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School of Occupational Therapy

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Occupational Therapy Faculty

Dr. Becky Barton, Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Becky Barton

Associate Professor/Director of Fieldwork
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: performing arts medicine, innovation in community practice, acute care, and outpatient rehabilitation for arthritis, cumulative trauma, and neurological conditions
  • DHS, OTR

Areas of Expertise
performing arts medicine, innovation in community practice, acute care, and outpatient rehabilitation for arthritis, cumulative trauma, and neurological conditions

Background

Is noted for her work with musicians and fieldwork education. Is a member of the Indiana Occupational Therapy Association, the American Occupational Therapy Association, and the Performing Arts Medicine Association. Awards include the UINDY Faculty Achievement Award (2009) and nomination for UINDY Teacher of the Year (1999). Recent presentations include a 2014 AOTA National Conference Short Course, "Enhancing Your Advocacy Skills: Disability Awareness and Occupational Therapy" and a 2014 AOTA National Conference Workshop, "Discover and Develop Your Role as an OT Consultant: Promote Health and Wellness in Your Community." In 2013, co-authored "Role strain in occupational therapy fieldwork educators" in Work: A Journal of  Prevention, Assessment, and Rehabilitation.

Research Interests
professional issues, fieldwork education for students and practitioners, and performing arts medicine

Education
DHS, University of Indianapolis
MS, Health Occupations Education, Indiana University
BS, Occupational Therapy, Indiana University

Fun Fact
I love to swing dance and sing. I got to sing the national anthem at the opening ceremonies of the 2012 AOTA conference.

Favorite thing about UIndy
Love the people,  the small campus environment, and the rhythm of of school starting.

Contact Information
rbarton @uindy.edu
317-788-3511
Health Pavilion, 340

Dr. Julie Bednarski

Assistant Director of the School of Occupational Therapy
Master of Occupational Therapy Program Director
Associate Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: rehabilitation of the older adult, improvement of occupational performance in persons living in nursing homes
  • OTD, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
rehabilitation of the older adult, community practice rehabilitation management, improvement of occupational performance in persons living in nursing homes

Background
Has over 25 years of clinical experience, including multi-site rehabilitation management and rehabilitation of the older adult in both the acute rehab hospital and skilled-care environment. Interests include wellness programming for community dwelling seniors and promotion of occupational justice for those living in nursing homes. Twice voted School of Occupational Therapy Teacher of the Year. Is active with the NBCOT and is a member of IOTA and AOTA. Was co-recipient in 2011 of a UIndy InQuery Collaborative Grant to aid development of the Institute for Emerging Educators in Healthcare, which strives to help clinicians transition into higher education.

Research Interests
promotion of occupational justice in the nursing home environment, health promotion and prevention, integration of teaching-learning strategies in the classroom to promote improved client education

Education
OTD, Occupational Therapy, Chatham University
MHS, Health Science, University of Indianapolis
BS, Occupational Therapy, Boston University

Fun Fact
I am a soccer mom and spend most weekends watching my son play soccer.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
The family atmosphere that is felt here on campus makes it fun to come to work each day!

Contact Information
jbednarski@uindy.edu
317-788-3577
Health Pavilion, 361

Lori Breeden, Associate Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Lori Breeden

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: neurological recovery, upper extremity spasticity management
  • EdD, Adult Education

Areas of Expertise
neurological recovery, upper extremity spasticity management

Background
Performs clinical work in adult rehabilitation with a focus on neurological disorders in both outpatient and inpatient settings. Teaches Neuroscience in Occupational Therapy, OT Process II & III which focus on intervention, and an elective on Telehealth. Professional interests include rehab seating and positioning, spasticity management and recovery of hemiplegic upper extremities.

Research Interests
client education, stroke recovery, OT delivery via telehealth, the contribution of photovoice and photoethnic research to the understanding of participation in meaningful occupation with a chronic illness or disability

Education
EdD, Adult Education, Ball State University
MS, Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
BS, Psychology, University of Indianapolis

Fun Fact
I enjoy making jam and wine with my Mom and am a big fan of Indy car racing.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
It feels like home.

