Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship

Friday, February 7, 2020

Register Now

T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center
5500 Southwestern Medical Ave.
Dallas, TX 75235-7299

Dr. Deirdre Dawson

Deirdre R. Dawson, PhD, OT Reg. (Ont.)
Executive dysfunction: The keystone of occupational performance

Disorders in executive functions are arguably the cognitive impairments that have the most devastating effect on occupational performance because they enable people “to be effective in the real-world, to adapt to new situations, and to pursue life goals in a constructive and productive manner” (Burgess & Simons, 2005). Through her research, Dr. Dawson has highlighted the key role that executive functions play in the construct of functional cognition and in our ability to participate successfully in occupational behaviors. She is convinced that executive dysfunction must be assessed and managed in an occupational context and will present evidence from her research involving adults with acquired brain injury, stroke and age-related cognitive changes to support this view. Accordingly, Dr. Dawson will highlight how we, as occupational therapists can provide our clients with the necessary resources to be able to meet their new occupational challenges.


Dr. Deirdre Dawson is a licensed occupational therapist in Ontario, Canada, a Professor and Interim Chair in the Department of Occupational Science, & Occupational Therapy at the University of Toronto and a Senior Scientist with the Rotman Research Institute, Baycrest Health Sciences in Toronto. She worked as a clinical occupational therapist for 10 years prior to doing her graduate studies in epidemiology and neuropsychology. She was inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Academy of Research in 2014 and in 2015, she was awarded the American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine Mitchell Rosenthal Award and an Award for Continuing Excellence in Graduate Teaching and Mentorship from the University of Toronto.

Dr. Dawson’s research has been funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Ontario Neurotrauma Foundation, Quebec Rehabilitation Research Network and the Canadian Partnership in Stroke Recovery. Her scholarship focuses on understanding how cognitive processes in acquired brain disorders and aging affect people’s abilities to be autonomous in community living and on developing and evaluating effective interventions that promote participation in every-day life.  Her work spans from ecologically valid assessment of cognitive impairments to occupationally based cognitive rehabilitation approaches to investigating the benefits of community support programs.


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. 

2020 Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship & Community Building Workshops Schedule

Founders – Vanderkooi Endowment

Roland & Virginia Chandler Dykes
George & Grace Gilkeson
Bonnie Strauss

Vanderkooi Advisory Committee

Noralyn Pickens, Chairperson
Regina Michael Campbell
Thomas Halka
Heather McBride
Monica McClain
Belinda Williams
Virginia Chandler Dykes
Cynthia Evetts
Lucy Aguirre-Kelley (Emeritus)
Adele Polk (Emeritus)
Bonnie Strauss (Emeritus)

Community Building Workshops Planning Committee

Gail Poskey, Co-chair
Noralyn Pickens, Co-chair
Shannon Levandowski
Linda Barnett
Summer Oleson
Cindy Alexander
Jennie Martin
Marsha Neville (Emeritus)

Previous Vanderkooi Lecturers

  • 1993 Lela Llorens, PhD, OTR
  • 1994 Charles Christiansen, Ed.D, OTR
  • 1995 Penny Kyler-Hutchinson, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 1996/97 Catherine Trombly, PhD, OTR
  • 1998 Carolyn Baum, PhD, OTR
  • 1999 Beatriz Abreu, PhD, OTR
  • 2000 Shereen Farber, PhD, OTR
  • 2001 Linda Fazio, PhD, OTR
  • 2002 Karen Jacobs, EdD, OTR
  • 2003 Barbara Kornblau, JD, OT/L
  • 2004 Patricia Crist, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2005 Jim Hinojosa, PhD
  • 2006 Suzanne Peloquin, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
  • 2007 Wendy Wood, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2008 Penelope Moyers, EdD, OTR/L, BCMH, FAOTA
  • 2009 Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD
  • 2010 Barbara A. Boyt Schell, PhD, OT, FAOTA
  • 2011 Glen Gillen, EdD, OTR, FAOTA
  • 2012 Florence A. Clark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
  • 2013 Mary Law, PhD, MSc, BSc
  • 2014 Jane Case-Smith, EdD, OT, FAOTA
  • 2015 Susan Coppola, MS, OTR/L, BCG, FAOTA 
  • 2016 Barbara M. Doucet, PhD, LOTR
  • 2017 Anne G. Fisher, ScD, OT, FAOTA
  • 2018 Thomas F. Fisher, PhD, OT, CCM, FAOTA
  • 2019 Susan M. Cahill, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Thank you to our generous sponsors!

Page last updated 8:20 AM, January 27, 2020