Faculty & Staff

Scott Truskowski

Scott Truskowski, PhD, OTRL

OST Department Chair

Associate Professor

Office:  RFH 204G

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio

Dr. Truskowski, PhD, OTRL, ACUE, is an Associate Professor and the current chair of the Occupational Science and Therapy Department. He was the 2013 recipient of the Pew Teaching with Technology Award.

Dr. Truskowski is a two-time GVSU alumni (BS in Health Science- ’00, MS in Occupational Therapy- ’03) and earned his PhD from Nova Southeastern University in 2017. Clinical experiences include brain injury rehabilitation, skilled nursing, inpatient rehabilitation, and supervision & management of rehabilitation staff. He has been with GVSU since 2009 and currently teaches classes in the MSOT traditional, MSOT hybrid, and post-professional DrOT programs. Current research interests include leadership in the field of occupational therapy, the therapeutic use of technology, and exploring the benefits of occupational therapy services in novel settings.

Jeanine Beasley II

Jeanine Beasley, EdD, OTRL, CHT, FAOTA


OST Hybrid Program Coordinator

Office:  RFH 216D

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio - 

Jeanine Beasley, EdD, OTRL, CHT, FAOTA is a full professor at Grand Valley State University’s Occupational Science and Therapy Department and is the Coordinator of the Occupational Therapy Hybrid Program in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She is a frequent guest lecturer and has spoken in 19 states and 7 countries. She has authored or co-authored several book chapters and journal articles many dealing with Arthritis and Orthotics. Awards include: 2018 GVSU Niemeyer Award for excellence in teaching, 2017 Honored Professor at the Philadelphia Hand Meeting, and in 2012 she became a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Breanna Chycinski

Breanna Chycinski, OTD, OTRL

Assistant Professor

Office:  RFH 216B

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio - 

Dr. Chycinski is the Level II academic fieldwork coordinator and teaches as an assistant professor within the Department of Occupational Science and Therapy. She graduated with a Master's degree in occupational therapy from Grand Valley State University in 2004 and obtained her post-professional occupational therapy doctorate degree from Eastern Kentucky University in 2020. Her area of clinical expertise is in school-based therapy, practicing for approximately 10 years within this setting, however she has been in academia since 2014. Dr. Chycinski's research interests include those that relate to the topic of fieldwork education (from the perspectives of the student, fieldwork educator, and academic program). Dr. Chycinski primarily teaches the Level I Fieldwork courses within the traditional and hybrid Master's-level programs and is currently Grand Valley State University's Pre-Occupational Therapy Club advisor.

Susan Cleghorn

Susan M. Cleghorn, Dr.O.T., OTRL, TRS, CAPS, FNAP

Associate Professor

DROT Program Director

Office:  RFH 204H

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio - 

Dr. Cleghorn is an Associate Professor in the Occupational Science and Therapy Department and serves as the Director of the Post Professional Doctorate Program (Dr.O.T.) and co-advisor for Pi Theta Epsilon. She began teaching at GVSU in 2008. Dr. Cleghorn graduated with a B.S. in Therapeutic Recreation from Illinois State University, an M.S. in Occupational Therapy from GVSU, and a Post Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University. Dr. Cleghorn’s practice areas include school based occupational therapy working with students with conditions including vision, autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, learning differences, etc. She has also worked as an OT in home healthcare and skilled nursing facilities/long term care settings with older adults with orthopedic and neurologic conditions.  Dr. Cleghorn teaches courses in the traditional and hybrid masters programs as well as the Dr.O.T. program including Older Adult Practice and labs, Group Interventions, Conditions, Research, Culture & Context, Transformative Learning, and Policy & Advocacy. Her research interests include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Use of Sensory Spaces, OT Education, Use of Simulation in Education, OT Assessment, Aging in Place, Health Promotion and Wellness among Older Adults, and International Health and Wellbeing of Older Adults.  She is a Certified Aging in Place Specialist (CAPS) and a Fellow of the National Academies of Practice (FNAP). Dr. Cleghorn was awarded the Pew Teaching Award for Outstanding University Educator in 2017.

Claire Dolislager

Claire Dolislager, Dr.O.T., OTRL, CLT-LANA

Assistant Professor

Office:  RFH 216C

Email: [email protected]

Faculty Bio -

Claire Dolislager, DROT, MS, OTRL, CLT-LANA is currently a visiting professor in the Occupational Science & Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University. She graduated from GVSU with her Bachelor of Science degree in 2012 (major in health professions/ minor in psychology), Master of Science degree in occupational therapy from GVSU in 2014, and Post-Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from St. Catherine University in 2022. Dr. Dolislager has experience in acute care and hospital-based outpatient settings, including generalist practice, orthopedics, and neurorehabilitation. Since 2015, she has specialized in oncology and lymphedema, completing her certified lymphedema therapist training in 2016 from the Norton School of Lymphatic Therapy. Dr. Dolislager earned her LANA® board certification in lymphology in 2017.

