Partner with expert faculty to develop, conduct, and present your own research.

We are committed to providing our students with opportunities for scholarly activities and research. You will collaborate with faculty and other students on conducting research to prepare to be an evidence-informed practitioner. We develop your foundational skills in the classroom with courses such as statistics and research methods. You research and compose an exploratory research paper under the guidance of faculty. In the graduate year, you select either an individual thesis or a group research option to complete your degree. In the non-thesis option, you work together in a group research class to implement and present a faculty-designed research project. We encourage students either individually, or in collaboration with faculty, to pursue further research in topics of interest. It is common for these projects to be submitted for publication or presentation at state and national conferences. The Department does provide financial support for student travel to present research at conferences (funds are limited and subject to availability).

Recent research projects include:

  • Clocking in From the Couch: Experiences Working From Home During the Pandemic
  • The Perceptions of Different Disciplines on Early Childhood Interprofessional Teams Involving Occupational Therapy Services
  • Impact of Assistive Technology for Students with Disabilities on College Campuses
  • Not So Humerus: Local Stroke Survivors' Perceptions and Experiences of Upper Limb Dysfunction and Recovery
Spotlight on Faculty-Student Research: Re-imagining Recess

In partnership with local schools and the Ithaca Public Education Initiative (IPEI), the Re-imagining Recess project brings loose parts play to recess time for elementary age children. Loose parts are items that can be moved, modified, and used for a variety of purposes. They can be natural or synthetic materials. Some examples of items provided included ropes, buckets, tires, large pieces of fabric, and recycled materials. The project also trains the adults supervising recess to reduce unnecessary restrictions on children's free play, and to facilitate active play. 

Associate Professor Dr. Kim Wilkinson, and a student research team, completed structured observations of the Re-imagining Recess project at a local Ithaca school. They noticed that incorporating loose parts into recess resulted in children increasing the variety of their play and their activity level. In particular, constructive play increased. Other research demonstrates that this is associated with improved understanding of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) skills.