For the 2017 Mitchell Symposium, the Department of Allied Health Sciences’ Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy welcomed Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, with the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, presents at the 2017 Mitchell Symposium.

Alumni, students, and friends of the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy gathered Thursday, February 9, 2017 for the division’s annual Mitchell Symposium featuring Joy Hammel, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA. Hammel is a professor of occupational therapy and disability studies and is the Wade/Meyer Endowed Chair in Occupational Therapy in the College of Applied Health Sciences at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Her research focuses on assessing, documenting, and creating innovative interventions and systems-change initiatives related to community living and participation with people with disabilities and within disability communities.

“I’ve much wanted to visit your program; you have a similar philosophy to us at the University of Illinois at Chicago, and I’m also honored to be a part of the Marlys Mitchell Symposium,” Hammel said.

Hammel worked with Mitchell shortly after becoming an occupational therapist and counts her as a mentor.

“When I was a brand spanking new OT [Mitchell] took me under her wing,” she said. “I’m honored to be here tonight in her memory.”

Hammel’s public lecture, titled “Why can’t rehab be more like that?! Visioning participation-focused assessment and programing from the insider perspective of people with disabilities,” is online for viewing.

During her visit, Hammel held meetings with students and faculty to engage in scholarly discussions regarding research and practice. She also gave a talk to faculty and doctoral students titled “You say occupation, I say participation in context: Is there a difference and what are the implications for OT practice and research?”

Hammel is currently co-principal investigator on a National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) center grant, researching the Americans with Disabilities Act Participation Action Research Consortium (ADA-PARC).

The Mitchell Symposium in Occupational Science is named in honor and memory of Marlys Mitchell, PhD, the founder of the master’s program in occupational therapy at UNC-Chapel Hill, and her husband, Earl, a great supporter of Marlys’ work (and of occupational therapy). Symposium scholars deliver a public lecture and participate in talks, discussions, and meetings with faculty, students, and researchers from throughout Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy and the Department of Allied Health Sciences. Initiated in 2011, the symposium has been made possible through generous gifts from friends and alumni of the division.