Class Notes: Fall 2017

Ali Ahmad, PhD (PhD 2015) is currently working in the clinic as the head of the hand therapy unit at Ministry of Health – Kuwait.

James Battaglia, MA OTR/L CHT (MA 2001) has recently been appointed as an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Therapy program in the Health Professions Department at Hofstra University. He is currently working toward completion of his EdD in Learning and Teaching at Hofstra as well. His paper Toward a Caring Curriculum: Can Occupational Therapy be Taught in a Caring Context?, was published in the International Journal of Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, and a co-authored paper with his wife Dana Battaglia entitled, Faculty mentoring in communication sciences and disorders: Case study of a doctoral teaching practicum, was published in the Academy of Educational Leadership Journal in late 2016.

Paula Kramer (BS 1973, MA 1977, Ph.D. 1993) was recently named Professor Emerita of University of the Sciences.

Katherine Malfucci (MSOT 2012) started working last year as a Senior Instructional Therapist mentor with the Nest program, a New York City Dept. of Ed. ASD program that partners with NYU to include students with ASD in general ed classrooms. It has been a great inspiration to work with and learn from therapists throughout the city who do such wonderful, innovative work with our students.  This year she also began working at Back to Health, an outpatient clinic in Brooklyn, providing care for clients of all ages with musculoskeletal injuries and disabilities.

Sara Monheit-Peress (MA 1981) is married to Louis Peress (a COTA and Real Estate Broker) and is practicing Occupational Therapy in Las Vegas.

Jaimie Porter OTR/L CBIS (MSOT 2011) currently works in Acute Inpatient Rehabilitation at Mount Sinai Hospital, originally on the Brain Injury Rehab unit and currently on the Spinal Cord Injury Rehab unit, and has recently become a Certified Brain Injury Specialist.

Jackie Tamayo, MS, OTR/L (MS 2012) is a hand therapy resident at OrthoCarolina ’16-’17, obtained CHT, and is a hand Specialist at Calif. Orthopaedic Institute in San Diego.

Audrey H. Weiss (MA 1995) wrote the cover story in the August (2016) edition of OT Advance Magazine. The story titled Hitting the High Notes…starting an OT music group for special-needs students is easier-and more fun- than you thought, is about her OT music group which she runs in schools and clinics. 

Kickball Tournament for the AOTF St. Catherine Challenge

This fall, OT students, faculty, and staff gathered for a day of fun to raise money for the AOTF St. Catherine Challenge, which raises funds for occupational therapy research grants. This year the department participated in a kickball tournament and picnic with friends and family. Donations can still be made in NYU Steinhardt OT’s name towards the St. Catherine Challenge by visiting their website. The department looks forward to participating again in the years to come!

Remembering Anne Cronin Mosey

A scholar, educator, and epistemologist, Anne Cronin Mosey, Ph.D., OT, FAOTA (1938-2017) devoted her life to advancing occupational therapy. Mosey grew up in Minneapolis, Minnesota and earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Minnesota in 1961. After graduation, Mosey moved to New York City to work with Gail Fidler. During the five years that Mosey worked with Fidler, she was encouraged to seek advanced education and to engage in self-directed learning. During those years, Mosey learned the value of theory-based intervention and the importance of providing client-centered activities.

In 1965, Mosey enrolled in the advanced Masters of Arts degree program in the Department of Occupational Therapy at New York University, earning her degree in 1965. Committed to advancing her knowledge, she then enrolled in a Doctorate of Philosophy program in Human Relations and Community Studies at Columbia University.

In 1966, Mosey became a faculty member in Columbia University’s Occupational Therapy Program, where she completed her doctoral degree in 1968. Dr. Mosey then returned to NYU as a faculty member in the Department of Occupational Therapy. There she would serve in multiple roles including professor, chair, and division head. During her time at NYU she established the first Doctorate of Philosophy degree program in occupational therapy in the world.

The focus of Dr. Mosey’s scholarship changed in response to advancing knowledge and changes in the profession. Although not often recognized, Dr. Mosey’s contributions as an educator extended far beyond the classroom. Numerous students have noted that Mosey changed the way they thought about the profession, and that she encouraged them to think like scholars, making learning both challenging and supportive.

