Advisory Board | Occupational Therapy

Established in 2006, the Advisory Board membership of public, practicing, and student members was created to provide advice and counsel to the School of Occupational Therapy.

Mission Statement

To advise and support the School of Occupational Therapy in its endeavor of recruitment, development, and promotion of students and the profession.

Advisory Board Members

Staci Bielenberg

Staci Bielenberg is a student in the OTD program at Pacific University. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences with a minor in Psychology from Portland State University. While attending Portland State she competed as a Division I athlete running Cross-Country and Track. She was her school’s representative at the NCAA Leadership Conference, and was team captain for 3 years. These types of experiences guided her interest in becoming a part of Pacific’s Advisory Board.

At Pacific, Staci is an OT Ambassador, representing Pacific at admissions events, giving tours, and a contact for prospective students. Staci completed her Level IA Fieldwork last semester in York, England along with seven other Pacific students and professor.

Staci continues her passion for running and enjoys most everything outdoors. She enjoys cooking, reading, traveling, spending time on the farm, and making memories with family and friends. To learn more about Staci, visit her ePortfolio.

Genevieve deRenne

Genevieve worked in multiple capacities at Providence Medical Center for 33 years, until her retirement in early 2013. Twenty years was working as an OT at Providence St. Vincent’s in psychiatry, 13 years in management of the Occupational Therapy Department at Providence Portland, and all of it in support of student fieldwork supervision. She received both her bachelor's and master's degrees in OT from the University of Southern California.

Genevieve has been particularly active in leadership roles within occupational therapy. She recently completed eight years on the Oregon Licensing Board, was a member of the Certification Examination Development Committee and NBCOT content expert for Mental Health from 1983-1992, a director of NBCOT from 1993-2001, and Oregon State President from 1990-1992. She presently continues her responsibility to the Oregon Licensure Board as the Investigator for disciplinary action.

Known for many years as an artist of unique and yet salable art, Genevieve and her twin sister Charlotte created and sold in-demand OT specific items at every AOTA Conference for many years through the 1980’s. Everyone ran to their booth each year to see and buy what they had created.

She continues to grow as an artist and explorer with a recent certificate from the London Guild of Art and Design, online courses in Evolutionary Astrology, and study of DMP (Deep Memory Processing) a technique used for healing trauma cases.

Originally from California, most of her extended family lives in Hawaii and travel time often finds her reuniting in the Aloha State.

Ellen Downes

Ellen Downes received her master's degree in occupational therapy from the University of Puget Sound in 1982, and performed clinical internships at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York City, Cambridge Psychiatric Hospital in Boston, and the Crippled Children's Division of the Oregon Health Sciences University in Portland, Ore. Since then, Ellen has worked in Medford and Ashland, in multiple clinical settings, including acute care, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, home health and hospice, school settings, community-based residential mental health, consultation services, professional mentoring, and administration/management. She has presented professionally on a multitude of topics to multi-disciplinary audiences. Ellen received a Special Recognition Award from the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon (OTAO) in 2003 for her years of work on annual conference and other continuing education events throughout the state. In 2004, Ellen received the Grace Black Award of Honor from OTAO, in recognition of long-term contributions to the profession. In addition to occupational therapy, Ellen enjoys gardening, piano, hiking, travel, and an occasional whitewater raft trip.

Kelly Iranshad

Kelli is a 1997 graduate of Pacific University School of OT. Her work experience has been in long-term care, community mental health, and physical rehab in both acute and outpatient settings. She has combined this with caring for a young family and activities related to their growth and development.

Through these years Kelli has continued her affiliation with OTAO and Pacific University through communication and fieldwork education.

Ever seeking to expand her own personal knowledge as well as new opportunities for occupational therapy practice in non-traditional settings, Kelli is raising her professional participation. Through an engaging personality Kelli demonstrates astute insight and questioning at a time when she feels occupational therapists need to stay informed on new systems and where occupational therapy can and will go.

Dode Jackson

Dode graduated from the physical therapy program at the University of Saskatchewan in Canada. Prior to founding PT On Call in 1986, Dode served as the director of the Physical Therapy Department at the University Hospital, University of Saskatchewan and at the Oregon Health Science University in Portland, Ore. Her experience includes direct patient care, management and teaching responsibilities in a variety of clinical settings.

For over 10 years, Dode has served in a variety of capacities on the Board of the Oregon Physical Therapy Association, currently as chair of the Nominating Committee. OPTA awarded her the Distinguished Service Award in 2007.

Dode enjoys cycling having completed both the STP and the RSVP twice. She also enjoys walk/talks, line dancing and swimming. In her community, she is actively involved in advocating for a pedestrian pathway to promote health and safety for all ages. Dode enjoys an action packed lifestyle with her physician husband of 36 years and is very proud of her three children Kirk, Nicole and Tom.

Dode’s professional goal is to enhance the image as well as the quality of physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language pathology in today's competitive healthcare environment.

Sarah Larsen

Sarah Larsen graduated from Pacific University’s School of Occupational Therapy in 2003. For the first few years, Sarah practiced as an Early Intervention and pediatric outpatient OT at Vancouver Children’s Therapy Center. From there, she became a pediatric and adult inpatient OT at Emanuel Children’s Hospital and the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon treating individuals who suffered significant traumas. This is where Sarah developed an interest in working with individuals with spinal cord and traumatic brain injuries. She also gained experience with aquatic therapy, myofascial release, and disability sports. Currently, she has transitioned to working with older adults in a skilled nursing setting. Sarah is actively involved in disability sports and the School of Occupational Therapy. She is on the Board of Directors for Oregon Disability Sports.

