On The air
List of Episodes
You can listen to On The air using your preferred podcasting service including iTunes and Stitcher by searching by the title or via this site by clicking on the desired episode below.
As an occupational therapist in the U.S. Army for more than ten years, Major Erik Johnson, MS, OTR/L, was instrumental in the care for service members who had sustained devastating physical, cognitive and mental health injuries during combat operations. He was awarded the Bronze Star Medal for his work with brain injuries while deployed to Afghanistan. Erik currently serves as an occupational therapist working inpatient rehab and acute care at Baylor, Scott & White Medical Center in Waco, Texas. He also serves as the Chief Medical Officer for Warfighter Engaged and Operation Supply Drop, two organizations that support military service members across the spectrum of care.
On this episode, Erik shares about his experiences as an OT including how he uses gaming as a therapeutic medium and his work with non-profit organizations. You can learn more about Erik by visiting his blog, Army OT Guy, at and his website,
Occupational therapist Lenin C. Grajo, PhD, EdM, OTR/L, talks about his work in the area of Occupational Adaptation, the role of OT in literacy, and his efforts to promote diversity and cultural competence in the occupational therapy profession.
Dr. Grajo serves in several leadership positions including as the Chairperson of AOTA's Education Special Interest Section and Director of the post-professional OTD program at Columbia University Irving Medical Center in New York. He has taught in the Philippines as well as in various locations in the U.S. In addition, he is author and co-editor of the recently published book "Adaptation through Occupation: Multidimensional Perspectives." A pediatric occupational therapist in practice, he is a strong advocate of evidence-informed, occupation-based, theory-guided, client-centered, and occupational justice–promoting occupational therapy service provision.
Debora Davidson, PhD, OTR/L, an occupational therapist whose career spans 4 decades as an OT practitioner, academic educator, and consultant, is the founder of a website called Authentic Occupational Therapy, Inc. She currently lives in a suburb of Chicago, IL and enjoys caring for her young granddaughter, kayaking and going to rock, jazz and blues performances with her husband, Ken.
On this episode of On the Air, Deborah and Stephanie talk about ways to get the most from an OT education. If you're an aspiring or a current OT student, this one's for you; if you're an OT practitioner, we'd be interested to get your input on the ideas we share on today's show; please reach out to comment on the website - www.OnTheAir.us - after you listen if you'd like to share your advice to prospective or current OT students.
Occupational Therapist Angela Box, MS, OTR, grew up in St. Charles, MO, and graduated with a Masters in Occupational Therapy from Maryville University in St. Louis in 2005. She and her husband moved to Oxford, MS in 2013 when my husband took a position at Ole Miss, and the couple now has 3 children - aged 6, 3, and 2 months. Angie says that she has always had a passion for pediatrics and as such, she has worked as an OT in early intervention, outpatient, and inpatient hospital settings. She says that she found her calling, though, as a school-based therapist through her work as the OT for the Oxford School District. Always looking for new and creative solutions to help children reach their full potential, Angie recognized a need for community resources and support for children and families with special needs and started Oxford Special Needs Creations in January of 2017.
On this episode of On the Air, Angie talks about her path into the field of OT, her work as a school-based OT, and her mission as the founder of a non-profit organization.
Occupational therapist Guili Krug, OTR, PhD, CLA, is the founding program director and a professor in the Program in Occupational Therapy at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor in Belton, TX. She has been an OT for 29 years and has worked across many practice settings with varied populations, but her clinical passion is in adult neurorehabilitation. Guili has been an OT educator for over 20 years. On this episode, I talk about how I met Guili, and she shares about her path into the field of OT and into academia. We reminisce about our days as OT students, and Guili recalls an experience she had on Level II fieldwork that left a big impression on her. We also discuss our thoughts about how occupational therapy students and practitioners can strive for excellence.
Giuli is married to Jeff, a PT, and has three kids, Gabe (20), Sophie (19) and Ellie (16). She completed her B.S. in Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and her M.A. in Higher Education at the University of Missouri-Columbia (MU). She earned her PhD in Educational Leadership and Policy Analysis from MU in 2015.
Dr. Krug has extensive clinical experience in occupational therapy including inpatient rehabilitation (neurological and general rehab), outpatient therapy, home health, and acute care including neonatal intensive care. She began teaching part-time at MU in 1997, transitioning to full-time in 2005. In her time at MU, Dr. Krug developed and implemented an adult outpatient pro-bono teaching clinic while engaging in teaching, research, student mentorship and advising. She served as faculty mentor for the Student Occupational Therapy Association and the Director of Graduate and Clinical Education for the department. Dr. Krug was the recipient of several teaching and advising awards during her tenure at MU. Dr. Krug has joined UMHB to develop the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy Program.
Karen Frank Barney, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, an occupational therapist with over 50 years of experience in practice and higher education, is the guest on this episode entitled "Full Circle" because Dr. Barney was one of the OT educators who taught Stephanie Lancaster, the host of this podcast, when Stephanie was in OT school. Dr. Barney received her Bachelor's of Science in OT and an MS in Adult Education degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and her PhD from the Saint Louis University School of Public Health in Health Services Research.
Dr. Barney has worked in a variety of medical and community settings in Wisconsin, Kentucky, Missouri, and Guatemala, providing direct aging system services and consultation. She has taught in university settings for 38 years, served as primary faculty for the aging-related courses in three university programs, and served as the occupational therapy discipline expert for the Geriatric Education Center (GEC) at Saint Louis University for 22 years. She is the Founder of the Transformative Justice Initiative at Saint Louis University, currently working with justice systems to improve processes, programs, policies and outcomes.
