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Faculty Focus Friday with Dr. Jana Cason

Occupational therapy professor talks about teaching excellence

This week, we talk to Dr. Jana Cason, professor in the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy, about her experience teaching at Spalding University. Cason joined the occupational therapy faculty in 2004 and specializes in pediatrics and telehealth.

What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?

Jana Cason, OT faculty
Jana Cason, DHS, OTR/L, FAOTA

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, more recently, 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 OT a good option for new students to consider as their major?

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-like flickering flame effect.

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.