Occupational Therapy

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Christine Urish

Title: Professor of Occupational Therapy
Rank: Professor
Phone: (515) 271-1818
Email: christine.urish@drake.edu

Education: BS Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University; MS Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University; PhD Rehabilitation Counseling, University of Iowa
Began at Drake: 2018

Current classes I teach:

  • OTD 227 - Psychosocial Development and Application to OT
  • OTD 170 - Doctoral Capstone Preparation
  • OTD 171 - Doctoral Capstone


June 2018-present:
Professor of Occupational Therapy & Doctoral Capstone Coordinator
Drake University, Des Moines, IA

2008 - present:
Senior Occupational Therapist
University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics, Iowa City, IA

Professor of Occupational Therapy
St. Ambrose University, Davenport, IA

Associate Professor
St. Ambrose University

Assistant Professor
St. Ambrose University

Instructor/Fieldwork Coordinator
St. Ambrose University

1989 - 1995:
Staff Occupational Therapist
Mercy Health Center St. Joseph's Unit, Dubuque, IA

Professional Affiliations

  • American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA)
  • Board Certified Occupational Therapist in Mental Health (BCMH)
  • Iowa Occupational Therapy Association (IOTA)
  • World Federation of Occupational Therapy (WFOT)
  • Allen Cognitive Network (ACN)
  • Alliance of International Aromatherapists (AIA)
  • Occupational Therapy Academic Fraternity - Pi Theta Epsilon, Lifetime member
  • Phi Kappa Phi - Academic Honor Society

Professional Service

  • Member, AOTA Board & Specialty Certification Committee (BASC)
  • Past President, Allen Cognitive Network
  • Youth Mental Health First Aid (YMHFA) Instructor
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) Instructor
  • Adult Mental Health First Aid - Higher Education Module Instructor
  • AOTA AESIS Fieldwork Educator Mentor (2020-2021)

University & College Service

  • CPHS Student Wellness Task Force
  • Promotion & Tenure Committee
  • Wellness Ad Hoc Group
  • OT Department Admissions Committee
  • Koru Mindfulness BUILD Presenter for Drake University

Honors & Awards

  • Outstanding Occupational Therapist of the Year:
    Iowa Occupational Therapy Association - 2017 & 1998
  • Distinguished Alumni Award, Graduate Programs in Rehabilitation:
    University of Iowa - May 2013
  • Awarded the Roster of Fellows:
    American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA) - April 12, 2008

Teaching Philosophy

Respect. Dedication. Engagement. Kindness. These are of utmost importance within the learning environment and are key concepts related to the instructor’s teaching philosophy. Respect for one’s self, classmates, course instructor(s), community members is required. Individual differences within all aforementioned persons need to be acknowledged and respected. Dedication to one’s preparation for class and community activities in a professional manner is of significant importance. The course instructor is dedicated to providing challenging and engaging learning environment(s) and activities; however students must also be prepared to engage in and with the material presented. The course is lecture/lab structure with community involvement as well. Active engagement in course material is essential to student success. Students cannot rely solely upon the instructor’s lecture for their learning. Students need to accept personal responsibility for independent learning and mastery of course material. Questions posed within the class will not always be immediately answered by the course instructor, rather will be directed at times to the class as a whole to foster additional learning and collaboration. Within a clinical setting students will learn to rely on oneself, but also collaborate with others. Assignments are to be completed independently unless noted by course instructor. Asking classmates for feedback related to completed assignment is completely acceptable as a practitioner may engage in such behavior within a clinical setting. Information within the course will be built upon learning acquired within other courses, learning does not occur in isolation or in a silo. Lastly, kindness is a concept that I fear many have forgotten. The instructor encourages you to be mindful of the language and behavior you utilize as well as what you observe within your classmates. As Ian McLaren stated “be kind because everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” Demonstrate compassion toward yourself, toward your classmates toward others you come into contact with on a daily basis. A smile, a kind word, a thoughtful gesture can have an impact you may never know. In the end…..just be kind.

Latest Projects & Publications

  • Urish, C.K. & Hemphill, B. (2020) (Eds). Assessment of Occupational Therapy: Mental Health
    (4th ed.) Thorofare, NJ: Slack, Inc.
  • Urish, C.K., (2017). Anxiety disorders. In B. Atchison & D. Dirette (Eds.),Conditions in Occupational Therapy
    (5th ed). Philadelphia, PA: Lippincott, Williams & Wilkins.
  • Hemphill, B. (2015) "Spiritual Assessments in Occupational Therapy," The Open Journal of Occupational Therapy: Vol. 3: Iss. 3, Article 9. Available here.(contributed case study)
  • April 2019 - Mindfulness & Zentangle - Science, Health & Happiness - poster presentation - AOTA Annual Conference - New Orleans, LA
  • April 2019 - A Survey of Education Professionals About Mindfulness Within the School Environment - poster presentation - AOTA Annual Conference - New Orleans, LA
  • June 2018 - Occupation Station - Use of Zentangle as a Therapeutic Intervention - Royal College of Occupational Therapy - presentation in Belfast, Ireland

Invited Presentations

  • Mental Health First Aid for Higher Education (8-hour training) - Residence Life Staff at Drake University - Des Moines, IA - August 2020
  • Mental Health First Aid for Higher Education (8-hour training) - CPHS at Drake University - Des Moines, IA - July 22 & Aug 1, 2019
  • AOTA Children & Youth Specialty Conference - Youth Mental Health First Aid (8-hour training) - Orlando, FL - July 24, 2019
  • Grab Your Boogie Board & Make Stress Your Friend (keynote presentation) - AOTA/NBCOT Student Conclave - Atlantic City, NJ - Nov, 2018
  • Zentangle - occupation station (60 minutes) - AOTA/NBCOT Student Conclave - Atlantic City, NJ - Nov 2018
  • Mindfulness & Zentangle (6-hour presentation) - Louisiana State OT Conference - New Orleans, LA - Oct 2018
  • International Relationship Model: Knowing Our Patients (3-hour presentation) - Louisiana State OT Conference - New Orleans, LA - Oct 2018
  • Knowing Our Clients: How to Facilitate Health in Clients with Co-Morbid Mental Health Diagnoses (8-hour session) - Genesis Health System, Davenport, IA - April 2018
  • Not Playing Nice in the Sandbox: How Workplace Incivility Takes a Toll on Productivity, Self Esteem and How to Not Let it Take a Toll on You! (webinar for occupationaltherapy.com - 2-hour session) - co-presented with Dr. Yolanda Griffiths
  • Ethics in Occupational Therapy: Social Media (1.5-hour session) - Arizona Occupational Therapy Association State Conference

Personal Information

Enjoys domestic and international travel, live jazz music, lifetime Girl Scout, University of Iowa Football Fan - GO HAWKS! Always has emergency chocolate in her office


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