Erin Epley

Erin Epley, Elmhurst University

Erin Epley, OTD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy
Master of Occupational Therapy

Dr. Erin Epley came to the field of Occupational Therapy after a rewarding career teaching ESL to adult learners. She is positively enamored with the field of OT and its focus on occupation and therapeutic relationship as the ultimate healing modalities. She feels that her teaching experience dovetails perfectly with OT, where teaching is utilized regularly with clients. Dr. Epley earned her Master of Science in OT at the University of Illinois at Chicago and, while practicing full-time as a school OT, went back to earn her OT Doctorate, also from UIC.

Dr. Epley’s doctoral project (Habits and Health Promotion in OT: A Scoping Review) was accepted for publication in the peer-reviewed journal, the Annals of International Occupational Therapy in October 2021. She is excited to pursue the numerous research avenues she has uncovered with this initial scoping review and hopes to make a contribution to the body of research on OT’s role in promoting healthy lifestyle habits and preventing disease through occupation and environmental modification. After 4 years immersed in school practice, Dr. Epley joins the team at Elmhurst University in the hopes of helping to bridge the gap between research and practice.

Dr. Epley draws from her rich and multivariate life experiences, which include teaching ESL to adults, being a 200-hour registered yoga teacher in two schools of yoga, volunteering in the community, and being a mother of two teenagers, which has enormously enriched her practice with the pediatric population. Dr. Epley also has experience in the skilled nursing/rehab setting working to rehabilitate diabetic amputees, post-orthopedic surgery patients, stroke survivors, and individuals with dementia and other chronic diseases through therapeutic use of occupation.

Dr. Epley values the adult learning principles of problem-based and experiential learning, seeking to tap the intrinsic motivation of each student. She is a lifelong student who looks forward to sharing not only the knowledge but also the spirit of OT with future practitioners.

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