Kathleen Foley, interim director of the School of Occupational Therapy, helps Kati Hilton, a member of the Norcross day cohort who will graduate in 2019, practice homemaking retraining, in which individuals using a wheelchair are instructed on methods for accessing things in the kitchen environment from a wheelchair level, while classmate Courtney Speed looks on. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)
Kathleen Foley, interim director of the School of Occupational Therapy, helps Kati Hilton, a member of the Norcross day cohort who will graduate in 2019, practice homemaking retraining, in which individuals using a wheelchair are instructed on methods for accessing things in the kitchen environment from a wheelchair level, while classmate Courtney Speed looks on. (AJ Reynolds/Brenau University)

Kathleen Foley Named Interim Director of the School of Occupational Therapy

Mar. 23, 2018
Kristen Bowman

Kathleen Foley

Brenau University has appointed longtime occupational therapist and Associate Professor Kathleen Foley as interim director of the School of Occupational Therapy.

Since the classes and clinical placements in the 23-year-old School of Occupational Therapy run year-round, Foley is positioned to manage the program without interruption during the next six months while a select committee conducts a nationwide search for a permanent director.

Foley said her immediate goal as interim is to ensure a seamless transition for the students as they continue in their coursework and fieldwork. She also plans to join the faculty in the development of an entry-level doctoral degree in occupational therapy, something the school has been planning for some time.

“I appreciate the opportunity to work alongside the talented and experienced faculty and staff in the School of Occupational Therapy at Brenau University to provide a quality professional education to future occupational therapists,” said Foley, whose predecessor left the university in February. “I am honored to be selected to take the lead as the program moves forward in its mission of graduating students who are prepared to be leaders in occupational therapy practice.”

Foley, a native of Massachusetts, has been an occupational therapist for 29 years. She has clinical, management and academic work experience in Massachusetts, Indiana, Alabama and Georgia. She is currently secretary of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and she received its Fellow Award in 2017.

Prior to Brenau, she worked for seven years as a faculty member at the University of Alabama at Birmingham (UAB). There, she was active in teaching, service and research with a focus on aging and rehabilitation. Her teaching responsibilities crossed undergraduate, professional and doctoral programs, and she helped develop and implement a comprehensive, campuswide interprofessional health care team training program for professional students.

She joined Brenau in 2013 as an associate professor and research coordinator on the Norcross campus. She also works weekends at Emory Johns Creek Hospital as a weekend staff occupational therapist.

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