Allison Sullivan, DOT, MS, OTR/L

Professor of Occupational Therapy and Lead Faculty OTD Program

Biography

Allison Sullivan, DOT, OTR/L is the recipient of the 2018 Faculty Excellence Award from American International College and the 2017 Catherine Trombly Award for Excellence in Research and Education from the Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapy. Dr. Sullivan is Professor and Lead Faculty for AIC’s Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program, serving as academic advisor, mentoring doctoral capstone projects and teaching courses for the PP-OTD in the scholarship of teaching and learning in occupational therapy and occupational therapy theory in practice education, and research. Allison also teaches in AIC’s entry-level MSOT program, focusing on the development of psychosocial occupations, group dynamics, and the mental health process in OT.

Dr. Sullivan’s research interests include pedagogy in occupational therapy education, cognitive disabilities, and trauma-informed care. Her recent study, “Impact of a Virtual Role-play Simulation in Teaching Motivational Interviewing Communication Strategies to Occupational Therapy Students for Readiness in Conducting Screening and Brief Interventions” is published in May 2021 issue of The Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice.  As an occupational therapist and educator, Dr. Sullivan has dedicated her career toward improving the lives of individuals with cognitive disabilities and health conditions that interfere with participation and quality of life across the lifespan, working in day habilitation services, school-based occupational therapy, and residential settings in a career spanning three decades. She is the chair of the MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group, and sits on the boards of the Martin Luther King Family Services of Springfield, Allen Cognitive Network, and The Lighthouse, a psychosocial clubhouse in Springfield. Dr. Sullivan also serves on the Human Rights Committee for Viability, Inc., an organization which provides day habilitation services and programs across the US. She is a certified group exercise and yoga instructor (RYT), and the co-founder and leader of #OTalk2US, a Twitter chat for occupational therapists with tens of millions of views of tweets carrying this tag.

Degrees

  • DOT, Occupational Therapy, 2016, Temple University
  • MSOT, Occupational Therapy, 1993, Springfield College
  • BA, Fine Arts, 1988, Amherst College

 Certifications and Memberships

  • American Occupational Therapy Association, member
  • Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapists, member
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists, member
  • OT Leaders and Legacies Society, member
  • Mental Health First Aid, National Council for Mental Wellbeing, Instructor, 2022
  • National Institutes of Health certification in Human Subjects Research, 2018
  • Certificate of Teaching in Higher Education, Temple University, 2015
  • Certificate in Human Subjects Research, Collaborative Institutional Training Program, 2014
  • Registered Yoga Teacher, Yoga Alliance International, 2011
  • Certified Professional Group Exercise Instructor, AFAA, 2010
  • Certificate of Advanced Graduate Study, Springfield College, 1993

Awards

  • May 2018: American International Faculty Excellence Award
  • November 2017: MAOT Catherine Trombly Award for Outstanding Contribution to Research and Education in Occupational Therapy

 Courses

  • OTR 7500 OT Theory in Practice, Education & Research (Fall 2017-Spring 2019)
  • OTR 7100 Scholarship of Teaching and Learning in Occupational Therapy (Spring 2017- present)
  • OTR 6999 Professional Behaviors Remediation (Summer 2021 and as needed)
  • OTR 6031 Occupational Therapy Process: Mental Health (Fall 2007, 2010-present)
  • OTR 5430 Psychosocial Occupations of Adulthood (Spring 2010-present)
  • OTR 5230 Psychosocial Occupations of Childhood and Adolescence (Fall 2006-present)
  • OTR 5141 Group Dynamics (Spring 2007-present)
  • OTR 6200 Comprehensive Exam (Fall 2015-Fall 2018)
  • OTR 8000 Foundations of Occupational Therapy (Summer 2012- 2016)
  • OTR 692 Outcomes of Research (Spring 2009-2010)
  • OTR 792 Management (Spring 2010-Spring 2013)
  • OTR 881 Research Seminar (Fall 2011 and Fall 2012)
  • OTR 982 Research 3 (Summer 2012)

 Research Interests

  • Attitudes Toward Intellectual Disabilities
  • Trauma-Informed Care
  • Use of Technology for Teaching in Higher Education
  • Sensorimotor Interventions for Cognitive Disabilities

Publications and Presentations

Sullivan, A., Albright, G., & Khalid, N. (2021). Impact of a Virtual Role-play Simulation in Teaching Motivational Interviewing Communication Strategies to Occupational Therapy Students for Readiness in Conducting Screening and Brief Interventions. Journal of Higher Education Theory and Practice, 21(2). https://doi.org/10.33423/jhetp.v21i2.4117

Sweich, P., Sullivan, A., & Helfrich, C. (2020, August). Self-feeding in the adult population: Back to the basics. OT Practice, 25(8), CE1-10.