Contact Information
breedenl@uindy.edu
317-788-3345
Health Pavilion, 317

Lucinda Dale, Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Lucinda Dale

Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: outcomes measurement, hand therapy, biomechanics
  • EdD, Adult and Community Education

Areas of Expertise
outcomes measurement, hand therapy, biomechanics

Background
Certified hand therapist with over three decades of clinical experience in acute care and hand therapy, including clinical work in the occupational therapy department at Hendricks Regional Health. Teaches across entry-level and the advanced degree programs, with an emphasis on selecting and using outcome measurements, and occupational therapy services for individuals with upper extremity disorders. Has been instrumental in establishing research partnerships with community partners and obtaining internal grants for conducting research, health and wellness initiatives and studying student learning of anatomy. Received the Teacher of the Year award from the University of Indianapolis in 2005. Was awarded the Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association in 2014. Has an established publication and presentation record at the local, state and national levels, and is an active member of AOTA and IOTA. Co-author of The Guide to Occupational Therapy Practice, 2nd edition.

Research Interests
outcomes measurement, impact of upper extremity disorders on occupational performance

Education
EdD, Adult and Community Education, Ball State University
MS, Health Occupations Education, Indiana University
BS, Occupational Therapy, Indiana University

Fun Fact
My husband and I have gutted and renovated many homes, including our current home, and rental properties.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
I enjoy the small campus size that allows us to get to know our students and colleagues.

Contact Information
ldale@uindy.edu
317-788-3561
Health Pavilion, 321

Dr. Kate DeCleene Huber

Chair of the School of Occupational Therapy
Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program Director
Associate Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: pediatrics with a certification in sensory integration, curriculum development and design
  • OTD, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
pediatrics with a certification in sensory integration, curriculum development and design

Background
Serves on the Board of Directors of the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT) and was the NBCOT representative to the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE). Was a 2009 AOTA/AOTF Fellow in Leadership Development. Was co-recipient of a UIndy InQuery Collaborative Grant in 2011 to develop interdisciplinary pedagogical opportunities for OT professional-level educators and students. Co-recipient of a 2011 UIndy Innovator grant to explore technology use in gross anatomy curriculum. Assisted in a research project for the AOTA Commission on Education, which led to the publication of “Education for specialized services for people with severe and persistent mental illness (SPMI) in entry-level occupational therapy curricula in the United States (2007).” Served as an examiner for Western Psychological Services in the standardization study for the Developmental Profile 3rd Edition and the development of the Goal-Oriented Assessment of Lifeskills.

Research Interests
sound therapy programs, fieldwork education, interdisciplinary education, professional behaviors in students and curriculum development/design

Education
OTD, Creighton University
MS, Mount Mary College
BS, Mount Mary College

Fun Fact
I enjoy traveling adventures with my husband, Dan, knitting, and reading.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
The close atmosphere and interaction that faculty has with the students.

Contact Information
decleenek@uindy.edu
317-788-4908
Health Pavilion, 360

 

Leslie Dixon

Adjunct Instructor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: school-based occupational therapy and pediatrics
  • MS, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
school-based occupational therapy and pediatrics

Background
Has worked as a school-based OTR since 2000. Completed the Comprehensive Sensory Integration Certification Program in 2005.

Research Interests
Jump Start Kindergarten Fine Motor Toolkit created by Amy Planalp, COTA

Education
MS, Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
BS, Biology, Indiana Central University

Fun Fact
I was in the first graduating class of Occupational Therapy at UIndy, and my father, Dr. George Humbarger, helped to start the first MBA program at UIndy.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
Individual attention and legacy of service.

