Editor’s Note: This is the first in a series of Q&As with full-time faculty members who recently joined us at Keuka College. Today, meet three of the College’s new additions.
Dr. Kristen Bacon, assistant professor of occupational therapy, teaches OCC 430, guiding students in theories for field practice
Last book read: Pedretti’s Occupational Therapy Practice skills for physical dysfunction.
Favorite quote: Two personal quotes of mine: ”I don’t do math in public,” & “I’m an OT. I can adapt and overcome…almost anything.”
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Tinker Bell… because she can fly anywhere she wants.
What makes teaching fun: The variety of students on campus, their personalities, & the satisfaction knowing you’ve taught the students part of something they’ll be using for the career.
What do you do for fun? I enjoy spending time with my husband & two daughters and together we enjoy family time and camping.
Dr. Mikhail Sher, assistant professor of operations management, currently teaches BUS 330 on operations and production management, and will teach a variety of management, finance and business analytics courses in the future.
Last book read: “The Power of Intuition” by Gary Klein. This book is about how we can use our intuition to make better decisions at work as well as in our personal lives.
Favorite quote: “It is not enough to do your best; you must know what to do, and then do your best.” — W. Edwards Deming
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: Neo from “The Matrix.” Do I really need to say why?
What makes teaching fun: I love seeing the growth and progress of my students!
What do you do for fun? I enjoy playing chess, watching football (Go Steelers!!!) and spending time outdoors.
Dr. Jessica MacNamara, assistant professor of sociology, joined the campus in 2014, and teaches classes including: Introduction to Sociology, Sociology of the Family, Environmental Sociology, Social Problems, Methods of Social Research, Applied Research Methods, First Year Workshop in Criminology, Criminal Justice, and Sociology, FYE Popular Culture & Society, and Independent Study in Sociology of Gender and Transgender Studies.
Last book read: “In the Shadow of the Banyan” by Vaddey Ratner
Favorite quote: “Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity, or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.” —Paulo Freire, “Pedagogy of the Oppressed”
If you could be a fictional character, who would you be, and why: I can’t think of a single fictional character I’d like to be. I prefer my real life to anything fictional. But in terms of historical figures, I would enjoy spending a day in the life of W.E.B. Du Bois (1868-1963), American Sociologist and social reformer.
What makes teaching fun: Both the students and teaching subjects I’m passionate about make it fun!
What do you do for fun? I like to hike, swim, and travel.
Four Keuka College faculty from the Division of Occupational Therapy and two graduates of the master’s program in occupational therapy wowed professional occupational therapists (OTs) with peer-reviewed presentations at the National American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in Nashville, April 16-19. In addition, nine current OT majors attended the conference, gaining exposure to professional development and new research within the field.
“There were over 9,000 OT’s in attendance,” said Dr. Vicki Smith, division chair and professor of occupational therapy. “All our topics were current to present clinical and academic practice. All our topics were a hit.”
Dr. Smith and Dr. Michele Bennett, assistant professor of occupational therapy, participated in a peer review presentation, “Big Fish from Small Academic Ponds: Preparing Students for Primary Care,” along with representatives from Ithaca College, St Francis University, and the University of Findlay.
According to Smith, the collaborative “Big Fish” presentation focused on how each of the four institutions prepares OT students for the changes in clinical practice due to the Affordable Care Act. Within that context, Smith and Bennett highlighted the Keuka College approach of expanding clinical education placement of OT students into community-based fieldwork locations.
In the last two years, Smith said “we have accrued more than 50 nontraditional and community-based sites where our students can gain new hands-on skills to meet future health care needs.”
Among those sites are assisted living communities, home health care agencies, migrant worker programs, palliative care homes like Keuka Comfort Care, organizations such as the Literacy Volunteers of Ontario or Yates Counties, Syracuse Rescue Mission and businesses such as Wegmans.
According to Smith, the representatives from Ithaca focused on their students’ use of technology with older adults and needs assessment for the ‘well-elderly’ population. Those from St. Francis emphasized adult dayhab programming, research and missions work, while OT students at Findlay have been offering supervised OT programs in partnership with the prison system, working with inmates along the range of incarceration to community re-entry and probation.
“We are all small schools and this is how we get our clinical experiences done to prepare future practitioners,” Smith said.
During the conference, Dr. Bennett and Dr. Carmela Battaglia, professor of occupational therapy, also presented a poster presentation on “Designing Learning Objectives and Activities for Achieving Measurable Student Outcomes.”
“What Carmela and Michele did was excellent,” Smith said, describing how the duo presented an electronic process for evaluating the strength of the occupational therapy curriculum through a more extensive use of Moodle, the College’s online course delivery channel.
“Instead of students just posting assignments into Moodle, they collected additional data based on the outcomes of everything the students submit,” Smith explained. As a result, the integrated data helps provide a more accurate measure of the learning outcomes of the curriculum, she described.
