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. Josh Skuller, Associate Professor in the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy (ASOT). Dr. Skuller, who teaches in Spalding’s Occupational Therapy Doctorate (OTD) program, earned his bachelor’s in occupational therapy from Spalding in 2001 and also holds a master’s in education and a PhD in curriculum technology from the University of Louisville. He is board-certified in pediatrics through the American Occupational Therapy Association and is also certified as an assistive technology professional (ATP) through the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA).
What do you like about working and teaching at Spalding?
I love the students at Spalding. They all have such an energizing spirit about them. I have taught adjunct at another university, and I feel that we really get to know the students at Spalding and want to see their success.
What is your academic specialty or areas of expertise or research?
My specialty areas are pediatrics and mental health. I really enjoy looking through the trauma lens and thinking about how we can help our clients to overcome their background and successfully participate in their occupations. I have also developed an expertise in Ayres Sensory Integration through participation in the certification program. It truly has helped me to reevaluate my practice as a pediatric OT.
Why is the Auerbach School of Occupational Therapy a good option for students to consider?
ASOT rocks! I love ASOT so much that I was more than happy to make the transition from clinician to faculty in order to be at my alma mater. OT is such a dynamic field, and we truly help people get back to their participation in life activities. Where else, can you work on money management, play participation, grocery shopping, and other important life skills and get paid for it?!
What is an example of a discussion topic, lecture, assignment, project, etc. in your class that you enjoy presenting or working with students on and that they have found engaging?
Wow, I think there are a lot of interesting topics, but I would have to say that doing yoga with the students as a part of complementary/alternative medicine is a very fun activity that helps everyone to feel the connection of mind/body which many of our clients find helpful as they recover. Also, I enjoy talking about school mental health in our trauma elective as a part of the OT 800 course, which is also introduced in the trauma lecture in OT 760.
What is an interesting thing you have in your office?
One of my favorite things I have in my office is a cohort picture of Blue 20, which was given to me when they (with the help from ASOT faculty Drs. Sara Story and Laura Stimler) threw a surprise party for me on my 40th birthday. On the picture, they wrote, “Thanks for helping us on our journey.” It’s a reminder of why I teach.
Spalding’s mission is to meet the needs of the times, to emphasize service and to promote peace and justice. What is an example of how your teaching style, your research, your class or your curriculum is supporting the mission of Spalding?
I think the field of OT definitely aligns with Spalding’s mission. OT is such a compassionate field, and we are truly helping our students to become dynamic practitioners who are able to help their clients get back to participating in life, no matter what challenges they have experienced.
FACULTY FOCUS ARCHIVE | Read all our professor Q&As