Board of Directors Chair

Betsy Francis-Connolly, PhD, OT/L, FAOTA 

Professional Affiliations: Dean, School of Health and Sciences, and Vice Provost at the University of New Haven, Connecticut

Position Statement: I have been a member of the Society for Study of Occupation for almost 20 years and have been impressed with the high caliber presentations at the annual conference, the support for its members and graduate students. I have worked in higher education administration for the past 16 years and am currently the Dean of Interdisciplinary Health and Science at the University of St. Joseph. I have served in a variety of servant leadership roles including being the Vice-Chair of the AOTF Board of Trustees, and past Chair for several SSO Conference Committees. My other occupational interests include gardening, hiking, and being a grandmother. The Society does important work and I am honored to help lead this organization into its next chapter.

SSO Email: [email protected]


Board of Directors Chair-Elect

Kendra Heatwole Shank PhD, OTR/L, CAPS 

Professional Affiliations: Associate Professor and Department Chairperson, Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science, Towson University

Position Statement: I have served on SSO:USA committees continuously since 2012 and as Chair of the Research Committee in 2020 and 2021. I previously served on the SSO:USA Board from 2019-2021 and am currently an active member of the Research Committee.  During these periods of service my appreciation for the community of scholars—and the spaces created for inquiry, growth, and advocacy—deepened. I am energized by the Society’s progress on multiple fronts and look forward to the opportunity to participate in the leadership during this era for SSO:USA.  .



 Past Board of Director Chairs

2018-2020: Charles Christiansen

2015-2018: Jyothi Gupta, AT Still University

2010-2014: John White, Pacific University

2009-2010: Sheama Krishnagiri, San Jose State University

2007-2009: Pollie Price, University of Utah

2006-2007: Virginia Dickie, University of North Carolina

2005-2006: Ruth Zemke, University of Southern California (ret)

2004-2005: Doris Pierce, Eastern Kentucky University

2003-2004: Ferol Ludwig, Nova Southeastern University

2002-2003: Jean Spencer - term completed by Ferol Ludwig

2001-2002: Jeanne Jackson, Elizabeth Larson and Wendy Wood (Co-Chairs)