Skip to main content

The 2019 Mitchell Symposium featured Elizabeth “Anne” Kinsella, PhD, MAdEd, BsC(OT), an associate professor in the School of Occupational Therapy, and member of the Occupational Science and Health Professional Education Field in the Health & Rehabilitation Sciences graduate program at Western University in Ontario, Canada. Kinsella’s talk, titled “Embodiment and Human Occupation: Implications for Health and Social Care,” focused on how processes of embodiment and corporeal expression are manifest in clinical interactions.

Elizabeth "Anne" Kinsella, PhD, served as the 2019 Mitchell Symposium Scholar.
Elizabeth “Anne” Kinsella, PhD, served as the 2019 Mitchell Symposium Scholar.

“It is a tremendous honor to be here and a real honor to be part of the legacy of Marlys Mitchell,” Kinsella said. “I think she would be immensely proud of the work you’re doing here at UNC-Chapel Hill.” The symposium is hosted by the Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Department of Allied Health Sciences. It was established in 2011 in honor and memory of Marlys Mitchell, PhD, the founder of the master’s program in occupational therapy at the UNC School of Medicine. Symposium scholars deliver a public lecture and participate in talks, discussions, and meetings with faculty, students, and researchers. The symposium is made possible through generous gifts from friends and alumni, past and present faculty of the division.

“I’ve had some lively discussions today with students and faculty members, and I’m really excited about the work you’re doing,” Kinsella reported. “Your division […] has a reputation for producing exceptional graduates.”

Throughout the symposium, Kinsella focused on the meaning of embodiment and how consideration of its role in clinical practice affects the application of practical wisdom in health and social care. Kinsella, who worked for nine years as an occupational therapist, reported that many questions and lines of inquiry are rooted in practice experience. She hoped that the symposium would spark a new dialogue about theories of embodiment.

Nancy Bagatell, PhD, OTR/L, division director, said Kinsella’s visit prompted conversations among students of occupational therapy and occupational science.

“The division is grateful for the support that made tonight possible,” Bagatell said. “It has been a transformative and enriching experience for our students.”

Kinsella has published more than 60 peer-reviewed journal articles and 20 book chapters related to the following topics: everyday occupations in health and social care contexts; occupational and epistemic justice; reflexivity and knowledge generation; and the place of embodiment, reflection, ethics and practical wisdom in health and social care.