Director: Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA
Sherrilene Classen, PhD, MPH, OTR/L, FAOTA, FGSA is Professor (with tenure) and Chair, Department of Occupational Therapy, College of Public Health and Health Professions, University of Florida, Florida, USA; Founding Director of Western and UF’s international, post-professional distance learning Master of Clinical Science in Driving Rehabilitation Therapy (MClSc DRT) program; Director of the University of Florida’s Institute for Mobility, Activity and Participation; and an Extraordinary Professor at Stellenbosch University, Cape Town, South Africa. Dr. Classen is an internationally funded prevention-oriented rehabilitation scientist who studies fitness-to-drive issues in at-risk drivers (via clinical tests, driving simulators, on-road assessments, in-vehicle technologies and automated vehicles) through the lifespan. Her scholarly work targets understanding driving from the person-vehicle-environment interactions, to enhance occupational performance, societal participation, and well-being. Since her academic career started in 2002, she has received competitive external funding (totaling ~$ 6 million) from USA agencies (National Institutes of Health, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Department of Defense, Department of Transportation, Foundations) as well as agencies in Canada and abroad. She has (co)authored over 120 peer-reviewed publications, book chapters, and special journal issues; one book as editor (In Press AOTA Press); and presented about 200 scientific papers/posters or keynotes at (inter)national conferences. Dr. Classen is Editor-in-Chief of the Occupational Therapy Journal of Research, and serves on various (inter)national committees related to driving and community mobility. Dr. Classen is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (2010) and the Gerontological Society of America (2009); and an inductee to the American Occupational Therapy Foundation’s Academy of Research (2012) which is the highest scholarly honor that the Foundation confers upon scholars. As an innovative leader in health and rehabilitation sciences, she actively mentors junior faculty, post-doctoral fellows, graduate and undergraduate students (inter)nationally in health-related fields.