NYU at the 2015 AOTA Conference

The 95th Annual AOTA Conference and Expo was held April 16-19, 2015, in Nashville, Tennessee. The conference celebrated its 50th anniversary with the theme, “Giving Voice to the Distinct Value of Occupational Therapy.”

For the first time, the department had an exhibition booth to promote our post-professional programs (MA, DPS, and PhD). Prospective students had the opportunity to meet with and speak to our associate director of enrollment, various faculty, and our fieldwork administrator coordinator. The interaction between prospective students and our representatives was vital for them to learn about the NYU post-professional occupational therapy programs.

The department was also excited to hold its annual alumni dessert reception during the conference. The event, which was held Friday, April 17 at the Omni Nashville Hotel, welcomed alumni, faculty, and students of the department.

Scroll through our slideshow of photos from our exhibition booth and reception below!

The Department extends its congratulations to the many NYU Steinhardt OT faculty, students, and alumni who took part in the annual conference.

The NYU Steinhardt OT faculty participated at the conference through the following lectures and presentations:

Professor Jim Hinojosa and Associate Professor Tsu-Hsin Howe

  • “ePortfolios: The Way of the Future for Self-Assessing and Documenting Competence”

Associate Professor and Department Chair Kristie Patten Koenig

  • “Development of a Middle School Independence Curriculum: An Occupational-Based Program for Children and Adolescents with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)” with Dora Onwumere, MS, OTR/L; Lauren Harris; and Steven Seidman, OTR/L, all of New York City Department of Education, Brooklyn, NY

Associate Professor Yael Goverover

  • “Performance-Based Assessment for Adults with Cognitive Impairments: Research Findings and Practice Implications” with Mary Radomski, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Courage Kenny Research Center, Minneapolis, MN; Leslie Davidson, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Shenandoah University, Winchester, VA; Deirdre Dawson,PhD, OT Reg (Ont.), University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada; Laurel Smith, MS, OTR/L, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA; and Timothy Wolf, OTD, OTR/L, Washington University in St. Louis, St. Louis, MO

Associate Professor Tracy Chippendale

  • “Perceived Neighborhood Fall Risks and Strategies Used to Prevent Outdoor Falls: Does Age Matter?” with contributing author Marie Boltz, PhD, RN, GNP-BC


NYU Steinhardt OT adjunct faculty and current students participated at the conference through the following lectures and presentations:

Adjunct Professor Patricia A. Gentile

  • “Occupational Therapy Leadership in Designing and Implementing Injury Prevention Programs in Level I Trauma Centers” with contributing author, Mark A. Dekki, MPA. Jamaica Hospital Medical Center, Jamaica, NY

Ph.D. candidate Grace Kim

  • “Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics: An Interdisciplinary Pediatric Program for Service and Research” with Jan Rowe, DrOT, OTR/L, FAOTA, Children’s of Alabama, Wilsonville, AL; Deek Cunningham, MS, OTR/L, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL; Karmen Fischbach, MS, OTR/L, Jefferson County Board of Education, Birmingham, AL; Shannon Bennett, PhD; Lisa Rivera, MS, OTR/L, all of Weill Cornell Medical College, New York, NY


We would also like to recognize the participation of the following alumni:

Gary Bedell ‘86, ‘98
Lisa Davis ‘80
Diane Powers Dirette ‘97
Nancy Finkelstein-Kline ‘98
Glen Gillen ‘89
Sharon Gutman ‘97
Neil Harvison ‘04
Laurie Knis-Matthews ‘05
Fengyi Kuo ‘98
Ai Lian Lim ‘09
Supawadee Lee ‘02
Marianne Mortera ‘04
Alisha Ohl ‘12
Laurette Olson ‘02
Meira L. Orentlicher ‘08
David Pallister ‘95
Christine Peters ‘06
Mara Podvey ‘09
Christine Rotko ‘73
Joyce Sabari ‘92
Sarah A. Schoen ‘01
Steven Seidman ‘94
Francine M. Seruya ‘09
Chinyu Wu ‘95

If there are any names that have been left out erroneously, please let us know, so we can include them here.

