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First OTD faculty join CPHS

September 10, 2015

The first faculty members joined the occupational therapy doctorate program in the College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences on July 1. They are preparing for the program’s inaugural class in May 2016.

Dr. Ann Burkhardt leads the program as its director. She was previously a therapy resources management (TRM) occupational therapist at Crestwood & Grace Barker Nursing and Rehabilitation facilities in Warren, Rhode Island. Until 2010, she served as director of the post-professional online masters program in occupational therapy at Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. After that, she served as director and associate professor in the division of occupational therapy at Long Island University in Brooklyn, New York. She obtained her bachelor of arts in psychology and biology from Wheaton College in 1976, her Master of Arts in Occupational Therapy at New York University in 1979, and her doctorate in post-professional Occupational Therapy (OTD) at Creighton University in 2004.

Burkhardt has an extensive history in the field of occupational therapy. She also served as associate clinical instructor at Columbia University and the director of occupational therapy at NY Presbyterian-Columbia Medical Center for over a decade. She has taught or contributed as a lecturer in the study of occupational therapy over a span of 20 years. She has authored four books and contributed to dozens of industry publications. She is a fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and newly appointed to the Legacy and Leaders Society of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation.

Jayna Fischbach, associate professor of occupational therapy was previously a pediatric occupational therapist for Cox Healthcare in Springfield, MO, working on completing research involving intervention for Cortical Visual Impairment.   She obtained her BA in Biology and Spanish at Simpson College and her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University.

The goal for the Doctorate of Occupational Therapy program is to prepare students for careers that will add more qualified clinicians to a workforce that is currently experiencing vacancies and shortages. The College looks forward to the opportunity for these individuals to help us further our College’s vision to be a “diverse community of learners leading the way to a healthy world”.

New CPHS faculty

In addition to the three occupational therapy faculty, the following individuals also began their careers at Drake University on July 1:

  • Cassity Gutierrez, PhD – Pre-professional Programs Director and Associate Professor of Health Sciences. Dr. Gutierrez was previously an Assistant Professor of Health Sciences at the University of South Dakota, where she led the development of several public health courses. Previous experiences also include Stephan F. Austin State University, University of Texas at San Antonio and the Education Service Center-Region 20 where she served as a School Health and Related Services Educational Specialist. Dr. Gutierrez completed her BS in Community Health Education at Iowa State University, a MS in Secondary Education from the Texas A&M, Corpus Christi, and her PhD in Health Studies with an Emphasis in Higher Education from Texas Woman’s University.
  • Beth Diehl, PharmD - Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice. Dr. Diehl completed her PharmD at the University of Iowa College of Pharmacy. She was previously a pharmacist with Jefferson County Health Center in Fairfield IA. Prior to that, she was an Emergency Department Clinical Pharmacist at Louis Stokes Cleveland VA Medical Center, Cleveland, OH, and an Inpatient Pharmacist at Edward Hines, Jr. VA Hospital, Hines, IL..
  • Lynn Kassel, PharmD - Assistant Professor of Pharmacy Practice, Acute Care. Prior to joining Drake, Dr. Kassel was a clinical Assistant Professor at UMKC School of Pharmacy at MU, Columbia, Missouri and a Clinical Instructor, for the Department of Clinical Pharmacy at the University of Colorado School of Pharmacy. Dr. Anliker is a Drake PharmD graduate and completed a pharmacy practice residency at Iowa Methodist Medical Center.
  • Nihal Mulla, PhD – Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical Sciences. Mr. Mulla completed his B.S. in Pharmacy from Mumbai University, India, a M.S. in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Creighton University and is completing his PhD in Pharmaceutical Sciences, Mercer University, Atlanta, GA.