Department of Occupational Therapy
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Occupational Therapy Department

What We Do:

Occupational therapy is about caring for people with physical, developmental, or emotional challenges.

Our mission is to prepare occupational therapists skilled in providing humanistic and holistic services to a diversity of individuals, communities, populations, and organizations. Lifelong learning and the ongoing pursuit of knowledge and wisdom are facilitated through active mentorship, guided reflection and contemplation in action.

Through a caring and compassionate learning environment, we help students realize their full potential so their future patients can realize theirs. 

How We Stand Out:

  • A Reputation for Excellence. Our program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association.
  • Jesuit Education. Future occupational therapists are educated in the liberal arts and are encouraged to practice their profession guided by intellectual, moral, and ethical values embedded in a framework of social justice.
  • Our Students. Scranton students are leaders in campus ministry, student government, intercollegiate athletics, and much more. They are exceptionally mature and have presented with faculty at state POTA (Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association) and national AOTA conferences.
  • Research Opportunities. Scranton students also get a head start in research and are recognized early for their expertise. For example, faculty-mentored student research has been published in national peer-reviewed OT journals. 
  • State-of-the-Art Facilities. At Scranton, we emphasize active and experiential learning which takes place through our outstanding facilities including an independent living apartment, a sensory motor-exploratory play environment, and lab facilities outfitted with materials such as expressive media and splint fabrication. 


The 5-year, entry-level, Master of Science degree program in occupational therapy accepts students at the freshman level to allow sufficient time for academic preparation, professional socialization, and personal growth. Students begin classes within the occupational therapy department in their first semester on campus.

We prepare students to be entry-level generalists in occupational therapy by integrating multiple practice courses with small group experiential labs in pediatrics, psychosocial rehabilitation, physical rehabilitation, hand therapy, geriatrics, and community-based practice throughout the curriculum.

Clinical fieldwork courses immediately follow related practice courses, which provide a springboard for post-graduation opportunities. We have an extended database of established fieldwork contracts and work closely with students to choose a placement that best suits their needs.

Upon completion of all academic preparation and fieldwork components, students are eligible to take the National Board for Certification of Occupational Therapists (NBCOT) Examination.

Meet Our Faculty:

Our department is comprised of dedicated faculty who are among the best in the industry. Their clinical and educational expertise represents a cross section of diverse practice areas across the developmental continuum in both traditional and contemporary practice areas.

Scranton faculty members are exceptionally accomplished. Nearly all of our OT professors hold doctorate degrees and frequently present at state, national, and international conferences. They have also published numerous books, chapters, articles, and assessment instruments in the field.

  • Dr. Julie Nastasi and Dr. Rita Fleming-Castaldy are fellows in The American Occupational Therapy Association, Inc.
  • Dr. Julia Guzman serves on the National Roster of Accreditation Evaluators of the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE).
  • Dr. Fleming-Castaldy is the author of TherapyEd National OT Review & Study Guide for the NBCOT Exam.
  • Dr. Julie Nastasi was selected as one of 25 faculty to complete the inaugural Academic Leadership Institute through the American Occupational Therapy Association during the 2016-2017 academic year.

In addition, our dedicated staff is accessible and available to students on a routine basis through a generous open door policy. Our strong sense of community means that faculty foster student involvement in research, teaching, and service activities through close, mentoring relationships.  

Carol A. Coté, Ph. D., OTR/L


Chair and Program Director, Occupational Therapy

Associate Professor

B.S., Kean University of New Jersey
M.S., Montclair State University
Ph.D., Rutgers University

Phone: 570-941-6632
Send an email

Karen Brady, D.Ed., OTR/L


Assistant Professor

B.A., Mansfield University
M.S., Misericordia University
D.Ed., Pennsylvania State University

Phone: 570-941-6565
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Chandra Ann Dombroski, DPT


Faculty Specialist

B.S., Misericordia University
M.S., Misericordia University
D.P.T., Misericordia University

Phone: 570-941-7932
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Dr. Rita Fleming-Castaldy, Ph. D., OTR/L, FAOTA


Associate Professor

B.S., M.A., Ph.D., New York University

Phone: 570-941-6368
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Julia M. Guzman, OTD, OTR/L


Faculty Specialist

B.S., Kean University
M.S., Dominican College
O.T.D., Misericordia University

Phone: 570-941-4616
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Lisa A. Kozden, MOT, OTR/L, CHT, COMT


Faculty Specialist

B.A., Muhlenberg College
M.O.T., Nova Southeastern University

Phone: 570-941-4581
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William Lambert, MS, OTR/L


