Faculty and Staff
The Occupational Therapy Department faculty are excellent teachers, experienced clinicians, and nationally recognized leaders and scholars in the profession.
All of the faculty members are occupational therapists with advanced degrees, diverse backgrounds, specializations, interests and expertise including : physical and mental health rehabilitation, pediatrics, community mental health, gerontology, independent living skills, measurement and research, international occupational therapy, multicultural issues, the history of occupational therapy, kinesiology, infant and family mental health, psychogeriatrics, family-centered intervention, neurological rehabilitation, the social inclusion of children, job analysis, the uses of therapeutic humor, and health promotion.
Follow the links below for faculty and staff directory:
Faculty Awards and Honors
The Occupational Therapy Department is excited to announce the awards and honor garnered by our faculty members.
OTAC 2023 Award Honoree
Congratulations to Dr. Luis Arabit, who received the Luella Grangaard Political Action
Award at the upcoming 2023 Occupational Therapy Association of California Conference
in recognition of his outstanding contributions in promotion of occupational therapy
through legislative and political endeavors.
CFOT 2023 Research Grant Recipient
Congratulations to Dr. Courtney Boitano, who received the Lisa Test Endowed Research Award combined with the CFOT Research Grant Award at the recently held 2023 Occupational Therapy Association of California Conference in Pasadena, CA. Her research topic - Evaluation of Response to Intervention (RtI) occupational therapy tier 1 and tier 2 services on general education elementary school students’ sensory processing: A follow up study.
'22 - '23 CHHS Outstanding Engagement Award
Congratulations to Dr. Lynne Andonian who was awarded the '22 - '23 Outstanding Engagement Award by the SJSU College of Health and Human Sciences (CHHS)!
The Outstanding Engagement Award is given to a faculty member or program team, with five or more years of experience in the College, who exemplifies the mission of developing and promoting partnerships, particularly in service to high-needs communities, and collaborations between campus and external partners for the benefit of the community, state, nation, and/or world.
2023 SJSU RSCA Seed Grant Program Award
Congratulations to Dr. Chiao-Ju Fang, who was awarded the 2023 SJSU RSCA Seed Grant award for her work, "Social Participation and Navigation (SPAN): Description and Usability of App-based Coaching Intervention for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)."
The award letter states: “The Office of Research, with support from the RSCA Advisory Council, concluded evaluations of all submitted proposals after the first review by the college review committee. The proposal entitled 'Social Participation and Navigation (SPAN): Description and Usability of App-based Coaching Intervention for Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)' ranked highly and has been approved for funding.”
2023 AOTF Implementation Research Grant
Dr. Chiao-Ju Fang was also recently notified that she is receiving a large Implementation Research Grant (Option #1) from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) for two years!
The title of her project is "Implementation of App-Based Coaching Intervention (Social Participation and Navigation; SPAN) to Promote Participation of Young Adults with Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD)". According to Dr. Fang, the proposed research aims to close the gap between evidence (i.e., using technology-based interventions) and practice (i.e., evidence-based interventions assisting young adults with ASD) by adapting and evaluating the implementation of evidence-based practices in routine care via telehealth to improve their quality and effectiveness with a focus on participation.
2022 OTAC Awards
Three of our faculty are getting the following 2022 OTAC Awards: the Award of Excellence, the Janice Matsutsuyu Outstanding Service Award, and the Susan J. Harris OT Entrepreneur Award. These faculty will be recognized at the Annual Awards Ceremony on Friday, October 28 at the Hyatt Regency Santa Clara in conjunction with the OTAC 2022 Annual Conference and Innovation Expo.
Award of Excellence
Deborah J. Bolding, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Janice Matsutsuyu Outstanding Service Award
Alison H. George, MS, OTR/L
Susan J. Harris OT Entrepreneur Award
Hiral Khatri, OTD, OTR/L
2022 University Grants Academy success
Dr. Megan Chang, participated in the University Grants Academy this last year and just received an intervention research grant award from the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Her topic is the Use of a Telehealth Approach to Build Resilience in Parents of Children with Autism through Mindfulness Practice. According to Dr. Chang, “this is a grant to support the diverse community of parents of children with autism ages 5-12 in the Bay Area. The goal is to examine the effects of online MBSR through self-reported outcomes as well as psychophysiological measures. The psychophysiological measures, namely electrodermal activity and electrocardiogram, will allow us to test changes in autonomic nervous system responses to stress that these parents chronically experience. OT Lecturer Rochelle McLaughlin, our very own MBSR guru, is the soul and interventionist of this pilot study. She will be delivering the UMASS MBSR program to these parents following the fidelity to treatment protocol. ”
CFOT Research Grant
Dr. Melisa Kaye was awarded the Lisa Test Endowed Research Award combined with the CFOT Grant Award at the California Foundation of Occupational Therapy event during the recently held 2022 OTAC conference in Santa Clara, CA. Her research title is "Investigating Resilience in Families with Young Children: Steps to Inform Holistic Clinical Interventions".
Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA)
ROSTER OF FELLOWS (Est. 1973) recognizes occupational therapists who through their knowledge, expertise, leadership, advocacy, and/or guidance have made a significant contribution over time to the profession with a measured impact on consumers of occupational therapy services and/or members of the Association.
- The nominee(s) shall have made a significant contribution to the profession by utilizing
special skills and/or knowledge on behalf of members, consumers, public/community
at large, and/or other organizations. Both scholarly contribution and organizational
leadership will be considered.
- Person(s) receiving this award may self-identify by using “FAOTA” after their signature. These initials shall be included in the identifying information that follows their name in the registry as evidence of this honor.
The San Jose State University is proud to have so many FAOTA Faculty in the Occupational Therapy Department. The following is a list of current and emeritus (retired) faculty who have received this award as a clear indication of strong commitment and service to the profession:
- Dr. Luis de Leon Arabit
- Dr. Deborah Bolding
- Dr. Megan C. Chang
- Dr. Gigi Smith
- Dr. Winifred Schultz-Krohn
Previous Occupational Therapy faculty also awarded this honor include:
- Dr. Heidi Pendleton (Retired)
- Dr. Marti Southam (Retired)
- Dr. Anne MacRae (Retired)
- Dr. Kathleen (Kay) Schwartz (Retired)
- Dr. Pamela Richardson (Retired)
- Dr. Lela Llorens (Retired)
- Dr. Karen Diasio-Serrett (Retired)
Name: Dr. Gigi Smith
Location: CCB 204
Graduate (MSOT) & Undergraduate (Pre-OT) Coordinator
Name: Dr. Gigi Smith
Location: CCB 204
OT Doctorate Coordinators
Name: Dr. Gigi Smith/Dr. Courtney Boitano
Location: CCB 204/220
Llorens, Lela A. W.
Pendleton, Heidi McHugh
Schwartz, Kathleen Barker
Serrett, Karen Diasio