This annual award seeks to recognize an outstanding NYU OT alumni who has made significant contributions to the profession.
We are pleased to announce the 2017 and inaugural award winner is Dr. Neil Harvison. Dr. Harvison is a two-time alumni of the department (M.A. 1988 and PhD 2005), and has contributed his life’s work to the OT profession. Dr. Harvison is a state licensed OT and is currently the Chief Officer for Academic and Scientific Affairs and Director of Accreditation and Academic Affairs at the American Association of Occupational Therapy. He has also previously worked as a Hospital Director at Mount Kisco Hospital Center, an Associate Director of Rehab Medicine at Mount Sinai Hospital, and Assistant Chief Occupational Therapist at Beth Israel Medical Center, amongst other positions as an OT.
We sat down with Dr. Harvison ahead of the AOTA convention, where he will be honored at the NYU OT alumni reception, to learn more about his life and work.
Please tell us a little bit about your background, and your path to becoming an OT.
I grew up in a working class neighborhood of Brisbane, Australia. I was one of five children and our dad worked as a gardener. I had some exposure to health professions through my disabled sister, but I really knew little about occupational therapy before I started exploring university programs. I shadowed an OT for a day and was sold!
I was fortunate to get admitted into the very competitive bachelor of occupational therapy program at the University of Queensland. The program came with free tuition and my family’s financial status allowed me to get living and other school fees covered by a government stipend. I graduated from the program with my class in 1983, and I stayed an extra 12 months to complete the honors research program. I then practiced as an OT in pediatrics in Brisbane before coming to NYU in 1986 to complete the MA in OT.
How do you think your education at NYU prepared you for becoming a leader in the field?
While the content in the coursework was important it would have been the exposure to my mentors in the NYU OT department that made the big difference. Initially, I spent a lot of time with Anne Mosey and Betty Abreu who both taught in the graduate programs. They each had very distinct leadership styles, but they both taught me the importance of carefully analyzing and reflecting on the available data before making an independent decision. They gave their students permission to question the status quo, as long as you had the data and rationale to support your argument, and more importantly that change was not necessarily a bad thing.
Later in my tenure at NYU it was faculty including Debbie Labovitz , Mary Donahue, and Jim Hinojosa who guided my career development. I still apply the skills I learned at NYU in my daily work life.
You have worked to implement community-based integrative medicine programs and inpatient integrative medicine initiatives, why do you think these types of applications of OT philosophy are important in moving the field forward?
I did have the opportunity to work on developing a number of integrative medicine programs. I think one of the reasons I was selected to lead these programs was closely tied to my background as an OT and our beliefs on the role of occupations in achieving health and wellness. As a profession one of our distinct strengths is our ability not to be tied to the disease focused model of health care, and our belief that health and wellness can be achieved through successful participation in occupations.
Why do you think continuing education for OT’s is so important?
A workforce of occupational therapy practitioners who maintain “currency” in practice is essential. The health care delivery system is changing rapidly and demanding quality services demonstrated through outcomes. The OT workforce must be delivering services that demonstrate the profession’s distinct contribution to the health and wellness of society. This can only be achieved if that work force is knowledgeable of the current interventions that achieve these outcomes.
What do you consider your most significant accomplishments in the field? What do you hope to accomplish in the future with your work at AOTA?
At this stage of my career I think it would be the strides we have made over the last 10 years in the quality of our education programs and our position within the higher education community.
Like most health care professions, the majority of our educators were trained to be practitioners and not to be faculty and teachers. We have worked a lot on faculty development and developing the quality of our program curriculums. Despite our relatively small numbers, we have achieved a prominent position within the community of health care profession educators and are recognized for the rigor and quality of our programs.
The focus of my work over the next 5-10 years will be on developing high-value continuing professional development. As a profession we graduate entry-level practitioners prepared to be leaders in the health care. We now need to ensure that members of our workforce maintain the same level of competency throughout their careers.
The NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2017 Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarships. This year’s awardees are Kathryn Ross, Alexia Santiago, and Claire Sherman. These three exceptional students will each receive a $2750 tuition award for their Summer 2017 semester.
Many congratulations to our 2017 recipients!
Kathryn Ross has fostered two passions during her time in the OT department: pediatrics and cooking. Through a fellowship with Dr. Koenig at the Center for Discovery, she was able to work with students in the CSD and Nutrition departments at Steinhardt where she saw the impact food can have on both children and adults with physical or cognitive impairments. Upon graduation in 2018, she hopes to create a cookbook with family-friendly recipes that can be combined with educational resources for how to utilize adaptive equipment in the kitchen.
Alexia Santiago is passionate about mental health and orthopedic rehabilitation, two areas that work in unison with many clients. In her future as an Occupational Therapist, she plans to create and use evidence-based research that reflects the benefits of actively incorporating mental healthcare in all domains of OT, and hopes to make things better for her clients through research and political advocacy. Alexia looks forward to the many opportunities available to tailor her OT practice to her talents and interests.
Claire Sherman came to the OT program with a desire for her future clients to live the most independent and productive lives possible, and through her time in the program has grown to cultivate her interests in the areas of work rehabilitation and hand therapy. She has a passion for advocacy and along with being a clinician, she looks forward to being an advocate for those with disabilities through the promotion of legislation and policies beneficial to these populations.
The Frieda J. Behlen Occupational Therapy Scholarship is an endowed fund created principally by gifts from alumni of the occupational therapy programs at NYU. Income generated by the endowment is awarded annually to students who demonstrate superior academic achievement as well as financial need. With growth in the fund’s balance from new gifts, the amount given out has been able to increase and will continue to do so. The award takes the form of a tuition aid applied toward summer courses. Professional Program second-year students are eligible to apply.
The fund was named to honor the memory of Frieda J. Behlen, founder and longtime chair of NYU’s Department of Occupational Therapy. Ms. Behlen was known for never hesitating to find monies, even if from her own pocketbook, to enable deserving students to complete their studies.
To contribute to this and other Department of Occupational Therapy funds please visit http://www.nyu.edu/giving/.