Meet Your Instructor: Leah Simpkins, assistant professor, EKU Occupational Therapy

EKU Online > Meet Your Instructor: Leah Simpkins, assistant professor, EKU Occupational Therapy

Leah Simpkins believes in 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. Simpkins’ personal attention and dedication to helping students learn and 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?

I jokingly say that EKU found me.  When I was a 4-year-old, I started walking around on EKU’s campus and never left!  I attended Model Laboratory School (pre-K-12), and then graduated with Bachelor of Science, Master of Science, and Doctor of Occupational Therapy degrees.  EKU is such a great school for occupational therapy, and I truly enjoy being part of students’ EKU experience!

Tell us a little about your work in your field.

I have worked primarily in older adult rehabilitation and rehabilitation management.  I enjoy working with the older adult (geriatric) population in skilled nursing facilities, assisted living facilities, hospital acute care, and home health.

What is your approach to online teaching?

I prefer an interactive approach and getting to know my students and their goals.

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

I work to ensure that students fully understand the material, and strive to be active, accessible and present.

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

Students can be reached from everywhere across the globe on their own timeline.  The flexibility of online learning for students is excellent.

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

I was recently inducted into the National Academy of Practice for Interdisciplinary Healthcare for Occupational Therapy.  I was also selected to serve Woodmen Life as a National Delegate for Kentucky.  My current research interests include interdisciplinary care and education for older adults in skilled nursing facilities.

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

Do not be afraid of the unknown! This is a great program with excellent instructors who are encouraging you every step of the way.

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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