Special Interest Sections


NCOTA seeks to provide the most up-to-date and relevant information for OT professionals. With this goal, the association has structured a series of special interest sections each devoted to specific areas of practice. All work to help professionals find the information they need abut diverse topics within occupational therapy. 


Administration and Leadership

Designed for professionals working in managerial, leadership and administrative roles within OT.  
Occupational Therapists and Occupational Therapy Assistants who are employed in administrative and management positions within their organizations are often faced with unique challenges. This Special Interest Section provides a forum for networking and contacting other therapists who work in similar settings. Together we have the opportunity for brainstorming and problem-solving that strengthen our roles as leaders in the field of Occupational therapy and within our administrative roles. The following information and resources are for those who seek information related to administrative and management topics which may include recruitment, retention, time management, professional development, advocacy and reimbursement.


Chair: Shelley Sehorn Ashcroft, OTD, OTR/L, BCMH

*OT Education: Creighton University (2018), Lenoir Rhyne College (2003)
*Current Setting/Title: UNC Health Care Inpatient Mental Health/ Therapy Services Manager.  UNC Mental Health Occupational Therapy Fellowship Program Director.
*Previous Experience: SNF, Acute Care, Inpatient Rehab, Schools, Hospice, Group homes
*Clinical/Professional Interests: Mental Health, Chronic Disease Management, Education, Research, Leadership
*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, aunt, dog mom, teaching, learning and mental health advocate
*Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Admin and Management SIS Co-Chair, member of NCOTA and AOTA

Chair: Brittni Winslow, OTR/L

*OT Education: Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University
*Current Setting/Title: Emerge Pediatric Therapy; Executive Director / Practice Owner 
*Previous Experience: pediatrics
*Clinical/Professional Interests: Sensory Processing, Autism, Handwriting, Social Skill development
*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: mother of 3 children, wife, church member, business owner, Burn Bootcamp aficionado, volunteer 
*Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Admin and Management SIS Co-Chair, member of NCOTA and AOTA


Education and Research

The NCOTA Educational SIS serves to create a connection between the NCOTA and OT/OTA Programs in NC. The goal is to make sure that OT/OTA programs, including faculty and students, are aware of NCOTA events and the benefits of joining the NCOTA. The SIS can serve as a resource for OT/OTA Programs in NC. The Education SIS Chairs will lead OT/OTA Program discussions on concerns and issues related to occupational therapy education.


Chair: Megan Edwards-Collins, PhD, OTR/L, CAPS

*OT Education: BS -OT from Western Michigan University, MS OT from Wayne State University

*Current Setting/Title: Associate Professor - Occupational Therapy Department, Winston-Salem State University

*Previous Experience: Acute Care and Inpatient Rehab Clinical background

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Technology, Driving, Caregivers, Alzheimer's disease and related Dementia

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, daughter, sister, aunt, cat mother; reading, movies, music

*Additional Information: Member of NCOTA, AOTA, WFOT; Recipient of NCOTA's Outstanding Practice in the Area of Clinical Education and Suzanne C. Scullin Awards


Chair: Alisha Singh, OTD, OTR/L

*OT Education: Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate in Pediatric Science from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions & Master of Science in OT from Lenoir-Rhyne University

*Current Setting/Title: Academia / Assistant Professor & Pediatric Specialist

*Previous Experience: School-Based Pediatrics

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Autism Spectrum Disorder, School-Based Practice

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, Mother, Sister, Teacher, Life-long Learner

*Additional Information: NCOTA and AOTA Member



Chair: Debbie Hand, MS, OTR/L

*OT Education: MS Tufts University Boston School of Occupational Therapy 1993

*Current Setting/Title: Durham VA Medical Center, Inpatient OT Supervisor

*Previous Experience: Acute Care, SNF, Home Health, Outpatient

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Gerontology and hospital-based care of older adults, Aging-in-Place, Management, Mentoring

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: OT Supervisor, Wife Mother of two young adults, Flute choir member, exercise partner, reader, game player, friend

Additional Information: member of NCOTA and AOTA, board member Durham Tech OTA Program


Chair: Susan Misciagno, OTD, OTR/L BCG, C/NDT

 *OT Education: OTD Creighton University (2019), BS-OT Escuela Colombiana de Rehabilitacion (1998)