2014-2015 Faculty Grants and Publications

A complete list of the grants and publications by the faculty of the Department of Occupational Therapy in the academic year 2014-2015.


Yael Goverover, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

●     Principal Investigator: “A pilot study of a new functional cognitive-motor dual task protocol MS.” Collaborative Network of New Jersey (MSCNNJ). April 2015. $25,000

●     Co-Principal Investigator: “Actual Reality: measuring everyday life function activity in Multiple Sclerosis patients.” Biogen IDEC. May 2015. $225,000

●     Co-Principal Investigator: “The Use of Actual Reality to Measure Everyday Life Functional Activity in Multiple Sclerosis.” Biogen IDEC. 12/14 to 12/15. $139,000

Tsu-Hsin Howe, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

●     University Research Challenge Fund: “Developing a Pressure Sensitive Mat as an Outcome Measure to Study Postural Control in Infants.”

Kristie Patten-Koenig, Associate Professor and Department Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy

●      Principal Investigator: “ASD Nest Support Project.” NYC Department of Education. 7/14 to 7/15. $1,200,000

●      Co-Principal Investigator: “Autism: Exploring interdisciplinary approaches to a positive life trajectory.” The Humanities Initiative Research Collaborative. 4/14 to 4/16. $10,000

●      Co-Principal Investigator: “Ghanaian Institute for the Future of Teaching and Education (GIFTED) Women’s Fellowship Program.” Banco Santander. 1/13 to 12/16. $500,000

Anita Perr, Associate Clinical Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

●     “An interdisciplinary workshop on assistive technology in Shanghai.” Global Institute for Advanced Study. Next spring. $30,000

●     Co-Principal Investigator: “ABILITY Lab; Accessibility and Assistive Technology Research and Development.” New York University Provost Office Mega-grants Initiative. 9/14 to 9/15. $50,000

●     Co-Principal Investigator: “ABILITY Lab.” Private Gift. 9/14 to 9/15. $100,000

Gerald Voelbel, Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

●     Co-Principal Investigator: “Computerized Cognitive Training Game for Executive Abilities.” NYU, Steinhardt Challenge IDEA Grant. 9/15 to 8/16. $5,000



Tracy Chippendale, Assistant Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

●     Chippendale, T. & Boltz, M (2015). “Living Legends: Students responses to an intergenerational life review writing program” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society, 63, 782-788

●     Chippendale, T. (2015). “Development and validity of the Outdoor Falls Questionnaire” International Journal of Rehabilitation Research, Early online

●     Boltz, M., Resnick, B., Chippendale, T. & Galvin, J. E. (2014). “Testing a family-centered intervention to promote functional and cognitive recovery in hospitalized older adults” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

●     Chippendale, T. & Boltz, M. (2014). “Perceived neighborhood fall risks and strategies used to prevent outdoor falls: Does age matter?” Journal of the American Geriatrics Society

●     Chippendale, T. & Boltz. M. (2014). “The neighborhood environment: Perceived fall risk, resources and strategies for fall prevention” The Gerontologist, Early online, 1-9

●     Chippendale, T. (2014). “Meeting the mental health needs of older adults across practice settings” Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics, 32, 1-9

Jim Hinojosa, Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy

●     Hinojosa, J. & Kramer, P. (Eds.) (2014). Evaluation in Occupational Therapy: Obtaining and Interpreting Data (4th edition). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press

●     Hinojosa, J. & Blount, M. L. (Eds.) (2014). The Texture of life: Occupations and Related Activities (4th edition). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press

Yael Goverover:

●     Goverover, Y., & DeLuca, J. (Accepted 1/2/15). “Actual Reality: Using the Internet to Assess Everyday Functioning after Traumatic Brain Injury” Brain Injury