Mosey’s most significant contributions can be categorized into two interconnected phases. During the first phase, she focused on the importance of the theoretically sound basis for practice. She observed that the Profession did not currently have accepted guidelines for intervention. She conceptualized the frame of reference for OT’s unique guideline for intervention. These guidelines provided a solid theoretical basis for therapists to provide intervention. The new frame of reference was also crucial for the Profession because it recognized that a client-centered approach for intervention begins with learning and evaluating the client’s individual needs.

During the second phase of her professional career, Dr. Mosey engaged in exploring the philosophy of applied scientific inquiry and the philosophy of the science-based profession. She recognized that as an applied profession, basic scientific inquiry would not support the efficacy of occupational therapy interventions. She proposed methods for examining the efficacy of frames of reference. During this time, grounded in pluralistic philosophy, she argued that the profession needed to devote its limited resources to examining its frames of reference and not developing basic science.

In 1975, Dr. Mosey was inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows. Her contribution to the scholarship of the field of OT was acknowledged in 1985 when she received the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Eleanor Clark Slagle lectureship. In her lecture, she presented a controversial title, “A Monistic or a Pluralistic Approach to Professional Identity?” In 2003, New York University established the Anne Cronin Mosey Lectureship in her honor to address controversial issues facing the OT profession. Dr. Mosey’s work continues to influence future occupational therapy scholars as well as inspire the faculty in NYU Steinhardt’s OT department. She will be truly missed.

Occupational Therapy Scholar Series: Fall 2017

The Fall 2017 semester brought three expert guest speakers to the department of Occupational Therapy as part of our OT Scholar Series. We were honored to have these insightful researchers visit the department to speak to students, faculty, and staff about current issues in the field.

Dr. Peii Chen, Research Scientist, Kessler Foundation
Topic: Rehabilitation Research on Spatial Neglect

Dr. Peii Chen is a neurorehabilitation scientist at Kessler Foundation. Dr. Chen’s work is mostly focused on spatial neglect. It is a common syndrome following a traumatic brain injury or a stroke. Spatial neglect and its related disorders provide great insights to the understanding of spatial cognition and its underlying neural networks. Symptoms of spatial neglect can be manifested in various ways depending on the impaired sector or reference frame of spatial representation, the affected perceptual modality, or the ability in motor control. There is no single treatment that effectively ameliorates every symptom.  Dr. Chen has been working on developing and refining clinical assessment and treatment tools for patients with spatial neglect, naming the Kessler Foundation Neglect Assessment Process (KF-NAP™) and the Kessler Foundation Prism Adaptation Treatment (KF-PAT™).

Abraham A. Brody, PhD, RN, FPCN, Associate Professor, NYU Rory Meyers College of Nursing, Associate Director, Hartford institute for Geriatric Nursing
Topic: Utilizing Community-Based Participatory Research to Develop Interprofessional Interventions in Caring for Vulnerable Populations

Dr. Brody is an expert in home-based inter-professional care of seriously ill older adults. His program of research focuses on how to improve symptom assessment and management of dementia and other chronic conditions through inter-professional care in community based settings including home health and hospice. He also seeks to understand how effective inter-professional care in these settings effects quality of life, healthcare utilization, and healthcare costs. Dr. Brody is a current Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Nurse Faculty Scholar, a Cambia Healthcare Foundation Sojourns Scholar, and has multiple grants from the NIH, John A. Hartford Foundation, and VA in this area.

Dr. Ji-Hyuk Park, PhD, OT, Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Health Science, Yonsei University, Republic of Korea
Topic: Therapeutic Effects of Occupation in Neurological Disorders

In occupational therapy, occupation is the therapeutic media used to improve the functional performance of participation and quality of life. Natural motivated behavior, animal model of occupation, increases the levels of neurotrophic factors enhancing neural plasticity. Experience and occupation guide changes in the neural system, as reported by nonscientific evidence in animal and human studies. Experience-dependent plasticity is induced by occupational experiences in human. Therapeutic occupation used for patients with neurological disorder should be a motivated task-oriented activity specified to a target performance skill, highly intensive, and close to a real occupation in everyday life. This kind of therapeutic activity can enhance functional recovery through experience-dependent plasticity in the human brain.

