CSU’s Department of Occupational Therapy welcomes new faculty

Portrait of James GrahamJames Graham moved from Texas last spring to begin his position as director of the Center for Community Partnerships. He is an experienced researcher focusing on factors affecting variability in health and functioning among individuals with disabilities or chronic health conditions. He is especially interested in improving the long-term health and functional independence of transition-age students and young adults with disabilities. When asked what he enjoys about his position, he said, “I am enjoying establishing collaborations with investigators in the department, college and across the University and am looking forward to the new research opportunities that will develop from these relationships.”

Portrait of Alison HermanAlison Herman joined the department as academic fieldwork coordinator in September. The opportunity to work with Patty Stutz-Tanenbaum was a big draw for her. Herman brought 19 years of practice experience in a variety of clinical and community sites and 7 years as assistant professor and academic fieldwork coordinator. Herman is interested in research related to health promotion and wellness and research related to fieldwork. “The Colorado lifestyle with access to mountains, hiking and outdoor activities year-round was also a contributing factor that brought me to CSU,” shared Herman. “I am happy to trade Florida beaches for Colorado mountains.”

Portrait of Shelly LaneShelly Lane will join the department as program director in June. In academia, she has taught at the University of Alabama, the University of Alberta, Canada and the State University of New York in Buffalo. She served as department chair at Virginia Commonwealth University for 13 years and finished her time at VCU as assistant dean of research for the School of Allied Health Professions. Lane will be moving from Australia where she is currently professor and discipline lead at the University of Newcastle. Lane’s research interests are in neuroscience, sensory integration, autism spectrum disorders and assistive technology.

Portrait of Andrew PerschAndrew Persch moved from Ohio last August to begin his position as assistant professor in the department. He brings more than 10 years of experience in pediatric occupational therapy with research goals in improving employment outcomes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. When asked about his new position, he shared, “The Department of Occupational Therapy and Center for Community Partnerships have a strong history of supporting people with disabilities in transition to adulthood and employment which is particularly well-aligned with my research program in customized employment support. I am excited to work with and learn from these colleagues.”

Portrait of Yawen YuYawen Yu began as assistant professor in the department last August. She completed her post-doctoral research fellowship at Temple University in Philadelphia. Her research interest is in striving to understand individuals with balance problems due to neurological insults (e.g., cerebral palsy, vestibular disorders) or natural aging and how participation in daily activities is affected by their challenges in maintaining upright balance.

The Department of Occupational Therapy is part of CSU’s College of Health and Human Sciences.