Sarah enjoys traveling to islands all over the world, live music, salsa dancing, and spending time with her wonderful husband.

Elisabeth McClure

Elisabeth McClure has been an OT since 2010 after graduating from Pacific University. She works in an acute care hospital and is particularly interested in/focused on neurology though enjoys working across diagnoses. She got into OT with the goal of working with adults with developmental/intellectual disabilities (driven by her experiences as a sibling of someone with autism) and is passionate about the DD/ID population and improving services.

Elisabeth is also a member of the Occupational Therapy Association of Oregon board as Treasurer. In her off-work time (though OTs never really turn off!) time she loves sewing and crafts, gardening, cooking , and spending time with family and friends.

Kylie McDermott

Kylie is an OTD student at Pacific University. Originally from Washington state, she earned her Bachelor's of Science in Exercise Science from Pacific University in 2013. Before beginning her graduate degree, she served in AmeriCorps for three terms in college access, environmental education, and disaster relief. Through these experiences, Kylie became committed to issues of social and occupational justice. At Pacific, Kylie is a Diversity Coordinator for the Student Occupational Therapy Association and a Student Ambassador to prospective and incoming OTD students. She joined the Advisory Board to learn about leadership and decision making in higher education. In her free time, she enjoys group exercise classes, outdoor activities, spending time with friends, and watching films. To learn more about Kylie, visit her ePortfolio.

Juliet Paul Naone

Juliet is an OTD student at Pacific University.  Originally from Pennsylvania, she earned a BA in Anthropology and Italian from BYU, and an MA in International Relations from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.  After a number of years working in international affairs at the University of Arizona and teaching Italian and ESL, she decided to expand her career into occupational therapy, with the goal of practicing OT abroad someday.  She is excited to be on the Advisory Board, as she looks forward to learning much from its diverse members and finding ways to promote Pacific's occupational therapy initiatives in the community and university. 

In the meantime, Juliet stays busy raising (with her very supportive husband) her three daughters.  She enjoys camping, biking, skiing, sewing, playing the piano, travel and learning foreign languages."

Rebecca Pence

Rebecca Pence graduated from Pacific University's School of Occupational Therapy in 2005. Since then, Rebecca has worked for Legacy Health System and for the past six years she has been an occupational therapist with the Rehabilitation Institute of Oregon based at Good Samaritan Hospital. Currently, she primarily treats patients with traumatic brain injuries, burns, and strokes. She recently took a special interest in learning more about impaired vision caused by traumatic brain injuries, and pre-prosthetic training.

She gained an interest in joining the Pacific OT Advisory Board to give back to the school and help ensure students have the same positive experience she had while there.

Rebecca also enjoys the outdoors, gardening, painting, and most of all spending time with her family.

Pauline Petterson

Pauline became interested in OT after doing a fifth-grade career report, and talking with her mom’s cousin, an OT, who started one of the first COTA programs at Fort Collins, Colo. She also chose as her Campfire Indian name, Onka-Chuta, which means to “help in sickness with hand.” OT has always been a “lifestyle” for Pauline and not just an occupation.

Pauline graduated in 1967 from Mount Mary College in Milwaukee, Wisc., with a BS in occupational therapy. When the job recruiters came to the school in her junior year, Pauline signed up as an ensign in the US Navy. Pauline worked at the Naval hospital treating servicemen coming back from Vietnam.

Pauline worked part-time through Tuality Hospital , and then on-call at OHSU while her son and daughter were young. In 1980 Pauline started her 25-year career with Kaiser Permanente. She worked at Bess Kaiser Hospital for 18 years mainly with acute stroke and neuro, total joint, and other orthopedic patients. In addition, Pauline taught the total joint, fibromyalgia, and arthritis classes.

Pauline served on the OTAO board for a period of 25 years in various capacities; vice president for several years, fundraising, education and by-laws committees, and Hospitality Chair for the National OT Conference held in Portland in 1984. Pauline received the Award of Merit from OTAO.

Since retiring from Kaiser seven years ago, Pauline has filled the void with many “fun” activities. Pauline and Tom have three grandchildren and they spend a lot of time with them; i.e. attending sports activities, volunteering at their schools, and “kidsitting” while parents are away. Pauline enjoys doing yard work, sewing, camping, traveling, (have been on five Rick Steve’s tours), and still is the “social director” for several retiree groups.

Jocelyn Rich

Jocelyn is a current occupational therapy student at Pacific University. She earned her Bachelors in Health Science from Portland State University. Before gaining her degree, Jocelyn worked as a massage therapist for five years. She loved the work and wanted to expand what she could offer to clients.

At Pacific University, Jocelyn is the Student Occupational Therapy president. Jocelyn is also a school of OT ambassador, assisting prospective students at open houses and interviews.

In 2016, Jocelyn attended and volunteered at the OTAO conference where she assisted with the silent auction. Jocelyn also attended the AOTA conference, a celebration of 100 years of occupational therapy.

Jocelyn enjoys being involved and challenging herself to be a life-long learner. Jocelyn keeps things balanced by getting outside with her family to take in the simple joys in life.

Savel Sabol

Savel is an OTD student at Pacific University. Prior to attending Pacific University she worked as a theatre costume technician at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Savel is interested in issues surrounding diversity and inclusion, loves to ride her bicycle, roller-skate, camp, make jokes and read books about neurology. She hopes to work with adults with acquired brain injury, stroke, and other neurologic issues.

At Pacific, Savel serves as an OT senator on the Professional Student Senate of PU, as a liaison between the OTD program and the other health professions. She joined the Occupational Therapy Advisory Board to learn more about the wider world of occupational therapy and to participate in that community. To learn more about Savel, visit her ePortfolio.