Program Leader: Jerilyn (Gigi) Smith
Associate Professor Smith, PhD, OTR/L, SWC, has special advanced education and training in the evaluation and treatment of swallowing disorders which is one among many areas of expertise that she brings to the Occupational Therapy program. She graduated with her B.S. in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. She also adds to her distinction as being among the first graduating cohort of the Distance Master's program at SJSU. Dr. Smith completed her PhD in Health Sciences at Touro University International. Her research was in the area of autism, sensory processing and feeding and eating behaviors. Dr. Smith has authored several chapters in national and internationally recognized occupational therapy textbooks. She has presented locally, nationally, and internationally on dysphagia and the role of occupational therapy in treating swallowing disorders. Dr. Smith is the Co-Chair of the Student Leadership Committee for the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC), and is a member of the Commission on Practice for the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She also serves the department as the Graduate Admissions Coordinator and is the Student OT Association (SOTA) Advisor.
Program Leader: Uyen P. Nguyen
Uyen received her Bachelor's degree and post-professional Master's degree of Science in Occupational Therapy from San Jose State University. She recently completed the certification program in Low Vision Rehabilitation through the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has been working in school-based practice since 1998 where she provides OT services to students with from 3-21 years of age. She also has experiences in a variety of other practice settings, including home-based early intervention, day programs for young adults, psychiatric/mental health practice, acute, and long-term care settings. She has received training in specific treatment approaches, including sensory processing, and therapeutic listening. She has worked collaboratively with the school team to address educational needs for children with different disabilities, including developmental disabilities, developmental delays, PDD/ASD, ADHD, and visual motor difficulties. Uyen has been involved in international occupational therapy through volunteer work for Children's Hope In Action, a non-governmental organization in Vietnam. She was born and raised in Ho Chi Minh City (formerly Saigon), Vietnam. In addition to being a guest lecturer for the Occupational Therapy Department at San Jose State University, she helped lead the San Jose State University Faculty-Led Program to Vietnam in 2016.