Dr. Dolislager is passionate about community hospital settings, community-based care, and chronic disease prevention. Her clinical practice and research activities have focused on improving client understanding of the cancer process – diagnosis to survivorship and beyond – and advocating for the role of occupational therapy in addressing barriers to participation at any point in that process. She aims to connect student and practicing OTs with current evidence, equipping specialists and generalists alike with skills and knowledge that best address unmet needs of cancer survivors. Her specific research interests include demonstrating the effectiveness of occupational therapy services, pre-habilitation models of care, fieldwork education, and preparing entry-level occupational therapists for addressing the unique needs of oncology clients.

Carla Floyd Slabaugh

Carla Floyd-Slabaugh, Dr.O.T., OTRL, CBIS

Assistant Professor

OST Traditional Program Coordinator

Office:  RFH 226

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio - 

Carla Floyd-Slabaugh, Dr.OT, OTRL, CBIS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Therapy at Grand Valley State University (GVSU) and the Traditional MSOT Program Coordinator.  She is also the recipient of the 2020 GVSU Pew Teaching with Technology Award.

Dr. Floyd-Slabaugh earned a bachelors in science degree as an occupational therapist from Northeast Louisiana University in 1991 and advanced to a clinical doctorate of occupational therapy from Chatham University in 2016. Dr. Floyd-Slabaugh’s 25+ years of clinical experience includes pediatric, adult, and older adults with neurological and orthopedic conditions in various settings.

Personal research interests of Dr. Floyd-Slabaugh are primarily related to neurological conditions, concussion, developmental vision, pediatric executive function, use of routines, and physical disabilities. Dr. Floyd-Slabaugh has also presented regionally at the Michigan Occupational Therapy Association and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan, nationally at the American Occupational Therapy Association, and internationally as an invited guest in Zacapa, Guatemala. 


Kelsey Jewett

Kelsey Jewett, MS, OTRL

Visiting Professor

Office: RFH 216A

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio: Kelsey Jewett, MS, OTRL is the Level 1 Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and teaches as a Visiting Professor in the Occupational Science and Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University. She teaches courses in the traditional and hybrid masters programs including Older Adult Lab, Group Occupations in Practice, and Fieldwork Courses. She graduated from GVSU with her Bachelor of Science degree in 2008 and Master of Science degree in occupational therapy also from GVSU in 2011. Professor Jewett has over 10 years of experience working with the Older Adult population, including orthopedic conditions, cardio-pulmonary rehab, and neurological conditions; specifically within the home care setting.  She is passionate about community-based programs, home safety and modifications, chronic disease prevention, and Alzheimer’s/caregiver education.


Kelly Machnik, OTD, OTRL

Assistant Professor

Office:  RFH 216G

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio -

Kelly Machnik, MS, OTRL, is an Assistant Professor in the Occupational Science and Therapy Department at Grand Valley State University. She practiced in mental health, specifically on an inpatient psychiatric unit with adults. She is intensively trained in Dialectical Behavior Therapy. She has served as assistant co-chair, and has been part of the admissions committee and curriculum committee. Kelly teaches courses in both the traditional and hybrid Programs. Areas of research include mental health and criminal justice.

Ashley McKnight

Ashley McKnight, Dr.O.T., OTRL, ATC

Assistant Professor

Office:  RFH 216E

Email:  [email protected] 

Faculty Bio - 

Dr. McKnight has been a Certified Athletic Trainer since 2003, and has been practicing occupational therapy since 2006. She has a bachelor of science degree in Kinesiology, and a master of science and clinical doctorate degrees in occupational therapy. Dr. McKnight specializes in adult neurorehabilitation where she worked as an OTR for 12 years in one of the top five rehab hospitals in the world. In 2017, Dr. McKnight transitioned from the clinic to academia where she enjoys teaching in the master of occupational science and therapy program at Grand Valley State University.

Jennifer Westerhuis

Jennifer Westerhuis, MS, OTRL, CAS, CTP

Visiting Professor

Office:  RFH 224

Email:  [email protected]

Faculty Bio:  Jen Westerhuis completed her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Grand Valley State University in 2008. She continued her graduate education at GVSU, earning a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2010. Her clinical focus has been in pediatrics, serving children and families in home, community, and outpatient settings in the greater Grand Rapids area for over 10 years. She has earned and maintained specialty certifications in Autism and childhood Trauma. In 2020, Jen was voted “Best Occupational Therapist for Kids” by families and professionals through GRKids magazine. She received recognition again as a top provider in 2021. Jen has enjoyed collaborating with and learning from fieldwork students throughout her career and transferring her experience to the classroom as an educator. She began sharing her clinical expertise with GVSU OT students in 2018 as an adjunct instructor, and currently teaches courses in the traditional and hybrid MSOT programs as a visiting professor. She is passionate about trauma-informed and responsive treatment in OT, Autism and neurodiversity-affirming practices, and community, family, and caregiver education to support childhood development.  

Diana Briggs

Diana Briggs, Academic Office Coordinator

Office:  RFH 204C

Email:  [email protected] 

Adjunct Faculty

Barbara Spraggins                  Email:  [email protected]

Leana Tank                             Email:  [email protected]


Page last modified April 15, 2024