Research Committee Chair

Ryan Lavalley, PhD, OTR/L

Professional Affiliations: Assistant Professor, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Position Statement: As chair of the Research Committee, I plan to facilitate and support spaces for other occupational scientists and therapists to delve into unique questions and ideas regarding occupation. Currently, I am an Assistant Professor in the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  My research is focused on examining the social and systemic disparities that face marginalized populations through an occupation-based lens. My practice is rooted in addressing those disparities through community practice and occupation-based program development. Pure exploration is powerful, but research should also actively inform and shape further action. I hope to support SSO:USA members in fostering research that develops rigorous occupation-based evidence and articulates practical implications for impactful and transformational action toward justice.

SSO email: [email protected]

Research Committee Chair-Elect

Aaron Eakman, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

Professional Affiliation: Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University

Position Statement: Serving as Abstract Review Coordinator and Proceedings Editor for the SSO:USA’s (2018 – 2022) Conferences has provided me with insights into the research topics and methods of occupational scientists who participate in the Society’s meetings, as well as the challenges they face in pursuing funded research programs that contribute to the development of the science. Through this position, and in collaboration with Conference Committee Chairs, we have substantially expanded opportunities for SSO:USA member engagement in the research enterprise. My 15-year history of occupational science research, presently focused on developing understanding and application of the occupation of sleep through the Restoring Effective Sleep Tranquility Lab, has helped inform my perspectives on the science of occupation. This work has highlighted the challenges of sustaining research that advances the capacity of the science to support human well-being as well as equipping clinicians to apply occupation in practice.  I look forward to working with the committee and SSO: USA board in leveraging the Society’s recent capacity building.


Past Board Research Chairs

2019-2021: Kendra Heatwole Shank, Towson University

2017-2019: Antoine Bailliard, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2015-2017: Mackenzi Pergolotti, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

2012-2015: Rebecca Aldrich, Saint Louis University

2010-2012: Wendy Stav, Towson University

2008-2010: Doris Pierce, Eastern Kentucky University

2006-2008: Melissa Park, UCLA/NPI Health Services Research Center

2004-2006: Malcolm Cutchin, University of North Carolina

2002-2004: Ruth Segal, New York University