Contact Information
dixonj@uindy.edu
317-398-4468
Martin Hall, 275

Dr. Jennifer Fogo

Associate Professor 
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: pediatric and adult rehabilitation
  • PhD

Areas of Expertise
pediatric and adult rehabilitation

Background
Teaches a variety of courses in the postprofessional program and lectures in the Occupational Therapy program on assessment and intervention for children. Is an advocate for children and adults with disabilities, served as camp director and president of the Board of Directors for CHAMP Camp Inc. for children with tracheostomies or requiring respiratory technological assistance. Faculty liaison for UIndy's college chapter of Best Buddies and UIndy Act for Autism. Serves as co-chair of the Approved Provider Committee for Indiana Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA). Has presented locally and nationally on the development of handwriting in preschool, and the development of caring and competency in occupational therapy students. Published research investigating the grapho-motor skills of kindergarteners.

Research Interests
exploring the needs and support services for adolescents and young adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

Education
PhD, Purdue University
MS, University of Indianapolis
BS, University of Indianapolis

Fun Fact
As a family, we have raised three puppies for Canine Companions for Independence, two of which have been placed as Skilled Companion Dogs for individuals with special needs. The third one didn’t quite make the cut as a service dog and continues to reside with us.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
The opportunity to integrate faith, vocation and the desire to serve others, allowing us to put the university motto, “Education for Service,” into practice.

Contact Information
jfogo@uindy.edu
317-788-3513
Health Pavilion, 245

Brenda Howard, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Brenda S. Howard

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialty: vestibular rehabilitation
  • DHSc, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
vestibular rehabilitation

Background
Has 30 years of experience as an occupational therapist, having worked in acute care, inpatient rehabilitation, skilled nursing facilities, home care, work hardening/industrial rehabilitation and outpatient rehabilitation. Spent several years at a vestibular diagnostic and treatment clinic as the sole vestibular therapist. Has twice been published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, “Occupation as spiritual activity” (March 1997) and “How high do we jump? The effect of reimbursement on occupational therapy” (October 1991). Presented a three-hour workshop entitled “Evidence Based Practice in Vestibular Rehabilitation: An Occupation Based Perspective” at the IOTA Fall 2013 Conference.

Research Interests
fall prevention, scholarship of teaching and learning in health professions

Education
DHSc, University of Indianapolis
MHS, University of Indianapolis
BS in Occupational Therapy, Indiana University

Fun Fact
My guilty pleasures are coffee, chocolate and fantasy or dystopian novels (J.R.R. Tolkien, C.S. Lewis, Hunger Games, Harry Potter and the like). Nothing better than curling up with a good book, a coffee and a box of chocolates! (Even better if the coffee is a mocha!)

Favorite Thing about UIndy
The friendly atmosphere. I have been a part of UIndy as a student, and now as faculty, and I find that in both roles the occupational therapy faculty members convey laughter, joy, warmth and caring.

Contact Information
howardbs@uindy.edu
317-788-6173
Health Pavilion, 318

 

Danielle Sparks

Adjunct Instructor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialty: hand therapy
  • MOT, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
hand therapy

Background
Is currently working toward completing a Doctor of Health Science degree in Occupational Therapy at UIndy. Presented at Hand Care, a national hand therapy conference, in 2010, 2012 and 2014.

Research Interests
outcome measures in hand therapy for evidence based practice

Education
DHS (pending juried project completion), Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
MOTR, Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
BA, Biology, Indiana University

Fun Fact
I love sports, love to watch them and love to play them. Currently I'm on a flag football team and softball team. When I attended UIndy, I played on an intramural co-ed basketball team with fellow OT students.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
I love the close-knit environment at UIndy. You see familiar faces, feel comfortable engaging with fellow students and professors, and all the while gain an excellent educational experience.

Contact Information
maledd@uindy.edu
317-788-2115
Martin Hall, 275

Dr. Alison Nichols

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: pediatrics, specifically early intervention
  • OTD, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
pediatrics, specifically early intervention

Background
Has worked with children in early intervention, outpatient clinics, and school-based settings. Continues to serve as the secretary for the Indiana Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA) and volunteers for the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). Received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Chatham University where her capstone was “Changes in Knowledge, Skills, and Confidence in Fieldwork Educators after Participation in Evidence-Based Practice Short Course.”

