Theory and Evidence-Based Practice Related to Human Occupation SOPC

Bridge the gap between education and practice

The Theory and Evidence-Based Practice Related to Human Occupation Scholarship of Practice Collaborative emphasizes bridging the gap between education and practice. Our focus is to strategically apply theory and evidence to improve client outcomes across the lifespan. The aim of the collaborative is to provide resources for care providers to deepen the utility of theory-based practice and therefore improving services to a broader community.

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Promoting healthy and productive aging

Jenica Lee’s scholarship seeks to understand supports and barriers to everyday technology use and participation in meaningful activities at home, work and in the community as people age. She aims to develop and implement best practice assessments and resources to promote healthy productive aging and caregiver support.

Learn more about Jenica's schholarship

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Promoting occupational therapy with cancer survivors and incorporating mental wellness strategies in outpatient settings

Caitlin Smith works to increase awareness of providers and survivors on the benefits of occupational therapy for addressing the long-term side effects of cancer treatment and promoting a transition to full, healthy lifestyles. She is also interested in increasing the tools and strategies for OTs to address mental health needs in outpatient therapy population with both pediatric and adult clients.

Learn more about Caitlin's scholarship

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Expanding the occupational therapy practitioner’s role in sexuality and intimacy

Jennifer Summers’ research interests are related to occupations associated with sexuality and intimacy for the disability community including dating, sexually expression, sexuality identity empowerment, sexual activity and reproduction.  She also is involved with scholarship related to teaching and learning practices for health providers as they transition into academicians.

Learn more about Jennifer’s scholarship

Student members

SOPC student members gather in a scholarly space to learn about departmental contributions to theory development in our profession.

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

Class of 2025 studentsClass of 2026 students
Leslie Everhart Asianna Griffin
Lindsey Heiss Elizabeth Hume
Samantha Libman Lejla Jakupovic
Malynn Tu  Natalie McCormack
Melissa Wen Natalia Syutyk
Joseph Talbot
Hannah Wang

SOPC in action

Five second-year students belong to this SOPC and have started designing their capstone projects.

Project topics focus on the strategic process of applying theory and evidence to understand and improve interventions for diverse clients (e.g., persons with neurological conditions, families of individuals with Down Syndrome as they age), when working with architects to design inclusive spaces, and within a cancer organization that delivers virtual programming to promote participation.

These project topics are being designed to be responsive to the needs of more than 5 innovate sites. SOPC faculty member Jen Summers leads the capstone process, whereby they have created structured opportunities for these students to engage their fellow faculty and peers within this SOPC to further shape project design.

This is just the first set of projects being developed within this SOPC at UIC OT, a department steeped in the tradition of advancing OT theory within a ‘scholarship of practice’ model. We trust that SOPC members will continue to benefit from seeing how these capstone projects take shape to advance conceptually grounded OT practice.

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

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Want to learn more about the Theory and Evidence-Based Practice Related to Human Occupation SOPC? Curious how this collaborative fits in with your career and education goals?

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