Occupational Therapy Faculty



Jennifer Pitonyak
Director and Associate Professor

Jenny holds American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) specialty certification in feeding, eating, and swallowing (SCFES) and is a certified infant massage instructor (CIMI). Her scholarly interests are at the intersection of mental health promotion, occupational justice, and scholarship of teaching and learning — particularly structural influences on occupation, trauma-informed environments, and inclusive pedagogy.

Assistant Professor

Jeni’s practice experience and interests include community-based services for people living with serious mental illness as well as OT’s role in promoting recovery and providing trauma-informed and sensory-based interventions in inpatient psychiatric settings. She specializes in motivational interviewing, supported education, and family/caregiver education and training. In addition to her educational background in OT, she holds a degree in instructional design and technology, and has a scholarly focus on trauma-informed teaching, team-based learning, intraprofessional (OT/OTA) education, and online and blended learning.

Associate Professor

Sarah Foidel’s research and clinical practice interests include neurologic conditions, quality of life in both with dementia, functional vision, and functional cognition.

She is an Assistant Professor within the School of Occupational Therapy.

Gadkari, Shruti Headshot Photo
Assistant Professor

Shruti Gadkari is an assistant professor in the school of Occupational Therapy. Her research and teaching interests are in the field of pediatrics, specifically early childhood, family centered practice of care and sensory integration as well as evidence based practice. She has worked in pediatric inpatient, outpatient and school based settings. She served as a clinical occupational therapist for the eight years in pediatric rehabilitation and school- based occupational therapy and holds an advanced practice certification in Sensory Integration. Dr. Gadkari worked extensively with parent coaching models to promote social participation among children with disabilities and continues her research in this area. She hopes to translate her clinical expertise to the classroom; to help prepare students to function in a dynamic healthcare environment and be able to use the power of occupations for health promotion. 

photo of Caroline Harkins McCarty
Assistant Professor

Caroline Harkins McCarty’s work focuses on supports for children with disabilities and their families. Her additional scholarly interests include foster care, adoption, and family occupations. She has taught and worked within a variety of pediatric settings, and especially loves working with children in their everyday contexts of families and schools.  

Assistant Professor

Dr. Diana Honorat earned her post-professional clinical doctorate in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, Minnesota. Her current interests and final project involved curriculum evaluation of international occupational therapy programs using World Federation of Occupational Therapy Accreditation standards. Diana received her entry-level Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University, Fort Myers, Florida, completing her master’s research in young adults transition readiness through a university-based summer camp.

Dr. Honorat served as a clinical pediatrics occupational therapist in outpatient pediatric, home health, and school-based settings. She has also worked with adults in home health and skilled nursing facility settings. She holds both an advanced practice certification in Sequential-Oral- Sensory (S.O.S.) feeding. Dr. Honorat currently holds her 200 RYT yoga certification and is Reiki Level II certified practitioner.

Dr. Honorat is passionate about international work and occupational therapy and program development geared around novel community-based practice that promotes occupational and social justice through health promotion and wellness.

Dr. Honorat has presented at American Occupational Therapy Association Conferences on the development of an Occupational Therapy Educational Program in Haiti and the impact of global partnerships applying World Federation of Occupational Therapy Accreditation Education standards.

You can find Dr. Honorat trying a new recipe in her spare time, teaching or practicing yoga, reiki, and meditation, or being of service. She loves spending time with her husband and little girl exploring their surroundings through nature-based activities.

Clinical Associate Professor

Halley Read loves all things mental health related when it comes to occupational therapy. Her interests and teaching efforts are in promoting understanding of mental wellness through the occupational therapy lens, exploring how occupational therapy can promote community health and wellness, and identifying solutions for the healthcare challenges practitioners and consumers face.  Halley is also a translational health sciences researcher and sees value in the blending of occupational therapy and knowledge translation.  By combining these two, Halley’s career aim is to see OT expand to support mental health in all spaces, places and groups of people.

Assistant Professor

Alisa Jordan Sheth has a PhD in Disability Studies from the University of Illinois at Chicago and is interested in studying the ways in which the field of disability studies can be effectively incorporated into occupational therapy education, practice, and research to foster critical reflection and responsiveness to the needs of the communities we serve. Clinically, she has experience working as an occupational therapist with people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), their families, and other caregivers across the lifespan, from school-based services to end of life care. She has a scholarly focus on creating opportunities for people with I/DD to participate in research activities and share their experiences and perspectives, as well as better understanding the aging needs of the I/DD community.

Assistant Professor

Dr. Chih-Huang Yu earned his PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Minnesota. He has worked as an occupational therapist in Taiwan since 1996 mainly working with persons with physical dysfunction, such as hand injuries, burns, and neurological disorders. He is currently working on clinical applications of the OT task-oriented approach for persons with stroke.

Fieldwork Coordinator

Mary Greer, PhD, OTR/L joined the faculty at Pacific University in the fall of 2017 as an academic fieldwork coordinator and assistant professor. Her primary responsibility is overseeing clinical education of students during level II fieldwork rotations. Dr. Greer has been involved in fieldwork education for over 20 years in her previous position as academic fieldwork coordinator at. A. T. Still University in Mesa, AZ. She has clinical experience in the areas of adult and child mental health and has worked with children with severe disabilities in school settings.

Dr. Greer has a PhD in curriculum and instruction from Arizona State University, a master's degree in management of public services from DePaul University and a degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Kristin Nxumalo
Assistant Professor

Kristin Nxumalo received her bachelor of arts degree in psychology from Portland State University, and received both her master of arts and doctorate of occupational therapy degrees from the University of Southern California. She joins the Pacific University faculty as an Academic Fieldwork Coordinator.

Dr. Nxumalo has expertise in acute care and adult rehabilitation practice, specializing in the treatment of patients with advanced heart failure in both inpatient and outpatient settings. Dr. Nxumalo is a certified lymphedema therapist (CLT) and enjoys working with those who have chronic lymphedema. In addition to her clinical expertise, Dr. Nxumalo has experience in academic administration, clinical education, and program development. She is dedicated to advancing diversity, equity and inclusion within higher education and the profession of OT.

Dr. Nxumalo is passionate about representing the profession of occupational therapy and has presented at many national and international conferences including at the American Heart Association and the World Federation of Occupational Therapy.

In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her two daughters and husband going on road trips, camping, hiking, visiting local breweries and restaurants, and being outdoors!

Associate Professor Emeritus

Tiffany Boggis brings a complementary mix of clinical expertise, business prowess and teaching experiences to the School of Occupational Therapy.

Associate Professor Emeritus

Steve Park's research involves evaluation of client-centred outcomes, quality of spending time day-to-day, leisure, and aging.

Professor Emeritus

John’s practice career focused on the psychosocial and physical effects of rehabilitation on disability in a wide range of settings across the U.S. and internationally.  More recently he’s advocating an occupational justice approach for the profession through research and practice, as in his work at the county jail addiction treatment program. Other research projects address: the history of occupational science, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the impact of summer camp-like experiences on people with aphasia (a communication disorder), their family members, and interprofessional students who volunteer to work with them.

Professor Emeritus

Dr. Gregory Wintz, PhD, OTR/L, retired from his position as director of the Pacific University School of Occupational Therapy. His retirement began May 15, 2019.