Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship
Friday, February 8, 2019
Susan M. Cahill, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Back to Basics: Supporting the Mental Health of the iGeneration
Many occupational therapy practitioners, educators, and parents view everyday technology as a means to enhance skill development and equalize the playing field for children and youth. Apps and other forms of technology often serve as the basis for intervention and many rely on the capacity of these new technologies to foster social participation and offset the demands associated with traditional classroom occupations and environments. Though technology has provided many affordances to generations in the past, the iGeneration is particularly at-risk for developing mental health concerns due to technology overuse and over-reliance. More than their predecessors, the iGeneration is in need of occupation-focused interventions designed to support volitional development and effective habit use for living outside of the virtual context. Occupational therapy practitioners have the potential to contribute significant value to contemporary debates about technology use in schools and alter the perspectives that educators and parents hold about the importance of every day, real-world occupations in relation to children’s mental health.
Dr. Cahill has been in the field of Occupational Therapy for 20 years as a school-based clinician, administrator, educator, and investigator. She earned a B.S. in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois at Chicago, a Master’s degree in Educational Administration from Dominican University in River Forest, Illinois, and a PhD in Special Education from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Dr. Cahill has worked in public school administration as a special education program supervisor and is currently the Program Director for the Occupational Therapy Program at Lewis University in Romeoville, Illinois. Dr. Cahill has been a Project Director and a Co-Project Director on two federally funded personnel preparation grants. Dr. Cahill’s research interests include the study of interventions and models of practice used to support the occupational performance of children who are at-risk for learning and mental health concerns at school.
The Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship was established in 1994 to honor the first program director of occupational therapy at Texas Woman’s University, Fanny B. Vanderkooi. It celebrates the School of Occupational Therapy’s legacy of commitment to vision, professional values, and leadership development in occupational therapy education, practice and research. The event is typically attended by more than 250 occupational therapy professionals, inclusive of students.
Founders - Vanderkooi Endowment
Roland & Virginia Chandler Dykes
George & Grace Gilkeson
Vanderkooi Advisory Committee
Regina Michael Campbell, Chairperson
Virginia Chandler Dykes
Adele Polk (Emeritus)
Bonnie Strauss (Emeritus)
Community Building Workshops Planning Committee
Marsha Neville, co-chair
Gail Poskey, co-chair
Previous Vanderkooi Lecturers
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Page last updated 4:21 PM, December 6, 2018