Faculty

Read more about our doctoral faculty and the scholarship they have produced since 2010. 



Dana Howell, Ph.D., OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Department Chair and Foundation Professor

Image Dana Howell

Education: 

B.S. Colorado State University
OTD Creighton University
Ph.D. University of Idaho

Email: Dana.Howell@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6256

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Interprofessional education
  • Qualitative research
  • Quality of life for people with physical disabilities

Publications:

Dr. Howell’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Toonstra, J., Howell, D.M., English, R. A., Lattermann, C., Mattacola, C. G. (2019). Rehabilitation providers' perspective on recovery following autologous chondrocyte implantation: A qualitative study.Journal of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Studies, 1(1).
  • Page, C., Howell, D.M., & Douglas, N. (2019). Positive culture change in long-term care: A procedure to enhance speech language pathologist-certified nursing assistant collaboration. Clinical Focus. https://doi.org/10.1044/2019_PERS-SIG2-2019-0009
  • Johnson, A., & Howell, D.M. (2019). Mobility bridges a gap in care: Findings from a mobility quality improvement project in acute care. Journal of Clinical Nursing, 28, 4044-4052.https://doi.org/10.1111/jocn.14986
  • Causey-Upton, R., Howell, D.M., Kitzman, P.H., Custer, M., & Dressler, V. (2019). Factors influencing discharge readiness after total knee replacement. Orthopaedic Nursing, 38 (1), 6-14. https://doi.org/10.1097/NOR.0000000000000513
  • Smith Forbes, E., Howell, D.M., Willoughby, J., Pitts, G., & Uhl, T. (2018). A retrospective cohort study of QuickDASH scores for three hand therapy acute upper limb conditions. Military Medicine, 183 (suppl. 1), 522-529. https://doi.org/10.1093/milmed/usx199

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Editor, Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE)
  • Contributing Editor, Potential Patterns, Journal of Allied Health
  • Clinical experience as an occupational therapist in adult rehabilitation in a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, and home health
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists
  • American Occupational Therapy Association

Awards/Accolades:

  • University Fellows Award, 2016
  • Jean Steffan Smith Faculty Award, 2011, 2013, 2015
  • Department o fOccupational Therapy Excellence in Scholarship Award,2014
  • Dr. Deborah R.Labovitz Scholarship Award from the Kentucky Occupational TherapyFoundation, 2008
  • Journal of Allied Health’s J. Warren Perry Distinguished AuthorAward (co-recipient) for the article, “Using the SF-36 to Determine the Perceived Health Related Quality of Life in Persons Over 65 in Rural Idaho,”2007

Shirley O’Brien, Ph.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Foundation Professor and PPOTD Program Coordinator

Image Shirley O'Brien

Education: 

B.S. Temple University
M.S. Rush University
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, Educational Policy Studies and Evaluation

Email: Shirley.O’Brien@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6329

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • School-based practice and pediatrics
  • Advocacy for children and families
  • The biological foundations of occupation
  • Interprofessional education

Publications:

Dr. O’Brien’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Sweet, C., O’Brien, S., Blythe, H., & Carpenter, R.  (2019). A new goal for professional development: A case study of how a professional learning community produced transformative faculty learning.  Learning Communities Journal, 11 (1).  
  • Eicher, E., Skubik-Peplaski, C.,O’Brien, S. & Fleischer, A. (2018) Exploring parents’ experiences of raising a child with sensorimotor impairments and expectations for leisure participation, The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy.  6(4), Article 6.  https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1364
  • O’Brien, S. P.& Hight, J. (2016). Leadership development through online e-portfolio creation.  American Occupational Therapy Association SIS Quarterly Practice Connections, 4(1), 29-31.
  • O’Brien, S.P., Marken, D., Petrey, K.B.  (2016). Student perceptions of scholarly writing.  The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 4(3), Article 8.  http://dx.doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1253
  • Myers, C.T. & O’Brien, S.P (2015).  Teaching interprofessional collaboration in the health sciences: Using online education across institutions. Occupational Therapy in Healthcare, 29(2), 178-185.
  • Vaught, E. L., Wittman, P., & O'Brien, S. (2013). Occupational behaviors and quality of life:  A comparison study of individuals who self-identify as adult children of alcoholics and non-adult children of alcoholics. International Journal of Psychosocial Rehabilitation, 18(1), 43-51.
  • Bibb, S. I., O’Brien, S. P., & Custer, M. G. (2012).  LoAD books:  Using e-technology to facilitate children’s reading skills.  American Occupational Therapy Association Technology Special Interest Section Quarterly, 22(1), 1-4.