Faculty Specialist

B.A., King’s College
B.S., Misericordia University
M.S., The University of Scranton

Phone: 570-941-5876
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Marlene J. Morgan, Ed.D., OTR/L


Associate Professor

B.S., Pennsylvania State University
M.S., Texas Woman’s University
Ed.D., Temple University

Phone: 570-941-5879
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Julie Ann Nastasi, ScD, OTD, OTR/L, SCLV, FAOTA


Assistant Professor

B.S., The University of Scranton
M.A., Tufts University
O.T.D., Boston University
Sc.D., Towson University

Phone: 570-941-5857
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Dr. Carol Reinson, PhD, OTR/L


Associate Professor

A.A.S., Herkimer County Community College
B.S., Utica College of Syracuse University
M.S., SUNY @ New Paltz
Ph.D., Syracuse University

Phone: 570-941-4125
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Patricia A. Wisniewski, MS, OTR/L, CPRP


Faculty Specialist

A.S., Penn State University
B.S., Misericordia University
M.S., Misericordia University

Phone: 570-941-4086
Send an email

Inside the Classroom:

The Department of Occupational Therapy at The University of Scranton has state-of-the-art facilities including fully mediated classrooms; an independent living apartment; a sensory motor-exploratory play environment; and lab facilities outfitted with materials that allow for a range of active learning experiences from expressive media to splint fabrication.

The Leahy Community Health and Family Center is an interdisciplinary faculty practice center designed to provide free health, wellness, and educational services to underserved populations with special needs.

Read more about studying Occupational Therapy at Scranton on our program page.

Occupational Therapy Student Manual

Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall

Edward R. Leahy Jr. Hall, completed in August 2015, provides an advanced, modern facility to match the exceptional reputations already established by health sciences programs. The facility will put our students and faculty on the cutting edge of research and learning, while benefiting the local community through student-based service programs. Learn more.

Faculty-mentored Student Research:

At Scranton, students are at the cutting-edge of research with accomplished faculty. For Example:

Dr. Rita Fleming-Castaldy offers two research projects for students:

  • A study of major historical trends that have influenced occupational therapy since its inception in 1917 to the present time.
  • An examination of college students with physical disabilities, their participation in school and community activities, and their life satisfaction.

Dr. Carol Cote is currently working with students to study visual and haptic perception in children using an eye-tracker and web cam video to document how children view images and explore how the eyes and hands work together.

Professor Bill Lambert and his students are researching the interests of adolescents using the Scranton Adolescent Interest Checklist, a tool developed by Lambert.

Students can also conduct research in our:

Motion Analysis Lab

Vision Lab

Career Outcomes:

There were 40 Occupational Therapy (OT) Graduates in the Class of 2015. Based on a 2016 University of Scranton Career Services Survey, which yielded a 71% response rate, 100% of our OT alumni reported full-time employment. The average salary for this group was $63,000. Our recent graduates are employed at some of the most respected facilities around the country, including Kessler Institute for Rehabilitation, NYU Langone Medical Center, Magee Rehabilitation, Hahnemann University Hospital, Children's Specialized Hospital and Fox Rehabilitation.

We serve a diverse population and our graduates are employed in hospitals, clinics, schools, camps, rehabilitation and long-term facilities, extended care facilities, home health, community agencies, and private practice.

Recent information published by the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics has projected that the job outlook for occupational therapists is expected to increase by 26 percent between 2008 and 2018, much faster than the average for all occupations. This increase can be attributed to the increase in the aging and elderly population, hospital need for rehabilitation professionals, and an increase in the school age population demanding more services for disability.


The program is fully accredited by the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA).

Contact ACOTE at ACOTE, c/o Accreditation Department, American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA), 4720 Montgomery Lane, Suite 200, Bethesda, MD 20814-3449. The phone number is 301-652-AOTA (2682), and its Web address is

Graduates of the program who have completed all academic and fieldwork requirements are able to sit for the national certification examination for the occupational therapist administered by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy (NBCOT). After successful completion of this examination, the individual is an Occupational Therapist, Registered (OTR). Candidates will need to provide documentation of all graduation and credentialing requirements, including certification/licensure. A felony conviction may affect a graduate's ability to sit for the certification examination or attain state licensure. Most states require licensure in order to practice; however, state licenses are usually based on the results of the NBCOT Certification Examination. 

NBCOT program performance data can be found at

Retention Rates

Graduation Year Students Entering/Graduating Graduation Rate NBCOT Exam Pass Rate
2018 58/52 90% 98%
2017 60/56 93% 98%
2016 59/53 90% 98%
3 year average 91% 98%