Editor’s Note: This is the ninth in a series of profiles of new, full-time faculty members who have joined the Keuka community.
What do a Titanic survivor and two Jamaican Olympians have in common?
They are all past clients of Stanley Paul, associate professor of occupational therapy (OT).
“I treated many different patients from all walks of life when I was an OT at Beth Abraham Health Services at the Bronx and Manhattan,” said Paul.
Paul “likes to meet new people and listen to their stories. One client I will never forget is Mary Kline, a woman with a strong German accent. When she was 16, she served as a maid on the Titanic. I will always remember her; she was sweet.”
The Olympians Paul treated are members of the LaBeach family from Jamaica. Lloyd Barrington LaBeach earned bronze medals in the 100-and 200-meter races in the 1948 Summer Olympic Games, while brother Byron competed in the 1952 Olympics.
While a master’s student at the University of Buffalo, Paul studied under Professor Emeritus Peter Talty, and worked for Talty at his private practice. In fact, Paul now occupies his former teacher’s office.
Paul received his bachelor’s degree from Christian Medical College in Vellore, India; his Ph.D. from New York University; and his M.D. from Hope University School of Medicine in Belize, Central America.
“I didn’t start out with the intention to teach; I sort of fell into it,” said Paul. “As part of my master’s and doctoral degrees, I had to teach a few classes. Once I got the taste of it, I found it was something I enjoyed doing. I took a detour and went into medicine, but chose not to complete my residency because I missed teaching.”
Paul likes Keuka “because of its liberal arts base and its smaller size,” he said. “The faculty and students are wonderful, and they liked the mini-presentation I held [as part of my interview]. I believe that I will be here for a long time, and I feel happy here.”
At Keuka, Paul teaches Occupation Adaptation and Technology II, and Occupational Development in Children 0-12. According to Paul, Keuka’s model of experiential learning fits well with his style of teaching, including an assignment in the Occupation, Adaptation and Technology class that has students use wheelchairs, canes, and crutches around campus.
“This is not only a functional part of class, but it is also experiential learning,” said Paul. “The students need to experience what it is like to use these aids correctly, and what it feels like to use such devices.
The students have to assume a particular age, gender, and cognitive or physical disorder for this assignment.
“This assignment involves experiential components that help students empathize with those they are treating,” said Paul, “because they actually assume a disability for a full 48 hours and learn to do their daily activities with those assumed disability conditions.”
The students will also be required to make a main dish and dessert in the OT kitchen lab while using these devices. They will have to reach for things in the cupboards, use the stove, chop vegetables, and do what else is needed to make the meal. Paul says there is no easy way out, such as putting a frozen dinner in the microwave.
In the occupational development class, “which is mostly lecture-based, I try hard to make it as hands-on as possible,” said Paul. “The students must assess a child in his/her natural environment. They will write down what they see, listen to what the child says, observe what they are doing, complete an evaluation, and interpret the results.”
After taking his classes, Paul hopes his students will have gotten “a lot out of my classes,” he said. “I want them to start thinking about the career of an occupational therapist, and start thinking that they will be a health professional one day. They must be non judgmental and see people as unique individuals with unique abilities and disabilities and not profile anyone on the basis of their cultural or ethnic backgrounds.”