She has also co-authored books and book chapters including: 

  • Schneck, C.M. & O’Brien, S. P.  (2019). Assessment and Treatment of Educational Performance.  In J.’O’Brien & H. Kulhanek (Eds.), Case-Smith's Occupational Therapy for Children and Adolescents, 8th ed. (Chapter 15). Elsevier
  • O'Brien, S. P.(Author) (2017). Faculty Perspectives of Teaching Online. In S. Thompson & P. Parry (Eds.), Coping with Gender Inequities (pp. 43-56). Baltimore, MD: Rowman & Littlefield Publishing Group.
  • Shordike, A., O’Brien, S., & Marshall, A. (2011). From altruism to participations: Bridging academia and borderlands. In Kroenberg, F. Occupational therapy without borders II. 329-338.  

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Continuous service in the American Occupational Therapy Association, Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association, state associations, and other professional groups
  • Reviewer, The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy (OJOT)
  • Reviewer, Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE)
  • Department Committees: Curriculum Committee and OTD Subcommittee
  • University Committees: Chair of Faculty Senate (2016/2017), Academic Budget Committee Subcommittee, E-Campus Quality Workgroup, Faculty Innovation Workgroup, Joint University Budget Review Committee, President’s Research and Scholarship Fund

Awards/Accolades:

  • 2019 Ronald J. Cutter Professional Service Award presented by the Arc of Kentucky
  • University Foundation Professor, 2016-2018
  • Phi Kappa Phi, faculty honoree and member, 2017-present
  • Faculty Innovator, Eastern Kentucky University – College of Health Science 2015
  • American Occupational Therapy Foundation, Leaders & Legacy Society (Inaugural Group), 2015. 
  • Jean Steffan Smith Faculty Award, 1996, 2007, 2008, 2010
  • Distinguished Education Leader, EKU Student Government Association, May 2007.
  • Service Award, American Occupation Therapy Association, 2001.
  • Honorary Member, Golden Key National Honor Society, 1999. 
  • Lindy Boggs Award for Political Activity (Activism in the legislative and policy making environment), American Occupational Therapy Association, 1997.
  • Distinguished Service Award, Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association, 1994-95.
  • Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (Mentoring in education and pediatric practice), 1992.

 


Colleen Schneck, Sc.D., OTR/L, FAOTA
Department of Occupational Therapy and
Occupational Science Chair and Professor

Image Colleen Schneck

Education: 

B.S. EasternMichigan University
M.S. Boston University
Sc.D. Boston University, Therapeutic Studies

Email: Colleen.Schneck@eku.edu
Phone:  859-622-3300

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Sensory processing problems in children and adolescents
  • Topics of interest to pediatric occupational therapists and school system personnel

Publications:

Dr. Schneck’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Leigers, K., Myers, C., Schneck, C. (2016). “Social Participation in Schools: A Survey of Occupational Therapy Practitioners”. American Journal of Occupational Therapy. 
  • Martin, S., Welborn-Mabrey, D., Kitzman, P., Effgen, S., Schneck, C. (2015). “Reliability of the Test of Pretend Play- A pilot study”. Journal of Disability and Rehabilitation.
  • Schneck, C. M., Brandenburger-Shasby, S., Myers, C. T., Smith, M. A. (2012). The Handwriting Without Tears versus Teacher-Designed Handwriting Instruction in a first grade classroom. Journal of Occupational Therapy, Schools & Early Intervention,5(1), 31-42.
  • Myers, C. T., Schneck, C. M., Effgen, S. K., McCormick, K. M., Shasby, S. B. (2011). Factors associated with therapists’ involvement in children’s transition to preschool. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 65, 76-85. 

