Meet Your Instructor: Donna Colaianni, Associate Professor, EKU Occupational Therapy

EKU Online > Meet Your Instructor: Donna Colaianni, Associate Professor, EKU Occupational Therapy
Dr. Donna Colaianni Occupational Therapy

Donna Colaianni believes in accessibility and taking an active part in her student’s educational experience. She goes above and beyond to ensure her online students have just as much opportunity to interact and build a relationship with her as their on-campus counterparts.

Colaianni’s personal attention and dedication to helping students feel connected makes her a particular point of pride on EKU’s campuses, both in-person and virtual. We take great pride in offering the chance to get to know her a little better.

What brought you to EKU?

The opportunity to work on a well-respected OT program. I have admired the OS/OT program for a while and was happy to get the chance to join in.

Tell us a little about your work in your field.

As an occupational therapist most of my experience and my clinical specialty is in hand therapy. I am a Certified Hand Therapist. I have also worked in industrial rehabilitation, and inpatient rehabilitation.

What moment at EKU stands out as most memorable?

The warm welcome I have received from both faculty and students. It is a very vibrant community of teaching and learning here at EKU!

What is your approach to online teaching?

I think the most important part of online teaching is engaging and forming connections with students. I also like to keep things clear and organized.

What tactics or approaches do you use to  aid in your student’s success?

I strive to be very accessible to students for questions or just talking through ideas. We also have assignments that build on each other, allowing students to work through larger assignments piece-by-piece.

What do you believe are the biggest advantages to online learning?

I think the biggest advantages are for students to be able to work on their own time and schedule.  I also think it allows students to take more ownership of their learning, which I believe promotes critical thinking.

What have you been up to lately? (Research, projects, awards, etc.)

A group of my former students and I have had a study on diversity in OT recently published in the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education. I am also in the planning stages of a qualitative follow-up study about approaches to occupation-based hand therapy.

What advice would you give to someone who’s considering finishing their degree, or starting for the first time as an adult?

Go for it! You will benefit not only from what you learn directly in the program, but you will also experience new perspectives that will change the way you approach practice.

Interested in a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy?

Earn your online OTD degree from a regionally accredited university that has been an online education leader for more than 15 years. EKU offers one of the top post-professional doctor of occupational therapy programs in the nation. Our challenging doctorate degree options prepare practitioners to take on leadership roles and our flexible, online format provides students the ability to complete coursework and assignments according to their schedule.

Complete the form to learn more about how EKU Online’s OTD Program can help advance your career. You can also contact us at 859-622-4455 or

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