Faculty Spotlight: Grace Kim

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.

Tracy Chippendale Receives Stroll Safe Grant

Dr. Tracy Chippendale

Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Tracy Chippendale recently received a grant from NY Community Trust to conduct a feasibility study for “Stroll Safe”, an outdoor fall prevention program that she developed. The 7-week program, designed for active community dwelling seniors, focuses on safe strategy use to prevent stumbles, trips, slips, and falls outdoors. The purpose of the study is to examine the feasibility of the program and data collection protocol to plan a multisite clinical trial.

The topics addressed in the once a week, 7-week outdoor falls prevention program, for which a treatment manual has been developed, are based on the results of a survey conducted of community dwelling older adults that identified gaps in knowledge and use of prevention strategies, and the related literature. The program includes pre-set modules, however, participants will be able to voice individual concerns and problem-solve solutions during group discussions, and will discuss topics such as self-advocacy regarding reporting problems to the city.

Participants will be asked to keep daily diaries of stumbles, trips, slips, and falls from the time they enroll in the study until two months following the completion of the program. Dr. Chippendale is currently conducting the study.

Faculty Achievements: Grants and Publications 2016-2017

A complete list of achievements by the faculty of the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy.

Grants and Awards:

Tracy Chippendale

“Stroll Safe”: An outdoor fall prevention program. Funder: NY Community Trust. Dates of project:February 2017-February 2018. Role: PI Total budget: $20,000

Janet Njelesani

2017: The landscape of child disability in Rwanda funded by UNICEF. $320,000.

Kristie Patten Koenig

Co-Principal Investigator: “A Comprehensive Program Evaluation of the ASD Nest Program: Student and School Community Impact” (Co-Principal Investigator Cheri Fanscelli, Ph.D.) FAR Fund. Funded for 1/1/17 to 12/31/17. $50,000.

Publications:

Tracy Chippendale

Chippendale, T. & Lee, C-D. (accepted).Characteristics and fall experiences of older adults with and without fear of falling outdoors. Aging & Mental Health.

Chippendale, T., Gentile, P. A. & James, M. K. (accepted). Characteristics and outcomes of falls among older adult trauma patients: Considerations for injury prevention programs. Australian Occupational Therapy Journal.

Yael Goverover

Engel, L., Chui, A., Goverover, Y., &  Dawson, D. (Accepted: 2/3/17). Optimizing activity and participation outcomes for people with self-awareness impairments related to acquired brain injury: An interventions systematic review. Neuropsychological Rehabilitation.

Jim Hinojosa

Hinojosa, J. (In Press). How society’s philosophy has shaped occupational therapy practice for the past 100 years. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy

Tsu-Hsin Howe

Howe, T.-H., Sheu, C.-F., & Hinojosa, J. Teaching Theory in occupational therapy using a cooperative learning: A mixed method study (Accepted). Journal of Allied Health.

Lee, T.-I., Howe, T.-H., Chen, H.-L., & Wang, T.-N. (2016). Predicting handwriting legibility in Taiwanese elementary school children. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70, 7006220020. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2016.016865

Kristie Patten Koenig

Patten Koenig, K. & Hough, L. (published online first January, 2017). Characterization and utilization of preferred interests: A survey of adults on the autism spectrum. Occupational Therapy in Mental Health.

 

Occupational Therapy Offers New Autism-Focused Study Abroad Course

Associate Professor and Department Chair Kristie Koenig, will be offering a new graduate-level study abroad course in London this January. The course, Strength-Based Paradigm: A Focus on Autism, will examine the treatment of children and youth with autism spectrum disorder in a variety of settings. Participants will examine the efficacy of intervention through a strength-based lens and compare and contrast the theoretical basis of interventions in the U.S. and the U.K.

“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.