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Clinical experience in pediatric occupational therapy for over 20 years in a variety of settings including school systems
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Foundation Board, Member (at large)
  • Related Services Advisory Committee; Kentucky Department of Education, Member (at large)
  • Research Committee; Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Center; Lexington, Kentucky, Member (at large)
  • American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference Proposals
  • SIS Practice Conference Proposals

Awards/Accolades:

  • Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association

Camille Skubik-Peplaski, Ph.D., OTR/L, BCP, FAOTA
Associate Professor

Image Camille Subik-Peplaski

Education: 

B.S. Eastern Michigan University
M.S. Wayne State University
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, Rehabilitation Sciences

Email: Camille.Skubik-Peplaski@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6325

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Occupation-based practice
  • Occupational therapy practice framework
  • Client-centered practice
  • The therapy environment
  • Client-centered practice

Publications:

Dr. Skubik-Peplaski’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • O'Brien, S. P. & Skubik-Peplaski, C.  (2019). Metacognition: Using critical reading strategies to promote critical thinking and clinical reasoningInnovations in Teaching and Learning Pedagogicon Proceedings.  Stillwater, OK: New Forums Press.
  • Eicher, E., Skubik-Peplaski, C., O’Brien, S. & Fleischer, A. (2018) Exploring parents’ experiences of raising a child with sensorimotor impairments and expectations for leisure participation, The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy.  6(4), Article 6.  https://doi.org/10.15453/2168-6408.1364
  • Skubik-Peplaski, C., Custer, M., Powell, E., Westgate, P. & Sawaki, L. (2017). Comparing occupation-based and repetitive task practice interventions for optimal stroke recovery, Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics.35(3-4), 156-168. DOI: 10.1080/02703181.2017.1342734 http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/02703181.2017.1342734
  • Steber, A., Skubik-Peplaski, C., Custer, M. & Causey-Upton, R. (2017). The Impact of Caring for Persons with Stroke on the Leisure Occupations of Female Caregivers, Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics. 35(3-4), 169-181, DOI:10.1080/02703181.2017.1350778
  • Winslow, M. P., Skubik-Peplaski, C., & Burkett, B. (2017). Transferring Information from Faculty Development to Classroom Practice: A Mixed-Method Study. Journal of Faculty Development, 31(1), 35-40.

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • 30+ years of experience as an occupational therapist in a variety of settings including school-based practice, pediatric rehabilitation, and adult rehabilitation
  • Held positions as an occupational therapist, outpatient therapy coordinator and practice coordinator creating occupational therapy programs and sustaining competent practice with a workforce of 75 therapists at Cardinal Hill Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Continuous service in the American Occupational Therapy Association, Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association, Kentucky Board of Occupational Therapy, and other professional groups

Awards/Accolades:

  • Reappointed by Governor Brashear to the Kentucky Board of Occupational Therapy for a second term 2013- 2016
  • Appointed by Governor Brashear to the Kentucky Board of Occupational Therapy 2010-2013
  • 2015 AOTF Leaders and Legacy Society- Inaugural Member
  • 2015 Best Poster UK PM &R Research Day
  • 2014  Jean Stephan Smith Faculty Award by Eastern Kentucky University Occupational Therapy Students
  • 2014 Best Poster UK PM &R Research Day
  • 2011 Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association
  • 2007 Awarded Distinguished Alumna of the Year by Eastern Michigan University
  • 2004-2005 Awarded Distinguished Service Award by the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
  • 1996-1997 Awarded Outstanding Occupational Therapist of the Year by the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association

MaryEllen Thompson, Ph.D., OTR/L
Graduate Coordinator and Professor

Education: 

B.A. University of Puget Sound
M.A. University of Southern California
Ph.D. Arizona State University, Educational Psychology/Lifespan Development

Email: MaryEllen.Thompson@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6347

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Research: Morning routines of Adults with Chronic Disabilities; Use of photo techniques in qualitative research; Adults with diabetes; Adolescents with disabilities – Transition and Inclusion issues; Tourette Syndrome and related disorders
  • Teaching:  Foundations, Theory, Research, Pediatrics

Publications:

Dr. Thompson’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Thompson, M.E. (2014).  Occupations, habits, and routines: Perspectives from persons with diabetes.  Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Science, 21, 153-160.
  • Strom, P, Thompson, M.E., & Strom, R.  (Winter, 2013).  Teamwork skills assessment for inclusion classrooms. Middle Grades Research Journal, 8(3), 83-98.
  • Thompson, M.E., & Oekler, A. (2013). Use of participant-generated photographs versus time use diaries as a method of qualitative data collection. International Journal of Qualitative Methods, 12, 624-637.
  • Thompson, M.E. (2013). Use of participant-generated photography in a research contribution course. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, 1(4), 1-13.

