Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science
“In today’s healthcare environment, students must hit the ground running,” says Marlene A. Riley, who combines her clinical experience with case-based teaching for a powerful combination for her students. “One of the reasons I continue to work in the field is that I do not want to lose touch with current best practices.”
Take technology for example. “With our electronic medical records systems, professionals must know how to take notes electronically, and electronic reminders and alerts can now be integrated into treatment strategies,” describes Riley.
Towson University offers the only program in the state of Maryland that prepares students to become certified as occupational therapists. To reach a wide range of students, Riley admits, “Teaching today must address all learning styles and must be highly visual and engaging.”
Riley embraces the concepts of occupational balance and performance and their roles in achieving success in therapy. “You have to find a good fit between the individual and their environment to help them remain productive and capable with daily life tasks,” she notes.
In addition to teaching and working in traditional rehabilitation settings, Riley is always looking for innovative methods to promote health and wellness. Through Sword and Stone Wellness, Riley and her husband have developed a fitness program for all ages based on the Korean martial art of Gumdo, a revival of traditional methods of swordsmanship. “Some traditional therapy tools can be symbols of disability while a sword is an empowering object,” adds Riley.