Research Interests
Use of evidence-based practice by OT students and clinicians, the impact of play on anxiety levels of children and their parents, interprofessional education

Education
OTD, Chatham University
MOT, University of Indianapolis
BS, Psychology, University of Indianapolis

Fun Fact
I’m deathly afraid of heights, but I love roller coasters.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
I have wonderful memories of meeting my husband and some of my best friends here as an undergraduate, and now both my husband and I work at UIndy!

Contact Information
anichols@uindy.edu
317-788-6178
Health Pavilion, 334

 

Dr. Erin Peterson

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: biomechanics, hand therapy, physical agent modalities, orthosis fabrication, health literacy and client education
  • DHS, OTR

Areas of Expertise
biomechanics, hand therapy, physical agent modalities, orthosis fabrication, health literacy and client education

Background
Working toward Certified Hand Therapist (CHT) certification. Created client education handouts on common conditions and injuries of upper extremity to improve client education, satisfaction, and self-management of symptoms. Skilled in design and optimization of rehabilitation documentation templates used in electronic medical record systems (EMRs). Provides training to rehabilitation providers in use of EMRs. 

Research Interests
evidence-based hand therapy interventions, health literacy and client satisfaction 

Education
DHSc, Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
MOT, Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
BA, Liberal Studies, Bethel College

Fun Fact
I am a Broadway nerd. I can never pass up an opportunity to see Wicked. If you are lucky (unlucky?), you may hear me belt out a show tune!

Favorite thing about UIndy
Everyone works together for the good of the students and community.

Contact Information
petersonek@uindy.edu
317-788-8022
Health Pavilion, 350

 

Dr. Katie Polo

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: cancer survivorship, lymphedema management, self-management of chronic conditions, adult neurological rehabilitation
  • DHS, OTR/L, CLT-LANA
 

Areas of Expertise
cancer survivorship, lymphedema management, self-management of chronic conditions, adult neurological rehabilitation

Research Interests
cancer survivorship and exploring how the late effects of cancer treatments, including lymphedema, affect occupational roles and performance of everyday activities; OT's role in self-management strategies for improved health and wellness; use of occupation-based interventions in practice

Education
DHSc, Health Science, University of Indianapolis
MHS, Health Science, University of Indianapolis
BS, Occupational Therapy, Indiana University

Fun Fact
I enjoy running and yoga to maintain a healthy lifestyle and my greatest occupational role is being a mother to my two children.

Favorite thing about UIndy
The collaborative, cultural atmosphere for students and faculty

Contact Information
polok@uindy.edu 
317-788-3502 
Health Pavilion, 349 

Dr. Beth Ann Walker, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Beth Ann Walker

Associate Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: gerotechnology, gerontology and geriatric rehabilitation
  • PhD, Health Behavior

Areas of Expertise
gerotechnology, gerontology and geriatric rehabilitation

Background
Teaches in the areas of research methods, analysis, mental health, and therapeutic skills within the Occupational Therapy program and has taught elective courses on gerotechnology and virtual gaming in rehabilitation. Has published, and/or presented nationally and internationally on her work examining the impact of home-based technology on the elder/caregiver relationship, her creation of mobile phone applications for older adult users, the examination of the acceptance and use of virtual gaming as an intervention strategy in occupational therapy, and the development of a fall prevention protocol for replication in a virtual environment. Is investigating virtual gaming as a fall prevention strategy, upper extremity post-stroke game design and delivery, understanding virtual game use in long-term care and usability of smart phones by older adults. Has been nationally recognized twice at the Annual Maddak Awards in 2012 for her design of an assistive device for dressing and one Aging Means Business: Design Contest Award, sponsored by the Gerontological Society of America in 2011, for her design project aimed at transforming an android mobile phone device for use by adults age 55 and over.