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • 20+ years of clinical work in occupational therapy in a variety of areas and settings including work primarily in pediatrics within the school system, home health, acute care, NICU, and outpatient care
  • Certified in giving Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests
  • Trained at the Ayres Clinic
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Society for the Study of Occupation
  • SSO: USA member of Conference committee
  • Kentucky Diabetes Network
  • Committee Chair, Admission, Progression and Retention Committee, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Department, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Committee Chair, MS Sub Committee, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Department, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Committee Member, ADA Committee, University wide, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Committee Member, Curriculum Committee, Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy Department, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Committee Member, Quality Enhancement of Graduate Programs

Awards/Accolades:

  • University Funded Research Grant, 2012, American Occupational Therapy Foundation Research Grant, 1986, and California Foundation Occupational Therapy Research Grant, 1986

Renee Causey-Upton, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor

Education: 

B.A. Eastern Kentucky University
M.S. Eastern Kentucky University
OTD Chatham University
Ph.D. In progress, University of Kentucky, Rehabilitation Sciences

Email: Renee.Causey-Upton@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-8297

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Outcomes following total knee replacement
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation
  • Occupational therapy education and pedagogy
  • Team-based learning
  • Adult rehabilitation

Publications:

Dr. Causey-Upton’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Causey-Upton, R. (2015). A model for quality of life: Occupational justice and leisure continuity for nursing home residents. Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 33(3), 15-188.  
  • Causey, R. (2013). Breathing easier: Pulmonary rehabilitation in skilled nursing facilities. OT Practice, 18(21), 13-17.
  • Causey, K. R. (2012). Pulmonary rehabilitation: Pathways to better breathing [Program manual]. Functional Pathways, Knoxville, Tennessee.
  • Crum, K. R. (2011). Readiness for discharge: Occupation-based treatment in the orthopedic setting.OT Practice, 16(14), 14-18, 23.

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Clinical experience as an occupational therapist and rehabilitation manager in acute care settings and skilled nursing facilities
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
  • Associate Editor, editorial board member, and reviewer, Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE)
  • Member of Curriculum Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of the OTD Sub-Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of the Academic Practice Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of Faculty Development Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of the Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE) Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of College of Health Sciences Alumni Affairs Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Advisor for junior and senior occupational science students

Awards/Accolades:

  • Deep Physical Agent Modalities Certification through the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Occupational Therapy
  • Marketing Strategy for Business Leaders Certificate through Cornell University
  • Recognition as a Champion’s Club Member from the Alzheimer’s Association, 2014.
  • Recipient of a Lilly Conference Scholarship award from Eastern Kentucky University to attend the Lilly International Conference on College Teaching, 2013.
  • Recipient of the Madonna Marsden Writing Award from Eastern Kentucky University, 2003.
  • Recipient of the Department of English and Theatre Writing Award, Eastern Kentucky University, 2003

Julie Baltisberger, Ph.D., OTR/L
Assistant Professor

Education: 

B.A. University of California, Berkeley
M.S. Eastern Kentucky University
Ph.D. University of Kentucky, Rehabilitation Sciences

Email: Julie.Baltisberger@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6303

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Cancer rehabilitation
  • Mothering
  • School-based practice
  • Qualitative and mixed methods

Publications:

Dr. Baltisberger’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Baltisberger, J. A. (2015).  “Bent but not broken”: A mixed methods study of mothering during chemotherapy for breast cancer.  Dissertation for Doctor of Philosophy degree, Department of Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kentucky.
  • Hunter, E. G., Baltisberger, J. A. (2012).  Functional outcomes by age for inpatient cancer rehabilitation: A retrospective chart review.  Journal of Applied Gerontology, XX(X), 1-.
  • Marken, D., Pierce, D, & Baltisberger, J. (2010).  Grandmothers’ use of routines to manage custodial care of young children.  Physical & Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 28(4), 360-375.  doi:10.3109/02703181.2010.535119
  • Schoenberg, N., Baltisberger, J., Bardach, S., & Dignan, M. (2010).  Perspectives on pap test follow up care among rural Appalachian women.  Women & Health, 50(6). 
  • Pierce, D., Atler, K., Baltisberger, J., Fehringer, E., Hunter, E., Malkawi, S., & Parr, T. (2010).  Occupational science: A data-based American perspective.  Journal of Occupational Science, 18(1).

