brenda

Brenda Hughes, DrOT, MA, OTR/L

Associate Professor


Dr. Hughes teaches Foundations of Occupational Therapy and Occupational Justice. She is also the Occupational Therapy Doctoral Capstone Coordinator.

Dr. Hughes has OT practice experience with adults and older adults across several levels of care: Acute, IP Rehabilitation, Outpatient, Home Health, and community-based organizations.

Her research interests include health education strategies for older adults and caregivers across a variety of service settings.

Dr. Hughes has licensure in Iowa and Illinois as well as certificates in:

  • Grant Writing
  • Online Teaching and Learning
  • Dementia Specialist Certificate
  • Executive Certificate in Home Modification
  • Certified Aging in Place Specialist

Education and Training


  • Doctorate in Occupational Therapy (DrOT), Governors State University; Doctoral Research: "Caregiver Experiences and Perceptions of Enrolling a Spouse with Dementia in an Adult Day Center: Process and Effects"
  • MA, University of Southern California, Occupational Therapy; Thesis: "Heidegger’s Concept of Care: Applications to Occupational Therapy and Occupational Science"
  • BS, Northern Illinois University, Health Science

Scholarship and Service


April 2022: Peer-reviewed poster presentation with OTD student, "Subacute OT Intervention Promoting Function in IADL of Pet Care before Discharge." American Occupational Therapy Association National Conference, San Antonio, TX.

Oct 2021: Peer-reviewed poster presentation, "Inquiring Minds Want to Know: A Curriculum Project Linking Academia and Practice" [Poster]. American Occupational Therapy Association Education Summit. Hybrid Conference.

May 2021: SAU CHHS Grant: "Designing, Applying, and Assessing Outcomes of a One Credit IPE Course"

March 2021: Hughes, B. and Schranz, C. (2021). Caregiving a spouse with dementia and the experience of adult day care support. Open Journal of Occupational Therapy. [in review].

Mar 27, 2020: Peer-Reviewed Poster accepted with OTD student, "Care for the Caregiver," AOTA National Conference

Sept 27, 2019: Poster accepted with OTD student, Co-Presenter: "Hippotherapy and Occupational Therapy." Iowa Occupational Therapy Association State Conference.

November 2019: Developed social justice grant funded by Presbytery of Eastern Iowa. "Art Talk: Program of healing and self-expression to be enacted at the Muscatine Center for Social Action (MCSA) homeless shelter."

2019-present: Hospice Volunteer, Compassus Hospice.


Professional Memberships


  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • AOTA Special Interest Sections:
    • Academic Education
    • Home and Community Health
    • Mental Health
    • Productive Aging
  • Iowa Occupational Therapy Association
  • Allen Cognitive Network

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