Kendra Heatwole Shank, PhD, OTR/L

Associate Professor, Chairperson, Post-Professional OTD Program Director, Graduate Faculty


PhD, Occupational Science, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

MS, Occupational Therapy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

BS, Nursing, Eastern Mennonite University

Areas of Expertise

Occupations of older adults, specifically issues related to aging-in-place

Contextual dynamics (place, culture, possibilities, injustice) of occupation

Multiple methods research

Interdisciplinary and policy applications of occupation-centered research

Select Publications

  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2021). Fidelity and Utility of GPS Loggers as a Tool for Understanding Community Participation of Older Adults. Scandinavian Journal of Occupational Therapy. doi:10.1080/11038128.2021.1921841
  • Merryman, M. B., Heatwole Shank, K., & Reitz, S. M. (2020). Theoretical Frameworks for Community-Based Practice. In M. Reitz & M. Scaffa (Eds.), Occupational Therapy in Community-Based and Population Health Practice, 3rd ed. Philadelphia: F.A. Davis Company.
  • Heatwole Shank, K., Kenley, B., Brown, S., Shipley, J., Baum, M & Beers, C. (2019). “We need more things for us”: Being low-income and under-occupied in older age. Canadian Journal of Occupational Therapy. doi: 10.1177/00084174198383
  • Heatwole Shank, K., & Presgraves, E. (2018). Using Geospatial Mapping of Late-life Couplehood: Dimensions of Joint Participation. OTJR: Occupation, Participation, & Health. doi: 10.1177/1539449218808277
  • Aldrich, R., & Heatwole Shank, K. (2018). An occupational science perspective on occupation, adaption, and participation. In L.C. Grajo & A. Boisselle, Occupation and Adaptation: Multidimensional Perspectives (pp. 159-174). SLACK, Inc.
  • Heatwole Shank, K., & Cutchin, M. P. (2016). Processes of developing ‘community livability’ in older age. Journal of Aging Studies, 39, 66-72. doi:10.1016/j.jaging.2016.11.001
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2016). What makes a community age-friendly? Conceptualizing community livability through mapping. International Journal of Aging and Society, 7(1), 61-76.
  • Hart, E., & Heatwole Shank, K. (2016). Participating at the mall: Possibilities and tensions that shape older adults’ occupation. Journal of Occupational Science, 23(1), 67-81 (early online April 2015). doi:10.1080/14427591.2015.1020851
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2012). Mixed methods and pragmatism for research on occupation. In M. P. Cutchin and V.A. Dickie (Eds.), Transactional perspectives on occupation (pp. 183-195). Dordrecht: Springer.
  • Heatwole Shank, K., & Cutchin, M.P. (2010). Transactional occupations of older women aging in place: Negotiating change and meaning. Journal of Occupational Science, 17, 4-13.
  • Cutchin, M.P., Coppola, S., Talley, V., Svihula, J., Catellier, D., & Heatwole Shank, K. (2009). Feasibility and effects of preventive home visits for at-risk older people: Design of a longitudinal, experimental study. BMC Geriatrics, 9(54). doi:10.1186/1471-2318-9-54

Select Presentations

  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2023). Development and Initial Outcomes of an Intervention for Cognition and Community Mobility that Integrates Mapping Technology to Support Aging in Place. AOTA Inspire, Kansas City, MO.
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2022). Aging, Cognition, and Community Experience: Care Continuums and Risk Ratios of daily life with MCI. Gerontological Society of America, Indianapolis IN.
  • Guilfoyle, R., & Heatwole Shank, K. (2022). Poster: Understanding & Addressing the Perceived Wellness Needs of Clients with Parkinson’s Disease. American Occupational Therapy Association. San Antonio, TX.
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2022, April). “You know, I swipe my card and hope for the best”: Technology and Cognition as Dual Landscapes of Change. Southern Gerontological Society. Panama City Beach, FL.
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2021, November). Understanding How Cognitively Impaired Individuals Experience Their Communities while Aging in Place. Maryland Occupational Therapy Association. [Virtual paper]
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2021, October). Habit, Embodiment, and Functional Coordination for a Cognitively Changing yet Community-Dwelling Population. SSO:USA. Ft. Lauderdale, FL. [Virtual paper presentation]
  • Heatwole Shank, K. (2021, April). Dementia Friendly Baltimore County (DFBC): Aging, Cognition, and Community Experience. Southern Gerontological Society. Baltimore, Maryland [Virtual paper presentation]
  • Heatwole Shank, K., & Sethi, C. (2020, October).  Weaving Occupational Science Theory in Entry-Level Occupational Therapy Education: Strategies for Translation and Application. AOTA Education Summit.
  • Heatwole Shank, K., & Presgraves, E. (2018). Using mapping to evaluate community mobility and participation while aging in place. AOTA. Salt Lake City, UT.
  • Merryman, M.B., & Heatwole Shank, K. (2018, November). Post-professional education and the occupational therapy practitioner. Maryland Occupational Therapy Association. Catonsville, MD.
  • Heatwole Shank, K., & Presgraves, E., (2017). Discordant accounts: Co-, collaborative-or transecting occupations? SSO:USA. Seattle, WA.
  • Heatwole Shank, K., et al. (2017, November). Poster: Mapping the community-based occupations of low-income older adults. Maryland Occupational Therapy Association. Lutherville-Timonium, MD.