Occupational Therapy Faculty
Allison Ellington, OTD, MS, OTR/L
Allison Ellington has been a faculty member at Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences since 2013. She earned a BS in occupational science and MS in occupational therapy from Ithaca College, graduating Summa Cum Laude. She later completed her post-professional OTD at Chatham University.
She has extensive practice experience in adult neurological rehabilitation, both in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation settings and continues to practice as an occupational therapist in both settings.
Dr. Ellington has been a member of a research team to develop an occupation-based virtual reality system that is now commercially available. She has published a number of articles on the outcomes of using virtual reality among individuals with stroke. Additionally, she has published and presented nationally on topics including the use of online journal clubs to educate and support fieldwork educators, processes and outcomes of the entry-level OTD doctoral experiential component, and faculty development and support.
When not working as an occupational therapist, Dr. Ellington enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children riding bikes, visiting playgrounds, and swimming.
Emily Budd, OTD, OTR/L
Emily Budd earned a BS in allied health science from Bridgewater College, followed by a MOT from James Madison University where she assisted in authoring the business plan for Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Services. She completed her post-professional OTD from the University of St. Augustine, graduating with high honors. Her capstone project examined the impact of participation in Tai Chi on occupational performance in older adults.
She has practice experience in skilled nursing and outpatient settings and has enjoyed supervising many level I and level II fieldwork students. Dr. Budd has a practice interest in developing community-based wellness resources for older adults to support aging in place. She is a certified clinician in the LSVT-Big program for the treatment of adults with Parkinson Disease, a master trainer for the Matter of Balance program to manage fear of falling in older adults, and an instructor in the Tai Chi for Rehabilitation program.
Dr. Budd is a Virginia native and enjoys exploring outdoor spaces from the beach to the mountains with her husband and two young children.
Lisa Burns, PhD, OTR/L
Lisa Burns completed her Ph.D. in Human Development (with a specialization in higher education) at Marywood University in Scranton in 2013. While in that interdisciplinary program she received the William G. McGowan Medal for Excellence in Doctoral Studies. Dr. Burns earned a master’s degree in Theology at the University of Scranton and received the Frank O’Hara Award for Academic Excellence in her studies. She completed her Occupational Therapy bachelor’s degree with honors at Indiana University. An occupational therapist for more than 25 years, her practice focused on older adults and management of rehabilitation teams. Prior to joining Mary Baldwin University, she spent more than a decade as an Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and also taught a variety of courses including kinesiology, pathology, and physical dysfunction. Dr. Burns has been actively involved in researching and presenting on topics related to professional development for a number of years. Currently, she is active in several professional organizations and enjoys presenting nationally and regionally on a variety of topics. Her scholarly interests include interprofessional competency and interprofessional identify, leadership development, and outcomes related to the entry level Occupational Therapy doctoral capstone experience. As a veteran of the United States Army, Dr. Burns holds a special place in heart for those who serve or have served; she is married to an Air Force veteran. Originally from Pennsylvania, Dr. Burns enjoys life as a ‘Virginia transplant’. She spends free time with her husband Brian, motorcycle touring back roads of the beautiful Shenandoah Valley. She is also attempting to develop her green thumb and gardening skills.
Greg Hansen, PhD, MS, OTR/L
Greg Hansen received his PhD in Motor Learning from the University of Virginia. He has a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from West Virginia University. Dr. Hansen has been a practicing occupational therapist for 20 years. Prior to coming to MDCHS he was employed at the Virginia School for the Deaf and Blind (VSDB). In addition to his work at VSDB, Dr. Hansen has practiced at Woodrow Wilson Rehabilitation Center, Fayette County Schools (WV) schools, Augusta Health and a number of other hospital based centers. Dr. Hansen has been an invited guest speaker at many regional colleges and has supported OT students in training as a clinical instructor, receiving two awards as “outstanding fieldwork educator.” His area of expertise and his recent research focuses on children with special needs.