On this episode, Dr. Barney looks back at the start of her career into the field of OT and recounts about her experiences across different settings including academia. She shares about her work with the Transformative Justice Initiative as well as her passion for social justice and servant leadership.
"We have to involve the people with whom we're doing [our] work." ~Karen Barney
Resources & Recommendations from the Episode:
Alondra Ammon, MS, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who is also a first-generation Salvadorean/Haitian American and a veteran of the U.S. Air Force. Her exposure to the medical field while serving during 9/11 created a passion for serving others and eventually led to a B.S. in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University.
From there, Alondra went on to earn a Master's degree in OT at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. During her time as a student at Samuel Merritt, Alondra served as a mentor to middle school aged youth in underserved communities as well as Co-President of the Student Occupational Therapy Association. Alondra completed AOTA's Emerging Leaders Development Program and has since co-hosted a Twitter #OTalk2Us and presented at the 2018 AOTA Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah.
On this episode, Alondra talks about her work on projects that raise awareness on the importance of creating a culturally diverse and inclusive workforce to better serve clients, along with addressing topics that relate to underrepresented practitioners within the profession. She shares about her entry into the field of OT and her experience as a participant in the AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program.
Resources & Recommendations from this Episode:
Two occupational therapists who attended and presented at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT) Conference in Cape Town, South Africa in May of 2018 share about their experiences leading up to and attending and presenting at the conference.
Jami Flick, MS, OTR/L, is an assistant professor and the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. Jami has a Bachelor's degree in Pre-Professional Health Science and a Master's of Science degree in OT from the University of South Alabama. She has clinical experience with adult and geriatric clients in acute care, inpatient rehab, outpatient, and burn unit as well as pediatric experience in neonatal intensive care unit (NICU) and outpatient rehabilitation. She serves as the Pi Theta Epsilon Faculty Advisor for the Delta Zeta Chapter. Jami has volunteered as an OT in the Dominican Republic and Haiti and is currently the fieldwork developer for the first-ever Bachelor’s Degree level OT and PT program in Haiti. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Heath Science at Nova Southeastern University with an emphasis in global health.
Orli Weisser-Pike, OTR/L, OTD, is an assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis, TN. Orli graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in OT from University of Cape Town, South Africa in 1996 and came to USA for her first job as an OT in 1997. She has a special interest in low vision and has been involved with that area of clinical practice since 2003. Orli went back to school to earn a post-professional doctorate in OT in 2011 through Chatham in Pittsburgh. She began teaching full-time in April 2017.
Resources & Recommendations:
Connect with Jami and Orli:
Susan Touchinsky, OTR/L, SCDCM, CDRS, is an occupational therapist specializing in driving rehabilitation. She is a certified driver rehabilitation specialist, and has achieved her Specialty Certification in Driving and Community Mobility (SCDCM) from the American Occupational Therapy Association. She completed her training with Susan Pierce’s Adaptive Mobility Service, Inc. in 2003, worked for the Johns Hopkins Hospital Driving Program, served as director for Driving Rehabilitation at Genesis Rehab Services, & now is excited to own & run Adaptive Mobility Services, LLC. Susie is passionate about being both an occupational therapist and driver rehabilitation specialist. Susie is excited to be expanding into private practice to live her personal mission of providing exceptional care for all drivers and education for occupational therapy practitioners. She is devoted to comprehensive care, working to continually evolve her own practice, advocating for the occupational justice of all patients, and sharing her knowledge with others thru lectures, publications, presentations, volunteering, and educational offerings.
On this episode, Susie talks about her role as an occupational therapist with a specialty certification in driving rehab. She shares about how she found out about OT (shout out to all the high school guidance counselors out there who know about OT!!) and her passion for providing exceptional care for all drivers through work with clients in her private practice, contributing to the field and the community through her advocacy efforts, and sharing her knowledge with others through lectures, publications, presentations, volunteer work, and educational offerings.
Connect with Susie:
Resources & recommendations from the episode:
The guests on this episode of On The air are the hosts of the Glass Half Full podcast, occupational therapists Jessica Kersey, MS, OTR, and Natalie Barnes, MS, OTR.
Jessica graduated with her masters in occupational therapy from the University of Florida in 2009. She has worked in inpatient rehab in San Diego and Las Vegas and has owned a community-based private practice for individuals with neurological conditions. Jess is now a second year PhD student at the University of Pittsburgh where her work focuses on facilitating community participation for individuals with traumatic brain injury.
Natalie has 10 years of experience as an OT in acute care and acute rehab; she currently works as a senior OT in the ICU at George Washington University Hospital in Washington, DC.
Our conversation in this episode centers around ways that engagement in the occupational therapy community helps to shape one's career through inspiration, education, support, and mentorship. Jess and Natalie each share their origin stories about how they learned about OT and reflect on their time in OT school. They talk about how they met and how they started their podcast as well as their passions and how that relates to what each of them is currently doing in the field.
Resources & Recommendations:
"Richness, extraordinary beauty, and something called 'the edge effect' abound as a result of collective cultures, backgrounds, talents and ideas." ~Stephanie Lancaster
The host of the On The Air podcast, I have practiced as an occupational therapist for over 25 years and am an OT educator specializing in ed tech and instructional design.