Vanderkooi Endowed Lectureship
Friday, February 7, 2020
T. Boone Pickens Institute of Health Sciences-Dallas Center
5500 Southwestern Medical Ave.
Dallas, TX 75235-7299
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.
Founders – Vanderkooi Endowment
Roland & Virginia Chandler Dykes
George & Grace Gilkeson
Vanderkooi Advisory Committee
Noralyn Pickens, Chairperson
Regina Michael Campbell
Virginia Chandler Dykes
Lucy Aguirre-Kelley (Emeritus)
Adele Polk (Emeritus)
Bonnie Strauss (Emeritus)
Community Building Workshops Planning Committee
Gail Poskey, Co-chair
Noralyn Pickens, Co-chair
Previous Vanderkooi Lecturers
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Page last updated 11:12 AM, August 14, 2019