●     Goverover, Y., Strober, L., Chiaravalloti, N., & DeLuca, J. (2015). “Factors that moderate activity limitation and participation restriction in people with multiple sclerosis” American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 69, 6902260020. http://dx.doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2015.014332

●     Goverover, Y., Genova, H., Wood, H., Chiaravalloti, N., & DeLuca, J. (2014). “Metacognitive knowledge and online awareness in Multiple Sclerosis” NeuroRehabilitation

●     Goverover, Y., Chiaravalloti, N., & DeLuca, J. (2014). “Task meaningfulness and degree of cognitive impairment: Do they affect self-generated learning in persons with Multiple Sclerosis?” Neuropsychological Rehabilitation, 24, 155-171

Tsu-Hsin Howe:

●     Chen, H.-L., Yeh, C.-F. & Howe, T.-H. (2015). “Postural control during standing reach in children with Down syndrome” Research in Developmental Disabilities, 38,345-351; http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.12.024

●     Howe, T.-H., Sheu, C.-F., Wang, T.-N., Hsu, Y.-W. (2014). “Parenting Stress in Families with Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Infants in early infancy” Research in Developmental Disabilities, 35, 1748-1756.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2014.02.015

●     Wang, T.-N., Howe, T.-H., Lin, K. -C. & Hsu, Y.-W. (2014). “Hand Function and Its Prognostic Factors of Very Low Birth Weight Preterm Children Up to Two Years of Age”Research in Developmental Disabilities35,322-329.http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ridd.2013.11.023

●     Howe, T.-H. & Perr, A. (2014). Self-care Occupations. In J. Hinojosa & M.-L. Blount (Eds.) (4th edition), The Texture of Life: Occupations and Related Activities (pp. 337-352). Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press

●     Howe, T.-H. & Holzman, I. R. (2014). “Fine motor development” Book chapter in W. F. Malcolm (Ed.), Beyond the NICU: comprehensive care of the high-risk infant.New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Professional publication

Kristie Patten-Koenig:

●     Patten Koenig, K., Feldman, J. Siegel, D, Bleiweiss, J., & Cohen, S. (2014). “Issues in implementing a comprehensive intervention for public school children with Autism Spectrum Disorders” Journal of Prevention and Intervention in the Community, 42(1)

●     Patten Koenig, K. (2014). The context of evaluation. In Hinojosa, J., Kramer, P, & Christ, P. (eds), Evaluation in Occupational Therapy: Obtaining and Interpreting Data, 4th edition. Bethesda, MD: AOTA Press

●     Hough, L, & Patten Koenig, K. (2014). “Inclusion and innovation: Supporting employees on the autism spectrum” Mental Health Works Quarterly. Partnership for Workplace Mental Health. American Psychiatric Association, Inc.

●     Hough, L. & Patten Koenig, K. (2014). “Autism in the workplace: How occupational therapy practitioners can support the neurodiverse workforce” OT Practice 19(2),14–16. http://dx.doi.org/10.7138/otp.2014.192f3

Gerald Voelbel:

●     Stojanovic-Radic, J., Wylie, G., Voelbel, G.T., Chiaravalloti, N., & DeLuca, J. (2014). “Neuroimaging and Cognition using functional near infrared spectroscopy (fNIRS) in Multiple Sclerosis” Brain Imaging and Behavior. http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs11682-014-9307-y

Dr. Tsu-Hsin Howe Appointed Director of Post Professional Program

In January 2015, Dr. Tsu-Hsin Howe was named Director of the Post-Professional Programs, where she joins Dr. Sally Poole, director of the Professional Program and Dr. Kristie Patten Koenig, department chair as part of the academic leadership team. Dr. Howe has been with the department as a faculty member since Fall 2007, and has since established an active research agenda. Her research focuses on examining motor behaviors in children who are at high-risk for developmental delay.