 

Kristie Patten Koenig Wins Patricia Buehler Legacy Award for Clinical Innovation

We are proud to announce that department chair and associate professor Kristie Patten Koenig was awarded the USC Chan Division’s 2017 Patricia Buehler Legacy Award for Clinical Innovation. Dr. Koenig was presented the award on November 14 when she presented her research on the efficacy of interventions utilized in public schools for children and adolescents with autism spectrum disorders, with a special emphasis on applications of strength-based paradigms in inclusive settings.

Janet Njelesani Awarded Funding from Provost’s Global Research Initiative

Janet Njelesani, assistant professor in the OT department, has received funding of $10,000 from the Provost’s Global Research Initiative to establish a Global Disability-based Violence Research Group for the field of occupational therapy.
Reducing violence against persons with disabilities is a task not just for social and justice services but for the health and rehabilitation sector too. To date occupational therapy has played a limited role in this discourse. The aim is to bring together occupational therapy researchers and have an initial coordination workshop to discuss the feasibility of establishing a Global Disability-based Violence Research Group for the field of occupational therapy that aims to gather, collate, review, and carry out research to help understand, monitor, and alleviate disability-based violence.  The initial workshop will be held in Cape Town, South Africa in May 2018.

 

Now Accepting Nominations for the 2nd Annual Jim Hinojosa Award

The annual Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award was established in honor of Dr. Jim Hinojosa‘s immense contributions to the NYU Department of Occupational Therapy and to the OT profession as a whole. This award seeks to recognize an outstanding NYU OT Alumni who has made significant contributions to the profession. The award will be presented at the Department’s 2018 Alumni Reception at the annual AOTA Conference. Recipients will receive $500 and will be featured in the Department’s Blog/Newsletter.

The nomination period for the 2018 Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award is open through January 15, 2018. In order to submit a nomination, please complete the form below.

Follow this link to the Application: 
2018 Jim Hinojosa Alumni Award Nomination Form

 

How Student Strengths Can Help Close the Autism Employment Gap

Twelve years ago, Stephen Shore was visiting Urakawa, a small town in Japan, where he met the mother of a teenage boy with autism. The boy had limited verbal skills, and his mother was worried about what kind of work he might find as an adult.

Shore, an adjunct professor in NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy, asked her the same question he always asks parents of children with autism: What is it your child likes to do?

The mother said her son liked to spend time in the basement sticking his finger under the faucet and spraying water at high pressure. There could be a number of sensory reasons why the boy enjoyed this, Shore said, including the feeling of pressure on his thumb, the joy of watching water arc across the room, or the sound of water splashing against the wall.

“And that is a gift because it tells us, ‘OK, now we know what he’s interested in: spraying water at high pressure,’” he said. “So that means considering jobs that might involve spraying water at high pressure.”

Focusing on a young person’s interests as a clue to career happiness seems like a given. When a girl shows an interest in animals, she might be encouraged to consider a future career in veterinary sciences. When a boy exhibits an interest in drawing, he may be invited to sign up for art classes. And yet, when children with autism show an interest in a subject, there can be a stigma – many times leading to their interest being labeled “restrictive” or “obsessive.”

“It’s important not to pathologize these strengths,” said Kristie Patten Koenig, an associate professor and department chair for NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy.

As an example, Koenig said her son, who does not have autism, used to talk a lot about baseball statistics and history, “but we don’t ascribe any weakness to that. We don’t say he’s obsessed or has a ‘restricted interest.’ But for kids who are on the autism spectrum, many people view it as more of a pathology or a deficit versus seeing the potential there, because of the depth of the interest.”

She said removing the pathology from these interests not only eliminates a negative stigma but allows members of the autism community to thrive in situations that capitalize on their strengths. They can be helped mentally and socially, but also occupationally.