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Clinical experience in working with children with disabilities in early intervention and school systems
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • AMBUCS National and Bluegrass Chapters
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association (KOTA)
  • Society for the Study of Occupation, USA (SSO-USA)
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT)

Awards/Accolades:

  • Golden Apple Award, Eastern Kentucky University Housing Department, 2010-2011
  • Related Services Scholarship, Kentucky Dept. of Education, November, 1997
  • Pi Theta Epsilon Occupational Therapy Honor Society, January, 1997
  • Appalachian Traineeship Award for Occupational Therapy, December, 1996

Leslie Hardman, OTD, OTR/L
Assistant Professor

Email: Leslie.Hardman@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6323

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Pediatrics

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapy
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
  • Kentucky Division of Early Childhood
  • Council for Exceptional Children

Cindy Hayden, D.H. Ed., OTR/L, CHT
Associate Professor

Image Cindy Hayden

Education: 

B.A. Eastern Kentucky University
M.S. University of Kentucky
DHEd. A.T. Still University, Health Education

Email: Cindy.Hayden@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6318

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Hand Therapy Outcomes
  • Chronic Pelvic Pain in Women
  • Scholarship of Teaching and Learning

Publications:

Dr. Hayden’s work can be found in several journals including:

  • Hayden, C.L., Gilbert, K.L., & Bryden, P.A. (2019). Factors influencing interstitial cystitis flares in women. Urologic Nursing, 39(3), 119-132. doi:10.7257/1053-816X.2019.39.3.119
  • Hayden, C., Fleischer, A. & Renfro-Taylor, K. (2017). Interactive video quizzes to enhance student learning. The Journal of Faculty Development. 31(3), 53-57.
  • Hayden, C. & Marken, D. (2015) Shared Grades as Academic Practice. The American Occupational Therapy Association Education Special Interest Section Newsletter.
  • Hayden, C. (2013). Online learning of safe patient transfers in occupational therapy education. The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. Retrieved from http://scholarworks.wmich.edu/cgi/login.cgi?logout=1&context=ojot
  • Hayden, C. (2013). Instructional design for learning: a psychomotor clinical skill online. International Journal of Instructional Technology and Distance Learning. Retrieved from http://itdl.org/Journal/Jan_13/Jan_13.pdf

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Certified Hand Therapist
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Occupational Therapy Education (JOTE)
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association, Education Chair (2013-2015)
  • Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association
  • Presented at State and National Conferences
  • Pi Theta Epsilon faculty advisor (2012-2018)
  • Editorial Board, AOTA OT Online Test Prep (2012-Present)
  • Editorial Board, AOTA OTA Online Test Prep (2012-Present)
  • University Committee, CHS representative on QEP Implementation, Critical Reading Committee
  • Curriculum Committee, Chair (2019-2021), OTD representative (2016-2018)
  • OS/OT Department Faculty Development Committee, Chair

Awards/Accolades:

  • Nominated for the Excellence in Teaching OT department award, Spring 2014
  • Nominated for the Excellence in Service OT department award, Spring 2014
  • Nominated for Instructional Design Award, 2018

Susan Skees Hermes, OTD, OTR/L, BCP

Image Susan Skees Hermes

Education: 

B.S. Eastern Kentucky University
M.S. Boston University
OTD Boston University

Email: 
Phone: 859-622-7372

Research/Academic Interests:

  • School-based interprofessional collaborative practice
  • Emerging occupational therapy professional development in the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
  • Intergenerational care and learning programs
  • Occupational therapy’s role in disaster and emergency response
  • Professional association leadership development
  • Occupational therapy student cultural competence

Publications:

Dr. Skees Hermes’s work can be found in several journals including: 

  • Skees Hermes, S. & Vizvary, E. (Summer 2019). Poised for Success, Part 1. Florida Occupational Therapy Association: FOCUS Newsletter.
  • Skees Hermes, S. (Fall 2009). Get A Grip. Bright Feats. St. John’s Press Corporation: Orlando, FL.
  • Carrasco, R. C., Hermes, S., Herge, A. E., Stallings-Sahler, S. & Lewin, J. (March 2008). Fast Forward to 2017: Evolving Developmental Disabilities Practice with the Centennial Vision. Developmental Disabilities Special Interest Section Quarterly, AOTA, Inc.
  • Skees Hermes, S. (June 2007). A multi-pronged approach for inclusion of preschoolers identified with developmental delays. AOTA SIS Developmental Disabilities. AOTA.
  • Skees Hermes, S. (March/ April 2006).Voluntary pre-kindergarten (VPK). Florida Occupational Therapy Association: FOCUS Newsletter.