She was recently awarded a University Challenge Grant to work with faculty from NYU Polytechnic to develop and calibrate a sensor mat in order to assess infants’ postural development sequence based on the characteristics of their pressure distributions in prone positions. This research will eventually produce information for use within special populations including children with Erb’s palsy, Cerebral Palsy, Torticollis, developmental disabilities and prematurity. Dr. Howe also has ongoing research collaborations with Mount Sinai Medical Center studying feeding outcomes of preterm infants beyond the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) environment. The focus is to investigate the potential feeding issues preterm infants might have after discharged from the NICU and the possible effects on parental stress. Finally, Dr. Howe collaborates with Dr. Tien-Ni Wang, an assistant professor at National Taiwan University and alumnus of the PhD program in Occupational Therapy Research, to develop a digitized handwriting outcome measure for Chinese characters that assesses handwriting legibility and kinematic characteristics.

Dr. Howe received a BS in occupational therapy from National Taiwan University, and both an MA and PhD in occupational therapy from NYU’s Department of Occupational Therapy. She practiced in both community and hospital-based settings for more than 20 years, including 15 as a pediatric clinical specialist in Mount Sinai Medical Center of New York City before coming back to her alma mater. At NYU, she teaches classes on pediatric and research topics at both the master’s and doctoral levels. She is trained in neuro-developmental treatment in pediatrics and is certified to administer the Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale.

AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge

Anita Perr, clinical associate professor of occupational therapy and a member of the ABILITY Lab, joined the Lab with AT&T to host a hackathon that kicked off the AT&T NYU Connect Ability Challenge. Perr is also a judge for the event. The challenge is a three-month global $100,000 software competition that leverages mobile technology to improve the lives of people living with disabilities. Teams will build technology prototypes that will help improve life for people with disabilities. By matching people with the power to develop influential technology and client users with disabilities, the challenge hopes to facilitate the development of user-centered technology that can be used by a number of people quickly.

The challenge has been open for submissions since April 6 and will remain open until June 24. It’s open to individuals, teams and organization with more than 50 employees. Perr has expressed her excitement of working with AT&T and the ABILITY Lab’s participation in the event. “The Challenge makes a strong statement on inclusion by encouraging and expecting developers to work with technology users in their design process,” Perr said in a RESNA article.

AT&T has an ongoing relationship with NYU Polytechnic School of Engineering. This year’s focus on assistive technology is timely, as it coincides with the 25th anniversary of the passing of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

The four exemplars come from a variety of backgrounds. Gus Chalkias, who teaches computer access at Baruch College’s Computer Center for Visually Impaired People, is blind and is interested in navigation or wayfinding technology and technology to ease participation in recreational activities. Xian Horn, who teaches and is a public speaker, has cerebral palsy and is interested in hands-free mobile technologies with an emphasis on communication apps, such as social media, texting, email, etc. Paul Kotler, who is a student, blogger, advocate, and educator, has autism and uses a tablet and keyboard to write. He is interested in non-verbal communication solutions, easy document saving and retrieval. He is also interested in technology to monitor stress and anxiety to offer relief. Jason DaSilva, who is a filmmaker, has multiple sclerosis and uses a wheelchair. He is interested in hands-free solutions, detailed wheelchair accessibility information, such as door width, accessible business entrances, locations of elevators, and accessible restrooms.

The winners of the competition will be honored during a celebration in late July 2015. Click to learn more about the NYU ABILITY Lab, a collaborative research and education space co-directed by NYU Steinhardt’s Department of Occupational Therapy, NYU Tisch’s ITP, and NYU Poly’s Integrated Digital Media Program.

2015 Class Notes

Fran Babiss (PhD ‘01) is the principal investigator on a North Shore-LIJ Health System IRB-approved study. She works on comparing classroom and experiential learning of TeamSTEPPS, an AHRQ-approved teamwork and communication building tool. The study has just begun subject enrollment and should conclude by the end of the year.

