Beth A Ekelman, Ph.D., J.D., OTR/L
 Title: Chair
Program Director, Occupational Therapy Programs (MOT and OTD), School of Health Sciences
 Dept: Health Sciences
 Office: HS 109
 Phone: 216-687-3542,  216-687-3567
 Fax: 216-687-9316
 Address: 2121 Euclid Ave. HS 109, Cleveland, OH 44115

Courses Taught


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Research Keywords:
Wellness, Culture, Occupation Health Promotion Prevention
Ph.D., Human Services, Capella University, 2011
J.D., Law, Cleveland Marshall College of Law, 1991
Post-Baccalaureate, Occupational Therapy, Cleveland State University, 1985
B.A., Psychology, Case Western Reserve University, 1981
Brief Bio:
Dr. Ekelman joined the School of Health Sciences at Cleveland State University in 1994.  She began her term as the Program Director of the Master of Occupational Therapy Program in Fall of 2016.  Beginning in  2011, she served as the Associate Director of the School of Health Sciences. She also served as the Director of the Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences from 2003-2011.   Prior to coming to Cleveland State University, she was a practicing occupational therapist and also was a law clerk for the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.  She teaches primarily in the Master of Occupational Therapy Program with expertise in the evaluation and intervention of adults with physical disabilities and occupational science.   She earned a Ph.D. in 2011 from Capella University.  Her dissertation was entitled, "The Well-Being of College Students with Disabilities: An Occupational Perspective."  Current research is framed by the social science of occupational science and explores occupational justice or injustice experiences of individuals with disabilities. She also is interested in how community participation and occupational engagement influence well-being and how occupational therapists can enhance practice in the area of health promotion and prevention within the community.
Honors and Awards:
Award of Merit, Ohio Occupational Therapy Association, 2011

University Distinguished Faculty Award for Service, 2011
Research Interests:
Dr. Ekelman's current research focuses on wellness and health promotion.  She is particularly interested in the health and wellness behaviors and meaning of occupational engagement experiences of college students and individuals with disabilities.   Currently she is working with physical therapists and engineers to examine the benefits of gardening using a harness system.  Her focus is on participation, meaning, and quality of life while the physical therapist and engineers are examining balance improvements using a sensor system.  Recently she completed a study exploring how participation in a community wellness program influenced the well-being of individuals with a spinal cord injury.  She completed a qualitative study on the health and well-being of college students with disabilities in relation to their participation in college activities. She also is exploring how lived experiences influence the decision to pursue the implantation of an FES device among individuals with a spinal cord injury.  She has conducted culturally relevant wellness research internationally as well, focusing primarily on Mayan women living in Belize, Central America, with an emphasis on occupation applying occupational science principles.
University Service:
Member, University Faculty Affairs Committee, 2012-2017
Member, Faculty Senate, 2012-present
Chair, COSHP Caucus, 2014-16
Member At Large, AAUP, 2014-16
Member, Graduate Council, 2017-2019
Professional Service:
Chair, Legal Committee and Member of Board of Directors, Society for the Study of Occupation: USA

Editorial Board, Occupational Therapy Journal of Research
Research Grants:
Goodman G., Zhao, W., Ekelman, B., Espy, D., Reinthal, A., Niederriter, J. (Co-PIs). Safe Patient Handling Among STNAs in Nursing Homes.  Ohio Bureau of Workers Compensation.  Funded 2015-16,  $250,000.