She has also co-authored books and book chapters including: 

  • Carrasco, R.C., Skees Hermes, S. & Burgos, B. B. (2012). Supported and Alternative Employment: Developmental Disabilities and Work.  In Brent Braveman and Jill J. Page (Eds.) Work: Occupational Therapy Intervention to Promote Participation and Productivity. F. A. Davis: Philadelphia, PA.
  • Carrasco, R., & Skees Hermes, S. (2007) Occupational Therapy Provision to Support Participation in Context.  In Leslie Jackson (Ed.) Occupational Therapy Services for Children and Youth Under IDEA, 3rd ed. AOTA Press:  Bethesda, MD.

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
  • Nevada Occupational Therapy Association
  • Florida Occupational Therapy Association
  • Texas Occupational Therapy Association
  • Massachusetts Association for Occupational Therapy
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapy
  • Society for the Study of Occupation

Awards/Accolades:

  • Award of Recognition, Florida Occupational Therapy Association (2017)

Service Commendations, American Occupational Therapy Association

  • (2016 - 2019) Member, Volunteer Leadership Development Committee
  • (2015) Member, Ad Hoc Committee on International Work Group and   Distinct Value Subgroup Rehabilitation & Participation
  • (2008 - 2011), Representative Assembly Alternative for Florida
  • (2010) Local Conference Committee, Hospitality Committee Co-Chairperson
  • (2007) Ad Hoc Committee for Early Intervention
  • (2001) Ad Hoc Committee for the Budget

Allen Keener, OTD, MS, OTR/L, ATP
Associate Professor

Education: 

B.S. Education University of Alabama at Birmingham
M.S. Occupational Therapy University of Alabama at Birmingham School
OTD Eastern Kentucky University
Ph.D. (in progress) Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kentucky

Email: Allen.Keener@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-2331

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Assistive technology
  • Occupation-based practice
  • Neurological conditions
  • Innovative teaching
  • Learning practices

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Alabama Occupational Therapy Association
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association
  • Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America
  • Former OTA program director/department chair
  • Former occupational therapist in pediatrics, outpatient, skilled nursing, acute care, inpatient, mental health, and home healthcare settings.

Awards/Accolades:

  • RESNA certified assistive technology professional (ATP)
  • 2019 NISOD Award of Excellence for Teaching and Leadership

Christine Privott, Ph.D., OTR/L
Associate Professor 

Education: 

B.S. Boston University, occupational therapy
M.A. George Washington University, higher education
Ph.D. University Nevada Las Vegas/Women and Gender Studies, Educational Leadership

Email: Christine.Privott@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6326

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Teaching and qualitative research interests include gender and work, with a focus on vulnerable populations’ and relationship to models of occupational science and occupational therapy
  • Ongoing research in the community with graduate students - studying women in addiction recovery and perceptions of employability
  • Mentoring occupational therapy masters and doctoral students’ theses work exploring individuals’ diverse gender, behavioral, cultural, and psychosocial factors and impact on occupation

Publications:

Dr. Privott’s work can be found in several journals including: 

  • The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social Sciences
  • Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Social and Community Studies
  • Occupational Therapy in Mental Health (in-press)

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Faculty, Eastern Kentucky University, Department of Occupational Science and Occupational    Therapy
  • Adjunct Faculty, Eastern Kentucky University, Department of Women and Gender Studies (WGS)
  • Program Director and Faculty, College of Southern Nevada (CSN), School of Health Sciences, Occupational Therapy Assistant Program (OTA)
  • Fieldwork Education Program Manager, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), Bethesda, Maryland
  • Editorial Review Board Member, Open Journal of Occupational Therapy
  • Manuscript Reviewer, Journal of Occupational Science
  • Salary Negotiator Facilitator, American Association of University Women (AAUW)
  • Title IX Investigator Training, National Consortium of Higher Education Risk Managers (NCHERM) and EKU, Office of Academic Integrity, Certificate of Completion, 2014
  • Member, American Association of Adult Educators and Continuing Education (AAACE)
  • Member, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • Member, Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association (KOTA)

Awards/Accolades:

  • Awarded Common Ground 2018 Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Award Recipient: International Award for Excellence for Volume 13 of the Interdisciplinary Social Sciences Journal Collection.
  • Awarded Best Paper, International Organization of Social Sciences and Behavioral Research, Examining women’s perceptions of employability using a Procovery perspective: A qualitative approach in one addiction recovery center, 2016.
  • Nominated, 2015, EKU University Programs Award, Excellence in Service Learning
  • Nominated, 2015, EKU Critical Thinking Teacher of the Year Award

