Current PhD Students
Faculty Mentor: Mary Lawlor ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Research Lab: Boundary Crossings Lab in SIEFL
Year of Entry: 2013
MOT in Occupational Therapy
St. Ambrose College
My dissertation work is focused on understanding day-to-day experiences of adolescents and young adults with acquired spinal cord injuries and their caregivers. Specifically, I have employed narrative and phenomenological methods to examine interrelationships of participation, identity, development, and well-being as young people and their caregivers transition back to community life after debilitating injuries. With this study, I am also exploring opportunities to tailor rehabilitative services to unique developmental needs of adolescents and young adults.
Additionally, I am leading a research planning and engagement project with funding from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI), Pipeline-to-Proposal Awards. Developing Meaningful Research with Adolescents and Young Adults with Chronic Conditions is a collaboration among patient stakeholders, researchers, and occupational therapists for research development, implementation, and dissemination. In this line of work, we are generating capacity for individuals with lived experiences, especially young people, to be directly involved in research planning. Simultaneously, we are exploring prominent concerns and interests of adolescents and young adults, including strategies for self-advocacy, shared decision-making, and increased mental health support in health care. From this work, we expect to submit a proposal for research to address gaps in existing knowledge that could improve outcomes for adolescents and young adults with chronic conditions.