Sarah McCadden, OTD, OTR/L
The OT program is thrilled to welcome Dr. Sarah McCadden as a full-time faculty member. Sarah earned her master’s of science in occupational therapy from Shenandoah University and later obtained her post-professional doctorate of occupational therapy from Radford University Carilion with a focus on education. In practice, she specializes in treatment of the adult and geriatric population. She has practiced in various settings including acute care, outpatient, home health, inpatient rehab, and skilled nursing facilities with specialization in treating the adult population with stroke, brain injury, and spinal cord injury.
Additionally, she served as an OT manager at HealthSouth Rehabilitation Hospital of Northern Virginia. One of her greatest joys has been working with OT students, coordinating level I and II fieldwork assignments. Sarah is a Virginia native and has now lived in the Shenandoah Valley for 5 years. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her son Jackson. They love most outdoor activities, especially hiking and bicycling.
Sheri Montgomery, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Sheri Montgomery received her post-professional OTD from the University of Utah and her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Tufts University- Boston School of Occupational Therapy. She is currently completing a Doctorate in Education from West Florida University with a focus in Curriculum Development and Instructional Design. Practicing since 1980 in Wyoming and Utah, Dr. Montgomery’s clinical experience focused on children and youth, with experience in school, early intervention, outpatient rehab, and inpatient rehab/acute settings. She feels fortunate to have had the opportunity to practice in home health, long-term care, mental health, outpatient rehab, and inpatient rehab/acute settings with adults. Dr. Montgomery’s research and scholarly interests are in professional leadership and adult teaching and learning. Dr. Montgomery has been an active member of multiple state associations, serving in a variety of leadership roles. She has held several leadership roles in AOTA, including Chair of the Bylaws, Policies, and Procedures Committee, member of the Representative Assembly, AOTA Secretary, and Board Director. She is currently a Board Director for the American Occupational Therapy Association.
Elizabeth Richardson, OTD, OTR/L
Elizabeth Richardson earned a Bachelor of Science degree with a concentration in Occupational Therapy from James Madison University in 2002. In 2006 she transitioned to a full-time position as faculty member and academic fieldwork coordinator in an OT program while completing her master’s degree in Health Sciences (2007). While in this role, she helped establish an on-campus pediatric OT clinic where she has provided OT services to local families and engaged in clinical supervision of students. In addition to serving as the founding director of this clinic.
During her tenure in higher education, Dr. Richardson has engaged in a wide range of teaching, scholarship, and service activities. She has served as co-director and clinical instructor in the Summer Autism Camp and Interprofessional Autism Clinic where she advocates for the unique role and district value of occupational therapy through modeling and instruction of intervention approaches that reflect the core values, attitudes, and principles of OT including an emphasis on play and strengths-based approaches. Her work in interprofessional education and practice in these programs was used as a basis for her doctoral capstone project while completing her post-professional doctoral degree in occupational therapy at the University of St. Augustine. Other research and clinical practice interests include exploring nature as a therapeutic modality, eco-sustainable OT practice, and complementary and integrative health approaches in OT.
As a mother of four children and grandmother, she values time with her family and also loves to spend as much time as possible in the mountains or on the water exploring outdoor adventures.
Pam Stephenson, OTD, MS, OTR/L
Dr. Pam Stephenson received her OT Degree from Ulster Polytechnic in Northern Ireland in 1984. In addition she has a Master’s Degree in Health Sciences (1995) from St. Georges Hospital Medical School, London, a Post-Professional MS in Occupational Therapy from San Jose University, and a Post-Professional Occupational therapy Doctorate from Rocky Mountain University (2014). In 2012, she was co-author of a book chapter “The Use of Psychosocial Methods and Interpersonal Strategies in Mental Health” as part of the 3rd edition of Psychosocial Occupational Therapy: An Evolving Practice. She is active in the Virginia Occupational Therapy Association (VOTA) and served as the “Blue Ridge District Chair” directing the VOTA activities in the region from 2009 until July 2015. Dr. Stephenson recently accepted the position of Forum Coordinator for the AOTA Early Intervention and School Special Interest Section (EISSIS). Her major areas of interest focus on mental health and autism.