Read the full article on our online program OT@NYU‘s blog.

OT Students Explore Disability in a Global Context in Shanghai

This summer students and faculty from NYU Steinhardt’s Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy programs traveled to Shanghai for the course China: Disability in a Global Context. The class was led by Wen K. Ling, Associate Professor of Physical Therapy and Sally Poole, Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy. This interdisciplinary course brought students together from Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Teaching and Learning, and other programs at NYU Steinhardt. The students explored and identified factors, including cultural factors and health beliefs, which may influence a community’s view of disability.

Students spent two weeks in Shanghai, touring around the city with their home base as NYU Shanghai’s campus. During their free time they took part in traditional exercise classes, toured local homes, ate traditional meals together, and took in the culture of the region. They also learned about education, traditional Chinese health beliefs and practices, current health care, access and public transportation, and social welfare for individuals with disabilities in China.

We spoke with Joy Sarraf, a current OT student, about her experiences in the course. Read on to learn more!

Tell us more about yourself and what brought you to NYU Steinhardt.

I’m from Long Island and I am currently in the NYU Occupational Therapy Masters Program. I went to NYU for my undergrad degree as well and had the best most fulfilling four years here. In addition to the unbeatable location and many other factors, the fact that NYU offers global courses definitely added to the appeal of staying at my alma mater. 

Why did you want to participate in this global class?

For one thing, it was a wonderful excuse to travel to China! The Occupational Therapy Framework always stresses the importance of altering treatment plans based on your environment; being in an unfamiliar foreign country gave me a chance to really see how OT transforms with the culture and environment of the patients at hand. It was an engaging learning experience and also so much fun! Eating authentic Chinese cuisine and seeing the famous beautiful light up Bund, when the skyline of Shanghai lights up, excited me as well.

What was your favorite part of the Steinhardt global experience?

Although there were short lectures in the morning, a big bulk of the course consisted of field trips to hospitals, orphanages, living facilities, etc. Every afternoon we had another opportunity to take a peek into the health care system and daily life of China in a very hands-on way.

In some institutions we even got to see treatments as they were being performed. We all really appreciated these immersive field trips, and it was incredible to view OT through the lens of another culture.

Do you think having students from other disciplines in the class made the experience richer or more well-rounded?

Definitely! In the field, Occupational Therapists work so closely with other health care professionals, especially Physical Therapists, that it feels only natural to learn with them as well and to practice the inter-professional skills that we will utilize throughout our careers. Also, it was nice to get to know some new NYU faces and broaden my network. We all made some awesome friends during this trip and still keep in touch– we’re even planning a dumpling dinner reunion soon! 

What parts of the class did you find most interesting and/or surprising from an OT perspective?

To our surprise, in China there isn’t much of distinction between Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapists; they are all referred to as Rehab therapists and receive no specialized training. 

How do you think seeing how OT’s and other medical professionals from other cultures interact with their patients /clients will help you in your future practice?

I think this experience pushed me to think outside the box and use critical thinking to alter treatment plans appropriately. More and more occupational therapists are traveling abroad to live or to aid in natural disasters. I feel more prepared to be flexible with my treatment in the event that I end up working outside of NYC. I also believe I may be better able to understand the values and relate to my future international patients because of this experience. 

How has Steinhardt helped you to achieve your personal and professional goals? 

Because Steinhardt and NYU in general value the importance of inter-professionalism I have had multiple opportunities to learn from students with different backgrounds and gain a deeper understanding of the health care system that I will eventually be a part of. In addition to my interpersonal experience in China’s global class, I have been working with future health care professionals in my role as Inter-Professional Education Group leader for my OT class. IPEG brings students from all health care departments together, the board consists of NYU leaders from 11 different health care programs. Our goal is it to create events where all NYU health care graduate students can engage with each-other. Some of our events are social mixers to help students network, while others are more academic like our Grand Rounds where mixed teams work together and race to figure out the diagnoses of a case study – all of them help us better understand and appreciate one another and therefore better work together. Working with IPEG has truly been one of my most enriching experiences at NYU.