Faculty Research

Learn more about the research being conducted by our OT faculty.


Supporting Places of Aging, Reimagining Community (SPARC) lab is led by Dr. Kendra Heatwole Shank. Our mission is to develop evidence-based interventions and programs that support meaningful participation and health-related quality of life while aging in place and aging in community. Our vision is to be part of a national reimagining of how communities are shaped and strengthened by demographic changes, where aging is not a liability but rather a resource for the health and well-being of all members of society.

Best Practices in OT Intervention for Brachial Plexus Birth Injury

Dr. Jennifer Wingrat's research focuses on best practices in the therapeutic management of infants and children with brachial plexus birth injury (BPBI), specifically related to the efficacy of interventions to prevent contractures, maximize functional outcomes, and facilitate parent participation in home therapy recommendations.  Research questions include determining whether there is a frequency of passive range of motion (PROM) required to prevent shoulder contractures during the first year of life in children with BPBI, as well as identifying barriers and facilitators to caregiver compliance with home therapy recommendations for performing daily PROM. Dr. Wingrat affiliated with the multidisciplinary brachial plexus clinic at Kennedy Krieger Institute in Baltimore where she recently completed a pilot study with Dr. Matthew Elrick, pediatric neurologist at Kennedy Krieger and Johns Hopkins Medical Institution. Future plans include expanding on the findings of the pilot study to develop a research protocol for patients at the multidisciplinary brachial plexus clinic at Kennedy Krieger and/or All Children’s Hospital in St. Petersburg, Florida.

Experiences of Military Students and Veterans with Horses for Heroes

Dr. Jenna Yeager's research has been focused on the experiences of military and veteran students, including a specific focus on females and on those who are mothers. Qualitative methods have included photo voice and photo elicitation, as well as interviews and focus groups. Collaborators include the Military and Veterans Center at TU and the Heroes and Horses Program at Taking the Lead Farm.