Critical thinking and clinical reasoning: Q&A with Shelly Lane

Shelly Lane is a professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University. Learn more about why she came to CSU and her research interests in behavioral impacts of developmental and sensory processing challenges in children.

Shelly Lane sits under a tree.
Shelly Lane

1. What brought you to the Department of Occupational Therapy at CSU?

I was intrigued by a couple of things. First, the Department of Occupational Therapy at CSU is in the top tier of OT programs in the country. I was interested in being part of an outstanding OT program. Second, the Chair of OT and the faculty are well respected throughout the OT world, and the opportunity to work with these individuals was a real plus. Finally, it is Colorado! I had looked at some other positions during my search period, and Colorado had so much to offer. I love to hike and bike, and might pick up snowboarding again now that we are here. The entire ‘package’ was an opportunity I could not pass up.

2. What are your research interests, and how did you get into that topic?

My research has focused broadly on the neuroscience and behavioral impacts of developmental and sensory processing challenges in children. My current research includes looking at playfulness in children and playful interaction in father-child pairs; neurophysiologic changes in children with Autism related to participation in the Alert Program®; sensory, motor, and behavioral effects of participating in a one week intensive camp-based program; and addressing sensory-based functional defecation disorders.

3. What’s your teaching philosophy?

I value learner centered environments and strive to embrace that in my courses. So, I continually work to operationalize this philosophy in classes. I believe students in our program have abundant capacity to learn, and are motivated to be responsible for their own learning needs. I strive to emphasize critical thinking and clinical reasoning in the material we cover. That said, I am also a work in progress, but I too have the capacity to learn!

4. What’s your favorite thing about campus?

Just one thing? I love the environment. The OT building sits right on the oval; it is a beautiful place. The Garden behind the OT building is also beautiful and peaceful. Campus feels safe and welcoming. I also have been made to feel very welcome, by colleagues within my department, but also by colleagues throughout the university. Everyone has been willing and interested in sharing, in educating me, in assisting in any way possible. Great colleagues and a supportive and inviting environment, that is what I like about being here.

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