James Graham moved from Texas earlier this spring to begin his position as Director of the Center for Community Partnerships at Colorado State University. He brings research experience focused on the factors affecting variability in health and functioning among individuals with disabilities or chronic health conditions. Learn more about why he came to CSU and what he is looking forward to in his new position.
What brought you to the Department of Occupational Therapy at CSU?
I jumped at the opportunity to work in the Center for Community Partnerships. Multifaceted positions like this do not come along very often and I considered this a once-in-a-career opportunity. Cathy Schelly, the former director, left some colossal shoes to fill; however, the CCP has a remarkable staff, inspirational participants and a motivating mission so I am excited about the center’s future. Further, I was – and continue to be – impressed with the research culture and collaborative attitude of the faculty in the department. Lastly, but similarly important in our decision to relocate, we have three energetic boys and we are convinced that the Front Range area is a great place for them to grow up.
What are your research interests?
My research focuses on the factors affecting variability in health and functioning among individuals with disabilities or chronic health conditions. To date, this has primarily been in the context of medical rehabilitation. At the University of Texas Medical Branch I was part of a great research team studying functional recovery, return to community independence and subsequent health services utilization in hospitalized older adults. Here at CSU I am interested in applying my background to improve the long-term health and functional independence of transition age students and young adults with disabilities.
What are you looking forward to in your new position at CSU?
Oh, I’m looking forward to a lot! I am looking forward to working with Julia Kothe, associate director of the CCP, and the rest of the staff to expand the valued services and programs the center provides for CSU students and individuals in the community with disabilities. Relatedly, I am eager to work with the team to enhance the research profile of the CCP, nationally. I am also enjoying establishing new collaborations with investigators in the department, college and from across the University and am looking forward to learning what new research opportunities will develop from these relationships.
What are you enjoying the most about the CSU campus or Fort Collins?
I am surrounded by great people and I live on the outskirts of Fort Collins. I am enjoying life, period.