*Current Setting/Title: Methodist University, Academic Capstone Coordinator
*Previous Experience: SNF, Acute Care, Inpatient Rehab, Schools, Home Health, PACE/Community
*Clinical/Professional Interests: Aging in place, Chronic Disease Management, Education, Research, Leadership, Driving , Older Adults, Stroke Management
*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, mom, aunt, dog lover, teaching, learning, movies, Zumba
*Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Gerontology SIS Co-Chair, Member of NCOTA, NDT, AOTA, and WFOT;

NDT certified, AOTA Board Certified in Gerontology

Mental Health

Chair: Darren Peters MOTR/L BCMH  

*Email: [email protected]   

*OT Education: Msc Occupational Therapy

*Current Setting/Title: Inpatient mental health and UNC / Clinical Specialist Occupational Therapist

Previous Experience: Occupational Therapy in a forensic mental health setting in London, occupational therapy in a community mental health setting in Chicago.

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Eating disorders, mental health advocacy to move contemporary occupational therapy mental health practice to a community setting providing primary/preventative health care to reduce the disparities in holistic health care access. 

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Current member of the UNC Family Patient Advisory Committee. Board Certified in Mental Health by the American Occupational Therapy Association.


Chair: Caity Bunch, MS, OTR/L 

Chair since: September 2015

 Email address: [email protected]

 *OT Education: M.S. in Occupational Therapy – UNC Chapel Hill, 2011

Current Setting/Title: HomeLink Occupational Therapist at UNC’s Center for Excellence in Community Mental Health. Community mental health/housing support team.

*Previous Experience: Psychosocial rehabilitation fellowship at Durham VA; inpatient psychiatry at Central Regional Hospital; home health; Durham VA housing/homelessness team

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Expansion of OT services in community mental health and particularly the presence of OT on community mental health teams; OT in primary care/chronic health condition management; use of motivational interviewing; housing rights and advocacy.

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, friend, OT advocate. I love playing disc golf, reading, listening to music, and hiking at the Eno.

*Additional Information: NCOTA and AOTA member; NCOTA Award of Outstanding Practice in the area of Mental Health, 2018

Children and Youth

Chair: Caryn Ellis, MS, OTR/L

*OT Education: MS in Occupational Therapy from UNC-Chapel Hill

*Current Setting/Title: Orange County Schools

*Previous Experience: n/a

*Clinical/Professional Interests: school-based practice, autism, developmental disabilities

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: dog mom, couponer, exercise, reading

*Additional Information: Emerging Leaders Program 2018-2019, Lara Jane Parker Award for Excellence Recipient 2018

Chair: Open

Physical Disabilities

Chair: Madison Meadows, OTR/L, MS, CF-L1

*OT Education: BS in Education and Exercise Science at the University of Memphis, MS in Health Promotion at the University of Memphis, MS In OT from Winston Salem State University. 

Current Setting/Title: 

*Previous Experience: acute care at Level I and Level II trauma centers, inpatient rehabilitation, geriatric care in Independent Living, Assisted Living and Skilled Nursing facilities. 

*Clinical/Professional Interests: assisting people of all ages with physical disabilities to obtain a life of joyful independence. 

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Level 1 CrossFit Trainer

*Additional Information: Member of NCOTA, member of AOTA, OT Department Achievement Award, OT Department Leadership Award, AOTF Scholarship Recipient


Chair:  Sara Atkinson Lum, MSOT, OTR/L, CBIS 

*OT Education: Medical University of South Carolina (2016)

*Current Setting/Title: Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center-Inpatient Rehabilitation (Acquired Brain Injury)

*Previous Experience: Inpatient Rehab, Acute Care

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Brain Injury, Stroke, Education, Research, Leadership

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Wife, aunt, dog mom, clinical educator

*Additional Information: NCOTA and AOTA Member


Chair: Adam Lisewski, MOT, OTR/L

*OT Education: Masters in Occupational Therapy (Bay Path College Longmeadow MA.)

*Current Setting/Title: Wake Med

Previous/Current Experience: Outpatient Pediatrics, School Based, SNF, Memory Care, Acute Care

*Clinical/Professional Interests: Technology use/opportunities across the lifespan, splinting

*Meaningful Roles and Occupations: Husband/Brother/Cyclist

Additional Information (Professional Memberships, Awards, Honors, Activities, etc.): Current NCOTA SIS Tech Co Chair. NCOTA Member and AOTA Member.


Chair: Deanna Baldassari, MSOT, OTR/L


Home Health

Chair: Open

Chair: Open


Appointed Positions

OT Student Member:  McKenzie Bolin (Wingate University)

OTA Student Member: Erica Martin (Durham Technical Community College)