NYU at the 2017 AOTA Conference

 

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:

Faculty:

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

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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

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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

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Tracy Chippendale, Assistant Professor and Patricia Gentile, Adjunct Professor

Poster: Indoor and Outdoor Falls Among Older Adult Trauma Patients: A Comparison of Patient Characteristics and Outcomes

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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)

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Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor

Short Course: Evidence-Based Occupational Therapy Intervention for Patients With Distal Radius Fractures. With Debra T. Zizik

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Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor and Jim Hinojosa, Professor Emeritus

Poster: A Postmodern Approach to Clinical Reasoning in Occupational Therapy

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Students:

Chien-Ying Yang, PhD Candidate

Poster: Motor Performance of Children With Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder in Fourth to Sixth Grades: Differences Among Subtypes
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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

 

Faculty Spotlight: Janet Njelesani

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.

Inaugural Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award Winner Announced

Dr. Neil Harvison

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.

Janet Njelesani Receives Grant from UNICEF

The Department congratulates Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy Janet Njelesani on her recent grant from UNICEF. Dr. Njelesani has worked with UNICEF throughout her career, and her research currently focuses on enhancing equity for children with disabilities in low and middle-income countries.

Dr. Njelesani was awarded funding in the amount of $320,226 from UNICEF. The funding supports the project, entitled “The landscape of child disability in Rwanda”, and will support the development of national child disability indicators for Rwanda, which align with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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. The project is led by Dr. Njelesani, in collaboration with the University of Toronto’s International Centre for Disability and Rehabilitation.

Study by Kristie Patten Koenig: Adults With Autism See Interests as Strengths, Career Paths

Department of Occupational Therapy Associate Professor and Chair Kristie Patten Koenig recently published the findings of a new study in the journal Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, which found that adults on the autism spectrum see their interests as possible fields of study and career paths, as well as ways to mitigate anxiety.

The findings continue a shift away from perceiving strong interests as a negative, and toward a perspective that recognizes the strengths and potential of these personal pursuits.

To read more about the study and its findings, visit Steinhardt At a Glance.

Steinhardt OT’s Listed on 100 Most Influential List for Profession Centennial

The American Association of Occupational Therapy (AOTA) is celebrating 100 years of occupational therapy as a discipline, and we are proud to share that many members of the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy community have made the list of 100 Most Influential People. Included on the list are Steinhardt graduates Wimberly Edwards, MS, OTR, Paula Kramer, PhD, OT, FAOTA, Lorraine Pedretti, MS, OTR, and Professor Emeritus’ and former department chairs Anne Cronin Mosey, PhD, OT, FAOTA and Jim Hinojosa, PhD, OTR, FAOTA.

We spoke with Dr. Hinojosa, who recently retired from the Department in 2016, about his career, how it feels to be included on this list, and what he predicts for the future of the profession.

What do you consider to be the most significant accomplishment in your career?

I would say that my most significant accomplishment in the profession has been my scholarly work, including publications and research. I also have committed extensive service to the profession serving on the Executive Boards of the American Occupational Therapy Association Executive Board, American Occupational Therapy Foundation, and the New York State Occupational Therapy Association. I specifically served 13 years on the AOTA Commission on Practice, six years as chair.

What are you most proud of about being named one of 100 most influential OT’s?

I am most proud of being nominated by some of my peers whom I really respect. It is an incredible honor as the profession prepares to celebrate its centennial.  I think I am most proud of what one nominator wrote about me being a “Prime mover in most of the major developments in the profession over his entire, long career. In this nomination, I would principally stress his scholarly contributions which have had a major influence on the dissemination and formation of occupational therapy knowledge. This is true within the USA for occupational therapy practitioners and academics; for many, many students, and, as well, internationally, in occupational therapy and other health professions. . . His work is followed by thinkers throughout the world.”

What are the most significant changes in the profession that you’ve witnessed over the past 20 years?

Over the past 20 years, Occupational Therapy has responded to changes in society and rapidly adopted new knowledge and technological advances. Most significant is the adoption of evidence-based practice to support the importance of addressing people with disabilities, and to address daily occupations in the natural environment. In pediatrics, occupational therapy has become standard practice addressing the unique needs of young children.

Where is the profession headed? What do you see as the next big change?

This is an interesting question. As I am not sure what the big change will be–but I can speculate that the next major change will be an advancement in dealing with people with psychosocial disabilities in the natural setting. While I’m sure it will continue to become more evidence-based and scientific, my hope is it will not lose its art of practice in the importance of client-centered care.