Sullivan, A. and Mendonca, R. (2017, November). Impact of a fieldwork experience on attitudes toward     people with intellectual disabilities. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 71(6). https://doi.org/10.5014/ajot.2017.025460

Sullivan, Allison (2014, April). Practitioner’s reflection 12.1: The sunshine village yoga group program. In K. Haertl (ed.), Adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Bethesda, MD: AOTA, Inc.

Sullivan, A. Dowdy, T., Haddad, J., Hussain, S., Patel, A., & Smyth, K. (2013, March). Occupational therapy interventions in adult mental health across settings: a literature review. Mental Health Special Interest Section Quarterly, 36(1), 1-3.

Conference Presentations with Peer-reviewed, Published Abstracts:

 Sullivan, A.  & Barlow, K. (2018, May). A proposal for a therapeutic intervention for ARFID. In Connected by diversity positioned for impact: WFOT congress 2018 conference programme. World Federation of Occupational Therapists, Cape Town, South Africa.

Posters

Weisman, T., Sullivan, A., & Meyers, P. (2021, November). Interprofessional education in occupational therapy curricula: Perceptions of IPE faculty training during COVID-19 pandemic. Presentation at New York State Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference. New York, NY.

Maas, E., Sullivan, A., Nafai, S., & Plummer, J. (2021, November). Occupational Therapy Practitioners’ Perspectives During the COVID-19 Pandemic. Presentation at New York State Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference. New York, NY.

Sullivan, A., Barlow, K., Lehr, V. & Sullivan, A. (2019, April). Exploring trauma-informed care in pediatric occupational therapy: An evidence-based practice review with intervention recommendations. Presentation at American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference. New Orleans, LA.

Barlow, K., & Sullivan, A. (2018, April) Can a targeted cognitive behavioral intervention be effective for children diagnosed with avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder? Poster presentation at the AOTA Annual Conference. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Presentations

Sullivan, A. (2022, March). Behavioral Health Intervention Strategies and Continuing Professional Development for Occupational Therapy Practitioners. Presentation for AOTA’s School Mental Health Community of Practice, Bethesda, MD.

Sullivan, A. (2022, January). How Did I Get Here? One Occupational Therapist’s Search for Meaning. Presentation for the University of Brighton’s “All About Occupation” lecture series. Brighton, UK. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C9gOCf6spKQ&t=38s.

Maas, E., Marrero, M., & Woolridge, K. (2021, February). In A. Sullivan (Chair). Personal Perspectives of Frontline Workers Envisioning a Post-Pandemic Future to Support Recovery & Participation: A Panel Discussion [Conference session]. Allen Cognitive Symposium. Chicago, IL.

Sullivan, A. (2021, November). SBIRT: A Proposal for a Campus-wide Universal Screening Program Addressing Problematic Use of Alcohol and Drugs. Presentation at American International College Faculty Brown Bag Research Series. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, September). MAOT WMASS MH SIG Brainstorming for AY 2021-2022. Presentation to MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, May). Follow Up on The History of Mental Health Occupational Therapy in Massachusetts: A Scholarly Project Proposal. Presentation to MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, April). Impact of computer simulation training in screening & brief intervention on OT students. Presentation at American International College Faculty Brown Bag Research Series. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, April). One Year Later: Personal Perspectives on the Pandemic. Presentation to MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, March). The Canadian Occupational Performance Measure (COPM) Learning Module. Presentation to MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, February). The History of Mental Health Occupational Therapy in Massachusetts: A Scholarly Project Proposal. Presentation to MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group. Springfield, MA.

Sullivan, A. (2021, February). Anatomy of Student Competence in the Cognitive Disabilities Model. [Conference session]. Allen Cognitive Symposium. Chicago, IL.

Sullivan, A. (2020, October). Impact of computer simulation training in screening & brief intervention on OT students. [Conference session]. Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Education Summit. St. Louis, MO.

Champagne, T. & Sullivan, A. (2020, March). Applying trauma informed care across occupational therapy practice, administrative, and academic areas [Preconference institute].  Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference. Boston, MA. (conference canceled).

Sullivan, A. (2019, October). Anatomy of Student Competence in the Allen Cognitive Disabilities Model. Presentation at MAOT Annual Conference. Norwood, MA.