Lindsey Biel (MA ‘99) published her second book, Sensory Processing Challenges: Effective Clinical Work With Kids & Teens, and is a guest lecturer at the Yale Child Study Center.

Susan Braham (MS ‘10) is an OTRL at the Staten Island University Hospital where she works in inpatient rehabilitation. She is a senior therapist active on pain management task force & yoga/tai chi class with a specialty in manual therapies, continuing education focusing on myofascial release techniques for yoga and manual techniques. She also has a private practice in therapeutic massage, yoga, and yoga therapy.

Allysin Bridges (MA ‘02) is working at Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing as a senior OT on the CAPABLE Study (Community Aging in Place Advancing Better Living for Elders). She is also in the process of starting her own company, OT Home Solutions, for healthy and safe aging.

Paula Connolly-Close (MA ‘83) has been an occupational therapist for 32 years. She lives at the Jersey Shore and her daughter, Katherine, is currently a graduate student at NYU (BER program).

Kim Conti (MA ‘94) is a certified hand therapist (CHT) at the JFK Medical Center in Edison, New Jersey, and has been for the past 18 years. She is married with three stepchildren.

Lisa Davis (MA ‘80) published the book, Occupational Therapy Student to Clinician, Making The Transition, which was written for OT students entering fieldwork or their first job following graduation. The book provides readers with information about the practical aspects of being successful in OT and is for sale on Amazon.

Rita P. Fleming-Castaldy (PhD ‘08) published an article, “A macro perspective for client-centered practice in curricula: Critique and teaching methods,” in the Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. She presented about the personal assistance services to support family and work life at the 20th annual meeting of European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education in the Netherlands.

Lori Kamer-Licker (BS ‘79) is an author and creator of a program for children. Her program, “Writing-Right with Professor Pendleton Pencil,” is an innovative, effective, and motivating handwriting curriculum for children.

Lillian Kaplan (BS ‘80) is completing her third year as chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy at York College, City University of New York. As a long-time pediatric clinician and OT educator, she teaches neuroanatomy, cognitive neuroscience, activity analysis and motor learning at York College. Her research focuses on attention’s influence on complex skill acquisition.

Karen Ling (MS ‘14) is a writer for www.seniorcare.com and a social media correspondent for NYC Universal Design Conference (@UniversalDesNYC). She uses social media to promote positive aging, universal design, and to spread awareness of OT.

Sarah Lyon (MA ‘11) has been blogging at www.otpotential.com where she has interviewed several of her former NYU classmates.

Katherine Malfucci (MS ‘12) is working as a senior OT in the NYC Department of Education at an elementary school with students with intellectual disabilities. In the summer, she works at a skilled nursing facility with adults and older adults.

Salma Malik (MS ‘12) is beginning a new occupational therapy program at More Than a Gym in Syosset. She is also servicing students in Hicksville Public Schools, and just had a third baby.

Diane Powers Dirette (MA ‘93, PhD ‘97) is the co-founder and editor-in-chief of The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy, the first open-access journal for the profession. The publication has over 50,000 full-text downloads in 119 countries and has become a well-respected peer-reviewed journal in OT.

Panos Rekoutis (MA ‘00, PhD ‘10) co-founded ReDiscoverKids OT, PLLC in 2011, which focuses on assessment, intervention, and consultation regardless of age or adversity. He also provides staff training for school-based OT’s and teachers, as well as continuing education courses. He has also recently had an article accepted in Teachers College Record, a peer-reviewed journal in the education field.

Jacqueline Tamayo (MS ‘12) is a traveling occupational therapist, practicing outpatient upper extremity rehabilitation and acute inpatient rehab. She married her best friend and soldier, Julian Tamayo, following graduation.

Kelly J. Webster (DPS ‘14) does acute inpatient and outpatient OT work in CT. She is now doing ergonomic workstation assessments and treating injured workers in both a factory and office setting. She also served as an adjunct professor this past spring for Dr. Anita Perr’s class, Analysis of Human Activity and Occupational Performance II.