Legal Committee Chair

Charles Christiansen, Ed.D., OTR, FAOTA

Professional Affiliations: University of Texas Medical Branch

Position Statement: I am passionate about the science of occupation and deeply committed to this society. As a founding member of SSO:USA, and an experienced board member in several organizations, I recognize the vital necessity of effective governance and the importance of having aspirational, energetic, engaged and dedicated committee chairs and board members. I have served as a member of the Legal Committee for many years and would greatly welcome the opportunity to continue my service in the capacity of Legal Committee Chair-Elect. I pledge to perform my duties and responsibilities diligently. I will work hard to assist the board in continuing to advance SSO:USA as a respected, sustainable, and influential scientific society.


SSO Email: [email protected]


Legal Committee Chair-Elect

Beth Ekelman, PhD, JD, OTR/L

Professional Affiliations: Professor and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy and Doctoral Capstone  Coordinator, Cleveland State University.

Position Statement: I have been a member of SSO:USA and the Legal Committee since 2011 and served as Chair of the Legal Committee for two terms. I am delighted to serve on the board of SSO:USA and excited to play a role in promoting its growth, sustainability, and contributions to science. As a qualitative researcher, I have conducted occupational science research that focuses on the relationship of occupation, doing, being, becoming, and belonging and well-being of persons with and without disabilities. Using an occupational science lens, my current passion is to enhance occupational therapy’s presence in community wellness programs designed to promote the quality of life and wellness of adults with neurological degenerative conditions, such as Parkinson’s Disease. I look forward to working with the board to advance the society’s scientific influence and continue to learn and grow as an occupational scientist.



Past Board Legal Chairs

2020-2022: L. Diane Parham, University of New Mexico

2018-2020: Kristine Haertl, St. Catherine University 

2016-2018: Beth Ekelman, Cleveland State University

2013-2016: Beth Ekelman, Cleveland State University

2009-2013: Moses Ikiugu, University of South Dakota

2007-2009: Kristi Heartl, St. Catherine University

2005-2007: Terry Peralta-Catipon, Cal-State University

2003-2005: Esther Huecker, Loma Linda University

2002-2003: Charles Christiansen, University of Texas - Medical Branch