In addition, Dr. Holly Preston, associate professor of occupational therapy, and 2014 OT master’s graduates Matt Nowak and Kacie Horoszewski presented “Validity and Reliability of an iPod Forearm Goniometer App” as another poster presentation. Preston, Nowak and Horoszewski previously presented their collaborative research at the end of Nowak and Horoszewski’s graduate year of study, sharing it at a research summit hosted at SUNY Brockport with other colleges.
Traditionally, a physical tool is used to measure the joint and/or muscle flexibility of a patient, such as forearm or elbow movements. Their work tested the reliability of using a handheld mobile device running the Apple-based mobile app. Research like this potentially could replace the traditional tool, with measurements taken by the app as the patient moves his or her arm while holding the device.
According to Nowak, “we measure joint angles a lot when doing therapy. We found this app and we found there hadn’t been any recent research on it when we did our review. We know Dr. Preston was interested in this research, so we thought she was a great asset and could help guide us through the experimental process a little better, given that she was already versed in it.”
“We were very well received at a national conference, and it was very validating to have people from all of the U.S. contact us and seek our research out,” said Nowak, who now works full-time as a licensed OT in the Auburn area with Lifetime Care, a home care agency based in Rochester.
Horoszewski added that it was exciting to have other OT colleagues at the conference “seek out our poster, ask thought- provoking questions and encourage us to conduct a follow up study with the most current Apple technology available.”
“Overall, the experience has given me the confidence to pursue further research opportunities in the clinic and seek additional collaborations with the Keuka College occupational therapy program in the future,” said Horoszewski, who is now working as a licensed OT in a geriatric rehabilitation center outside of Ann Arbor, Michigan.
“As an OT graduate, this was my first professional presentation, and I think it went it great,” Nowak said, crediting the numerous pre-professional experiences gleaned through his Keuka College career to set the stage for success.
“Field Period™ was the first thing and the actual experiences of getting out in the professional world on our breaks from school – that was a big part of it, the experiential learning. Having to do multiple presentations throughout my college career really set us up to do that presentation too,” Nowak added. “The faculty and staff in the OT division served us pretty well and they were able to get us all ready to be entry-level professionals in our field.”
Dr. Vicki Smith, professor and chair of occupational therapy (OT), has been named to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Roster of Fellows.
The Roster of Fellows recognizes members of AOTA who, with their knowledge and expertise, have made a significant contribution to the continuing education and professional development of members of the association.
Nominated by Dr. Carole W. Dennis, professor of occupational therapy at Ithaca College, Smith will receive her award in Clinical and Academic Leadership through Business Management at AOTA’s 94th annual ceremony Saturday, April 5, in Baltimore, Md.
“I am honored to be recognized by the American Occupational Therapy Association,” said Smith, who earned a master’s degree in business administration. “I am proud to be able to prepare the next generation of occupational therapy professionals with the knowledge and skills I have gained.”
Dennis nominated Smith because of her “long and distinguished record of service to the profession of occupational therapy, which has included professional practice, management, authorship, fieldwork education, and academia.
“I think Vicki’s ‘can do’ attitude exemplifies her clinical and academic career as an occupational therapist,” said Dennis, who was named to the Roster of Fellows in 2012. “Over the years she has taken on a number of challenging work roles and responsibilities with determination and self-confidence, and has achieved very successful outcomes.”
According to Dennis, Smith is “giving back to the profession by serving on Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE) Roster of Accreditation Evaluators, which provides a great service to the profession, but also allows her to maintain the excellence of Keuka’s Occupational Therapy Program.”
In addition to her duties at Keuka, Smith has served as director of several rehabilitation clinical sites; penned the textbooks Physical Dysfunction Practice Skills for the Occupational Therapy Assistant, and Occupational Therapy Transition from Classroom to Clinic—Physical Disability Fieldwork Applications; and wrote questions for the Occupational Therapy National Certification Examination. Smith also served eight years as an accreditation reviewer for occupational education programs throughout the country.
The AOTA awards recognize those members of the association who have excelled in their contributions to the profession. Fellows must be an occupational therapist and a current member of AOTA; have made a significant contribution to the profession; be considered to be well-rounded; and have meaningful occupational therapy and other relevant involvement at the local, state, and/or national levels.
Established in 1917, AOTA is the national occupational therapy professional association. It represents the interests and concerns of occupational therapy practitioners and students, and improves the quality of occupational therapy services.
AOTA membership includes occupational therapists, occupational therapy assistants, and occupational therapy students. AOTA’s programs and activities are directed toward assuring the quality of occupational therapy services, improving consumer access to health care services, and promoting the professional development of members.
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.”
Editor’s Note: This is the second in a series of profiles of new full-time faculty who have joined the Keuka community.
A graduate of Keuka’s occupational therapy (OT) program, Michele Bennett has firsthand knowledge of what sets it apart from programs at other colleges.
“I love Keuka; the environment is engaging, and I have a sense of pride that goes with being part of this community,” said Bennett, who earned a bachelor’s degree in 2005 and a master’s degree the following year.
While teaching full time is new to Bennett, teaching at Keuka is not. She has served as a guest lecturer in several OT classes and was an adjunct instructor last year. This semester, the assistant professor teaches the occupational development classes and serves as coordinator of fieldwork experiences in non-traditional settings.