Faculty Focus Friday is a Q&A series that highlights individual faculty members in various academic programs around Spalding University. This week’s featured faculty member is Dr. Jana Cason, Associate Professor in the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy. Cason joined the occupational therapy faculty in 2004 and specializes in pediatrics and telehealth. For her leadership in telehealth, she was honored as the recipient of the 2019 Emerging and Innovative Practice Award by the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). She holds doctoral and master’s degrees from the University of Indianapolis and a bachelor’s from the University of Alabama at Birmingham.
What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?
One of the things I like best about working at Spalding is the emphasis on teaching. At many large research institutions, a professor’s focus is on research and grant acquisition and teaching is secondary. At Spalding, the primary focus is teaching excellence. Through Spalding’s Center for Teaching & Learning and professional development opportunities specific to teaching excellence, I continue to learn best practices to support student learning. I’ve had the pleasure of presenting at and participating in premier teaching conferences, including the International Lilly Conference on College Teaching and the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Education Summit.
What is your academic specialty, areas of expertise or research?
My academic specialty is occupational therapy. I’ve been an occupational therapy practitioner for 20 years, primarily in the area of pediatrics. I’ve also been a faculty member at Spalding for 14 years. My area of research is telehealth, which is the use of information and communication technology to deliver health-related services when the provider and client are in different physical locations. I pioneered the use of telehealth within occupational therapy and co-authored a number of interprofessional and occupational therapy-specific standards and guidelines documents.
Why is the academic program/school in which you teach a good option for new students to consider for their degree?
The Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT) is an excellent option for students considering a career in occupational therapy. The faculty are respected experts in the field and continue to remain active in practice and in professional associations, including service on the Kentucky Board of Licensure for Occupational Therapy (KBLOT), the Kentucky Occupational Therapy Association (KOTA), the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), and/or the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). The faculty work collectively to assure students gain entry-level competencies and are well prepared to pass the NBCOT exam upon graduation.
What is an interesting thing that you keep in your office?
An interesting thing I keep in my office is a Luminara candle (electric candle) that has a real-life flickering flame effect.
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What is the most rewarding part of your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is having a positive impact on students’ educational journey. Seeing students graduate and enter the field and positively impact their clients and communities through their work is very rewarding.