Geela Spira, PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor

Image Geela Spira

Education: 

B.A. Barnard College
M.S. Columbia University
Ph.D. Nova Southeastern University

Email: Geela.Spira@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-6345

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Sleep
  • Sensory Processing
  • Global Health
  • Intra-professional collaboration

Publications:

Spira, G. & Kupietsky, A. (2005). Oral defensiveness: Children with a dysfunction of sensory regulation. Journal of Clinical Pediatric Dentistry, 29(2), 119-122.
Spira, G. (2019). Use of visual imagery as an alternative to traditional written assignments. Pedagogicon Journal. In publication.
Spira, G. (2019). Interoception: An overview for allied health professionals. Open Journal of Complementary and Alternative Medicine. In publication.

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Clinical experience as an occupational therapist, rehabilitation senior, and Occupational Therapy Director in rehabilitation, burn care, & SNF settings, pediatric out-patient and school settings, & home health care settings.
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapy
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association (KOTA)
  • KOTA Eastern District co-chair
  • Member of the Occupational Therapy task force of the Kentucky Department of Behavioral Health
  • Editor and reviewer: Study for the Science of Occupation Conference submissions, AOTA Conference submissions, KOTA Conference submissions, Kentucky Journal of Undergraduate Scholarship, Journal of Occupational Therapy Education.
  • Member of Curriculum Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of the BSOS Sub-Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of the Occupational Therapy Outcomes Committee, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Member of Academic Practice Occupational Therapy Department, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Co-Chair of College of Health Sciences Living and Learning Community, with LLC award for Academic Partner of the year from Residence Life and Housing, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Chair of Faculty Research- College of Health Sciences Living and Learning Community
  • Scholar’s Day representative for Occupational Therapy Department, College of Health Sciences, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Occupational Therapy Faculty Library Liaison for J.S. Smith Collection, Eastern Kentucky University
  • Occupational Therapy Education Abroad Liaison, Eastern Kentucky University

Awards/Accolades:

  • Recipient of E. Kossoff Best Teaching Practices Award, Barnard College
  • Nominated for Instructional Design best use of technology, Eastern Kentucky University
  • 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association Emerging Scholar award
  • 2019 Admitted to Columbia University Alumni Loyal Blue Society

Casey Humphrey, OTD, MHA, OTR/L
Assistant Professor

Image Casey Humphrey

Education: 

B.S. Eastern Kentucky University
M.H.A. Des Moines University
OTD Eastern Kentucky University
 

Email: Casey.Humphrey@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-9956

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Occupational Therapy Fieldwork
  • Brain Injury Rehabilitation
  • Interprofessional Education

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Clinical experience in community-based, brain injury rehabilitation, health care administration, and geriatrics.
  • Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association Executive Board Member
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Certified Brain Injury Specialist through the Brain Injury Association of America
  • Certified Driving Rehabilitation Specialist through the Association of Driving Rehabilitation Specialists

Awards/Accolades:

  • 2019 American Occupational Therapy Association Young Scientist Theater
  • 2017 Eastern Kentucky University Outstanding Online Graduate Student Award

Leah Simpkins, OTD, OTR/L, CPAM

Image Leah Simpkins

Education: 

B.S. Eastern Kentucky University, Occupational Therapy
M.S. Eastern Kentucky University, Occupational Therapy
OTD Eastern Kentucky University, Occupational Therapy

Email: Leah.Simpkins@eku.edu
Phone: 859-622-9956

Research/Academic Interests:

  • Geriatric, older adult population
  • Traumatic brain injury
  • Therapy dogs in long-term care facilities   
  • Comparison studies with various disciplines with interdisciplinary educational opportunities

Associations/Affiliations/Work History:

  • Over 15 years with the geriatric population and has served 14 years in management positions as a rehabilitation director
  • KOTA, Member
  • AOTA, Member 
  • DPAM’s supervisor for the State of Kentucky
  • Faculty advisor for the Pi Theta Epsilon (Alpha Zeta Chapter) at EKU
  • Primary areas of interest include long-term care facilities, home health, independent living, assisted living, acute care (adult), traumatic brain, and aging in place 

Awards/Accolades:

  • Recognized as a Kentucky Colonel by the Governor for her work with the geriatric population and community involvement events in rural areas of the state