Sullivan, A. & Champagne, T. (2019, October). Linking Trauma and Sensory-Based Interventions in Occupational Therapy.  Presentation at MAOT Annual Conference. Norwood, MA.

Sullivan, A. & Sullivan, H. (2018, October). SBIRT: A promising approach to addressing problematic use of alcohol and drugs. Presentation at MAOT Annual Conference. Norwood, MA

Sullivan, A.  & Barlow, K. (2018, May). A proposal for a therapeutic intervention for ARFID. Presentation at WFOT Congress, Cape Town, South Africa.

Sullivan, A. (2018, April). Screening, brief intervention, and referral to treatment: The SBIRT app. Presentation to the Annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference. Salt Lake City, Utah.

Expert Testimony:

Sullivan, A. (October, 2021). Testimony before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Joint Committee on Financial Services: https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3998/Video1  .

Sullivan, A. (July 2021). Testimony before the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Joint Committee on Mental Health, Substance Abuse, and Recovery: https://malegislature.gov/Events/Hearings/Detail/3847.

Interviews

Sullivan, A. (2020, December 12). In On the Air Podcast. Computer Simulation Training in Occupational Therapy Education [Podcast interview] Memphis, TN. https://www.spreaker.com/user/ontheairot/computer-simulation-training-in-occupati

 

Sullivan, A. (2016, May). In Business West. AIC Creates New Doctoral Program for Occupational Therapists [News journal article]. Springfield, MA. https://businesswest.com/blog/aic-creates-new-doctoral-program-for-occupational-therapists/

Newspaper Articles

Health Care News 9.6.2016 “Bridging the Gap: AIC Creates a New Doctoral Program for Occupational Therapists”. Retrieved 9.2013 from http://healthcarenews.com/bridging-the-gap-aic-creates-new-doctoral-program-for-occupational-therapists/

The Republican 9.18.2013 “Social Media Useful in the Classroom”

The Hampden-Wilbraham Times 9.05.2013 “AIC Professor Advocates Using Social Media for Academic Purposes”

Blogs

Sullivan, A. (2015, February). Advantages, Issues, and Troubleshooting with Response System Technology. Retrieved from http://www.allisulli.com/alli/iH/doc/1436265687AFS-1.pdf

Sullivan, A. (2015, March). The Value of Teaching Using Mobile Devices. Retrieved from http://www.allisulli.com/alli/iH/doc/1436265687AFS-3.pdf

Professional Affiliations

  • Chairperson, MAOT Western Massachusetts Mental Health Special Interest Group                         
  • Mental Health First Aid Instructor, National Council on Mental Wellbeing
  • OT Leaders and Legacies Society, member
  • Allen Cognitive Network, board member
  • AOTA School Mental Health Community of Practice, member
  • Massachusetts Association of Occupational Therapists (MAOT), member
  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), member
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapists (WFOT), member
  • New York State Occupational Therapy Association (NYSOTA) member

Service

Board of Directors, Martin Luther King Jr. Family Services, Springfield, MA (2021)

The MKKJRFS Board of Directors is responsible for creating opportunities and implementing activities to achieve the mission of the organization, “to nurture and develop the skills, opportunities and spirit of families in Greater Springfield and the surrounding communities”.

Human Rights Committee, Human Resources Unlimited, Springfield, MA (2017): The HRC is responsible for:

  • Investigating allegations of mistreatment, and filing formal complaints when appropriate.
  • Reviewing and monitoring the use of restraints and other limitations of movement in accordance with DDS and DMH regulations.
  • Reviewing and monitoring the training methods and practices used to instruct the members and staff about their rights and to provide individual with opportunities to exercise their right.
  • Reviewing and approving/disapproving Level II and III behavioral management plans.

Advisory board member, Lighthouse, Springfield, MA (2019)

The advisory board is responsible for: provides oversight management, support and fundraising to the Clubhouse and delegates responsibility for day-to-day management of the Clubhouse.

#OTalk2US co-founder

(November 2012-November 2022)

This Twitter chat promotes occupational therapy and facilitates knowledge and resource exchange regarding occupational therapy. Tens of millions of unique tweet impressions with this hashtag have been viewed by twitter followers since this chat began.

Website

www.allisulli.com (April 2014-Present)

I maintain a professional website to disseminate results of my research efforts, share health information and promote occupational therapy and higher education.

Office

Room: 106 Colaccino Center for Health Sciences

Site map

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