University of Southern California
University of Southern California
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Mrs. T.H. Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
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Catherine Crowley OTD, OTR/L

Catherine Crowley

Director of the Minor in Occupational Science Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy

Room: CHP 222N
(323) 442-3071
.(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)


Catherine Crowley has been an occupational therapist since 1974. She began her career working with adults in a psychiatric hospital on the East Coast and thereafter moved west to Colorado to work in the community mental health system. When the facility was closed in light of shifting governmental fiscal priorities and the de-institutionalization movement, Dr. Crowley pursued a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago, changing her focus of study and practice to pediatrics, wherein her thesis work involved examining variables in parental involvement in the child’s early intervention programs. In the 1990s, she came to the University of Southern California Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy. She completed her clinical doctorate in 2007 and continues teaching part-time in the USC Chan Division's Minor in Occupational Science program.


Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2007 | University of Southern California

Master of Arts (MA) in Occupational Therapy
1993 | University of Southern California


Journal Articles

Frank, G., Fishman, M., Crowley, C. C., Blair, B. A., Murphy, S. T., Montoya, J. A., Hickey, M. P., Brancaccio, M. V., & Bensimon, E. M. (2001). The New Stories/New Cultures after-school enrichment program: A direct cultural intervention. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 55(5), 501-508. Show abstractHide abstract

This article describes the organization, curriculum, and outcomes for New Stories/New Cultures, an activity-based program for after-school enrichment in five schools in the low-income neighborhood near a major American university. The program encourages students (70% Hispanic-American, 30% African-American) to experience themselves as producers of culture, not just as consumers. Its methods include (a) creative team use of video equipment and other expressive media and (b) lessons about media literacy (i.e., making critical choices about images and activities depicted in popular culture and commercials). Outcome measures with the cohort of fifth and sixth graders support the programs occupation-based philosophy. They show that students are more likely to experience themselves as building skills when engaged in activities that are both challenging and enjoyable. The students reported greatest engagement and enjoyment in activities that were creative, team-based, and involving media production. These same activities were correlated with increased self-esteem. The term direct cultural intervention is used to describe the application of occupational principles and critical perspectives to provide a population with conceptual tools and skills for interpreting and successfully navigating the social world.