Kaskutas appointed assistant director of the PPOTD degree program

Vicki Kaskutas, OTD, MHS, OTR/L, FAOTA, associate professor of occupational therapy and medicine at the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine, has been appointed assistant director of the post-professional occupational therapy doctoral (PPOTD) degree program.

Kaskutas, whose appointment is effective September 1, will be responsible for the development and oversight of all elements of the PPOTD degree program, including recruiting, admissions, curriculum, instruction, program evaluation and student affairs. She will continue to teach courses in the master’s and doctoral curricula and will work with Steve Taff, PhD, OTR/L, associate director of professional education and academic affairs, to create processes, relationships and infrastructure to support a new educational research and scholarship of teaching and learning initiatives.

“This is a new position created to meet the demand for the doctoral degree among currently practicing therapists,” Taff says. “Dr. Kaskutas has a rare combination of clinical teaching and administrative experience, which is ideal for this leadership position. She has her finger on the pulse of clinical practice and the creativity to develop innovative methods of delivering curriculum.”

Kaskutas will continue to be engaged in occupational safety and health research, but will transition most of her projects to her colleagues Bradley Evanoff, MD, MPH, and Ann Marie Dale, PhD, OTR/L, in the Occupational Safety and Health Laboratory.

A graduate of the post-professional doctoral program in 2008, Kaskutas knows first-hand the difference doctoral training has made in her own career. “The post-professional degree exposes seasoned clinicians to contemporary issues in occupational therapy and improves their ability to use and develop evidence for our profession. The training can propel graduates into academic, administrative, research and policy-related roles,” Kaskutas says.

Kaskutas earned her bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Illinois-Chicago in 1980, and her master’s degree in health sciences in health care services from Washington University in St. Louis in 2000. She was named a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) in 2014. Kaskutas has published more than 15 papers in peer-reviewed journals, authored AOTA’s Work Practice Guidelines for Individuals with Work Related Injuries and Illnesses and several book chapters. She also was an editor of AOTA’s Work and Industry Special Interest Section’s Quarterly.

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