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Lyla Spelbring Lectureship News and History

Keynote SpeakersGlen Gillin

2016:  Glen Gillen, EdD, OTR, FAOTA, "Cutting Edge Occupational Therapy: Connecting Philosophy, Evidence and Practice"

Dr.  Gillen is an Associate Director, Professor of Regenerative and Rehabilitation Medicine (Occupational Therapy) at Columbia University Medical Center Programs in Occupational Therapy, Columbia University.  His lecture highlighted the progress that the occupational therapy profession has made in utilizing evidence to not only support our past and current professional philosophy but to inform practice as well. Barriers to using our philosophy and evidence to support practice were discussed. Finally, the reality of occupational therapy practice was described and critiqued.

2015:  Dr. Charles Christiansen

Dr. Charles Christiansen is currently founder and principal of a life transition company based in Rochester, Minnesota. Prior to this he served as CEO of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation for seven years before retiring in June 2015. He academic career has spanned over 30 years and included roles as Provost, Vice-Provost, Dean, and Department Chair at several universities. He is a widely published author and editor of books as well as over 100 articles, chapters, editorials and abstracts. 

2014:  Dr. Betty Risteen Hasselkus,OTR, "Everyday Occupation:  The Heart of Research and Practice." 

Abstract: Everyday occupation is increasingly being recognized as worthy of close attention, complex in its meanings, and of personal and social value in our own and our clients' lives. At the same time, occupational therapy and occupational science trends in the past decade have led to 1) enriched theories of occupation, 2) greater emphasis on globalization in the profession, 3) a gradual shift in our research, education and practice away from an almost exclusive focus on individuals to a more inclusive focus on family groups, communities and social systems, and 4) newly developing occupational concepts within the profession such as occupational deprivation and occupational injustice. Using examples from her own research and practice, Dr. Hasselkus will probe into the meanings of these four trends and their potential to generate research ideas and new understandings of occupation and our work in the world of health care and well-being.

2013:  Dr. Suzanne Peloquin, OTR, "The Occupational Therapy Genius: Affirmations of Our Transcendent Ethos."

The guiding beliefs of the profession have led many occupational therapy practitioners to implement powerful examples of successful practice both across the world and over time. Stories drawn from those examples honor the profession’s ethos and showcase the genius of our practice. Hearing such stories can be an uplifting affirmation of our value and importance in the world. In the spirit of Lyla Mae Spelbring, this lecture offers such an affirmation.

2012:  Dr. Anne Fisher, OTRL "Realizing Lyla Spelbring's Legacy:  Being Occupation-Centered - Implementing Occupation-Based and Occupation-Focused Services."

2011:  Dr. Carolyn Baum, "Discovering and Disseminating the Power of Occupation."


2011:  This year the Eastern Michigan University Occupational Therapy Program celebrated its 70th Anniversary with a two day event, which included an Alumni Cocktail Reception and a program of scholarly presentations which included the Inaugural Lyla M. Spelbring Endowed Lectureship in Occupational Therapy.  The lectureship was named in honor of the late Dr. Spelbring, Professor Emeritus and former director of the Occupational Therapy Program, and was made possible by the efforts of a dedicated committee composed of alumni, faculty, students, and friends of the program.

With the fundraising efforts of the OT student body and the contributions of over 200 donors, over $30,000 was raised, making the endowment of the lectureship a reality. This lectureship will offer countless occupational therapists a means of enhancing their knowledge and strengthening their ties to both the program and university.  

The Occupational Therapy Program is part of the School of Health Sciences, 313 Everett L. Marshall Building, 734.487.4096