Catherine Crowley OTD, OTR/L
Director of the Minor in Occupational Science Program and Assistant Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
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. Her thesis work involved examining variables in parental involvement in their 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 2006 and is the director of the Occupational Science Minor program.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy (OTD)
2006 | University of Southern California
Master of Science (MS)
in Occupational Therapy
1984 | University of Illinois Chicago
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. https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.55.5.501 Show 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.