Research Interests
design and use of technological applications by older adult users to facilitate functional outcomes.

Education
PhD, Health Behavior (minor in Gerontology), Indiana University Bloomington
MS, Occupational Therapy, University of Indianapolis
BS, Psychology, Eureka College

Fun Fact
I love to laugh and have fun. I appreciate good athletic shoes and wear them most everyday (even with my dress clothes). I am also a fervent youth sport enthusiast and am very involved in my children’s sporting endeavors.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
I truly enjoy getting to know my students on a first-name basis and getting the opportunity to contribute to my community by striving to instill in my students a passion for lifelong learning and making a difference in the lives of others.

Contact Information
walkerba@uindy.edu
317-788-3428
Health Pavilion, 320

Dr. Sally Wasmuth, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Sally Wasmuth

Assistant Professor
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: psychosocial wellness, addictive behaviors, occupation-based interventions for substance abuse and mental illness
  • PhD, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
integrated approaches to psychosocial wellness, substance abuse disorders, and addictive behaviors; the use of theater to promote wellness; occupation-based interventions for substance use disorders and severe mental illness

Background
Principle or co-investigator on several grants exploring holistic, occupation-based, and/or integrated services for people with dual-diagnoses, including the use of theater for veterans with several substance use disorders. Invited speaker at several international conferences. Has contributed significantly to the occupational therapy and addiction literature through systematic review of the effectiveness of occupation-based interventions for addictive disorders, qualitative studies of "addiction-as-occupation," and quantitative studies of metacognition in people with substance use disorders and schizophrenia.

Research Interests
Non-dualistic or "embodied" approaches to understanding and treating psychosocial dysfunction.  Using "addiction-as-occupation" framework for discussing and developing holistic, occupation-based interventions for addiction. Use of the Metacognition Assessment Scale-Abbreviated (MAS-A) as a comparative measure of psychosocial function across multiple health diagnoses. Use of theater as an occupation-based intervention for substance abuse disorders and implementation of an original protocol and fidelity scale.

Education
PhD, Philosophy of Biology, University of Exeter
MS, Occupational Therapy, Indiana University
MA, Critical & Philosophical Studies of Biology, University of Exeter
BS, Philosophy & African American Studies, University of Notre Dame

Fun Fact
I built and stained my own 10-person dining room table with nothing but a hammer, nails, and wood glue (oh, and stain...and wood).

Favorite Thing about UIndy
The openness to growth and innovation in research, and UIndy's commitment to service especially in the surrounding communities

Contact Information
wasmuths@uindy.edu
317-788-3266
Health Pavilion, 316

Dr. Victoria Wilburn, Assistant Professor, School of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Victoria Wilburn

Assistant Professor/Academic Fieldwork Coordinator
School of Occupational Therapy

  • Specialties: emerging areas of practice, organizational leadership, pediatrics-autism
  • DHSc, Occupational Therapy

Areas of Expertise
emerging areas of practice, organizational leadership, pediatrics-autism spectrum disorder

Background
One of two rehabilitation professionals in a clinical liaison/territory manager role for Indiana’s largest rehabilitation hospital. Advocated accurately for clients and became proficient in medically complex diagnoses, pharmacological interventions and insurance practices, and brings that depth of knowledge and experience into the classroom. Currently serves as the president of the Indiana Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA).

Research Interests
emerging areas of practice in fieldwork education, occupational therapy consultancy in a variety of settings

Education
DHSc, Health Science, University of Indianapolis
MHS, Health Science, University of Indianapolis
BS, Occupational Therapy, Boston University

Fun Fact
I “enjoy” practicing hot yoga in a 105-degree room with my husband.

Favorite Thing about UIndy
The community of UIndy is really like family. I love working with passionate and dedicated leaders in their perspective fields. I also love spreading my passion for occupational therapy to my students.

Contact Information
wilburnv@uindy.edu
317-788-8054
Health Pavilion, 341