Children, Youth and Families SOPC

Contribute to pediatric occupational therapy practice

The Children, Youth and Families Scholarship of Practice Collaborative aims to positively contribute to pediatric occupational therapy practice. We choose engagement in education, advocacy, research or other forms of scholarly activity with children, youth and families, across the diverse settings and activities in which they perform and participate to orchestrate meaningful lives. We engage to promote application of theory, evidence and authentic family and stakeholder engagement, to enact best practice occupational therapy evaluation, intervention and outcomes measurement. We actively explore new approaches to designing and implementing best practice to meet the needs and enhance service experiences, access and inclusion for an increasingly diverse population.

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Mary Khetani

Advancing technology for pediatric care

Mary Khetani directs the Children’s Participation in Environment Research Lab (CPERL). The CPERL team cares about leveraging authentic stakeholder engagement and diverse methodologies to advance conceptually grounded, evidence-based, and innovative digital health solutions that advance family-centered and participation-focused pediatric (re)habilitation.

Learn more about Mary's scholarship

Ashley Stoffel

Promoting family engagement in early childhood

Ashley Stoffel’s scholarship includes promoting family-centered services to young children and families in diverse early intervention and community settings. Ashley is the director of the UIC OT Faculty Practice: Children, Youth & Families. She is the UIC OT discipline and training coordinator for the Illinois Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental and Related Disabilities Program at UIC.

Learn more about Ashley's scholarship

Sabrin Rizk

Understanding and improving coordinated health and educational services for children and youth with disabilities

Sabrin Rizk focuses on understanding and improving equitable care coordination across health and education systems for children and youth with disabilities and their families, beginning in early childhood. Sabrin uses diverse data sources (e.g., population and programmatic) to examine social and structural barriers to coordinated medical home primary care and educational service use through early intervention and special education for children and youth on the autism spectrum.

Learn more about Sabrin's scholarship

Student members

Students engaged with faculty in a Meet and Greet with guest speaker for SOP seminar series.

Student members are central to the collaborative. They work with faculty to learn how to design and conduct innovative capstone projects that are responsive to the needs of community partners.

Class of 2025 studentsClass of 2026 students
Lucy CheslaLauren Dimayuga
Andreea GulerFeba Elayadom
Alexis KlimaJenna Frizzell
Jessalyn MedinaSarah Gruettner
Talia NeuhausCaroline Klose
Jocelyn Tam Keya Patel
Lilyanna Patton
Ashley Tafur
Cara Younkin

SOPC in action

Six student members of this SOPC who are in the inaugural E-OTD cohort have been advancing the design of their capstone projects.

Project topics range from developing educational resources to support the use of assistive technology and coordinate family-centered transitions into and out of early intervention, to integrating principles of trauma-informed care and creative arts within diverse pediatric provider workflows. 

These projects are being designed to be responsive to the needs of nearly 5 major hospitals and community-based sites in the local Chicagoland area. Students have been guided by Jen Summers, our capstone coordinator, to start accessing faculty and peer mentorship within this SOPC to further shape project design.

This is just a sampling of topics that are being pursued within this SOPC at UIC OT, a department steeped in the tradition of advancing a ‘scholarship of practice’ model. We trust that its members will continue to benefit from seeing how these capstone projects take shape, to positively advance pediatric OT practice.

Stay tuned to learn how these projects take more final form in the Fall.


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Mary Khetani headshot


Want to learn more about the Children, Youth and Families SOPC? Curious how this collaborative fits in with your career and education goals?

Contact Mary at: