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Steinhardt Vice Dean Wins Highest Honor in Occupational Therapy


Kristie Patten is being recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) for her critical work in “Strength-Based and Client-Directed Occupational Therapy Practice.”


Kristie Patten, NYU Steinhardt’s vice dean for academic affairs, is the recipient of the American Occupational Therapy Association’s prestigious Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award – the highest honor in the profession of occupational therapy. The award will be conferred at AOTA’s 2021 Annual Conference & Expo.

Patten is being recognized for her critical work in “Strength-Based and Client-Directed Occupational Therapy Practice."

“I am humbled and honored to receive this award,” said Patten, vice dean and associate professor in the NYU Steinhardt Department of Occupational Therapy. “Eleanor Clarke Slagle was a founding member of our profession, with deep ties to New York state and previous winners have included prominent NYU OT faculty and alumni."

I look forward to contributing to the strong tradition of excellence and innovative ideas that these scholars have put forth.

Dr. Kristie Patten

The Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award was established as a memorial to one of the outstanding pioneers in the profession of occupational therapy. The purpose is to honor a member of the association who has substantially and innovatively contributed to the development of the profession’s body of knowledge.

Patten maintains a PhD in educational psychology and examines the efficacy of interventions utilized in public schools for children and adolescents on the autism spectrum. Patten teaches courses in the area of inclusion and strength based approaches for autism individuals. She has published and presented nationally and internationally on topics related to examining the efficacy of public school interventions and examining autism from a strength-based or abilities-based model.

In her research capacity, Patten is the principal investigator of NYU Steinhardt's ASD Nest Program, an inclusive program for children and adolescents with autism in New York City school. She is currently co-principal investigator of an NSF grant entitled “Developing Abilities and Knowledge for Careers in Design and Engineering for Students on the Autism Spectrum by Scaling Up Making Experiences” that leverages STEM interests of autistic public school students to build potential career pathways. She is also principal investigator of the GIFTED project, a multi-year grant project aimed at developing women leaders in public schools in Ghana.

Press release courtesy of NYU News.

Kristie Patten

Vice Dean of Academic Affairs; Professor of Occupational Therapy