Bill Roberts, 2017 Fulbright Fellowship Winner

Bill Roberts is pursuing his Ph.D. in Occupation and Rehabilitation Science in the Department of Occupational Therapy at CSU. He has over 15 years of experience as an occupational therapist working with children with special needs. In 2011, Bill moved to Sri Lanka to implement a community-based rehabilitation program with Voluntary Service Overseas and Child Vision Sri Lanka. Through collaboration with local occupational therapists, Bill learned that his lack of knowledge of the local culture and context limited his ability to provide appropriate therapeutic services. Bill was again reminded of the power of integrating professional skills with knowledge of the local context when he taught pediatric occupational therapy at the University of Kelaniya in Sri Lanka in 2012, 2014, and 2016.

In his current work, Bill strives to support occupational therapy education programs that produce local therapists that can address the unique needs of their communities. Bill's research explores the integration of local context into the curricula of international occupational therapy education programs. He has recently initiated research examining the influence of foreign instructors on teaching and learning in a South Asian occupational therapy education program.

Through the Fulbright Fellowship, Bill is excited to work with the Occupational Therapy Master's program in Trinidad and Tobago where he will study the challenges and strategies to creating an education program that integrates the local culture and context while needing to use resources from other countries due to a lack of resources.

After completing his Ph.D., Bill plans to seek a faculty position in an occupational therapy program that will enable him to continue research and service that supports the creation of contextually relevant occupational therapy programs.