Salvador Bondoc, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
August 2006 marks one of the most important events in my professional career as an occupational therapist. After 10 years of being in clinical practice, I became a full time member of the Quinnipiac University community as a tenure-track Assistant Professor. My personal and professional beliefs in lifelong learning and social justice have guided me in my growth as a faculty member who strives for excellence in teaching, scholarship and service to students and the community. Quinnipiac University was a fertile ground that nurtured and continues to nurture my personal and professional development. I was honored with a promotion to an Associate Professor in the AY 2009-2010 and tenure in the AY 2012-2013. During the Spring 2013, I was granted the opportunity to pursue a sabbatical leave. This leave afforded me to engage in deeper reflection on my role as an educator, practitioner-scholar and servant-leader. I also had the honor of receiving a Visiting Scholar award at the University of the Philippines where I was able to share my scholarly and practice expertise with faculty and students through research and teaching. These recent experiences and accomplishments, lead me to believe that I am now at a new juncture of my career -- a position of greater professional responsibility in various spheres of influence.Through this portfolio, I hope to showcase my best examples that demonstrate my growth as an educator, as a practitioner-scholar and a servant-leader. [Also see Report from the previous promotion DEC: DEC Report Promotion 2009.pdf and Feedback on Professional Growth - Ed O'Connor and Kim Hartmann.pdf].
Pictured with above are some of my professional role models.
(Pic 1: Glen Gillen, practice-scholar extraordinaire and Ben Herz, educator-advocate;
Pic 2: Ginny Stoffel, servant-leader exemplar)
Teaching and Performance of Professional Duties
In the years I have been at Quinnipiac University, I have learned a great deal about myself as an educator. As I continue to evolve, so has my educational philosophy. To paraphrase Oliver Wendell Holmes, after the mind has been challenged and stretched by new ideas, it is forever changed. I believe that my role as an educator is to challenge and expand the minds of students so they may think holistically and critically about issues and inspire them to take action based on reflection. Over the recent years, my thinking and beliefs about education have been influenced by themes from social-cognitive psychology and the learning paradigm. I am excited at the prospects of change in the academic climate at the University as we are shepherded into the New Synthesis.
Given the developmental-humanistic orientation of the occupational therapy department, I believe that a student's choice and personal preferences, sense of meaning and intentions must be understood and respected to foster a sense of security and healthy sense of self-efficacy. I also believe that students must be provided multiple avenues to experience the just-right combination of challenges and successes. To this end, I have embraced a set of assumptions that has guided my educational philosophy and practices:
- While students should be encouraged to choose their learning goals, it is our duty to shed light and model the various and multi-tiered ways to get there so they are more informed about their choices and more intentional in their learning.
- Students are more ready to embrace learning when they know how to better learn and when they develop a broader understanding of what they learn, and deeper appreciation of why they learn.
- Deep learning is best acquired when the learning is problem-centered, context-based, pragmatic, and relates to the learner.
- Assignments and assessments should be multi-dimensional and not merely used for gauging a student's ability to recall or report back information. Rather, when used in a formative way and combined with meaningful, intentional feedback, they can be powerful tools of learning and source of intrinsic motivation.
- Ultimately, the goal of learning is to foster the desire for more learning. The intrinsic need to gain competency (mastery) and experience a sense of purpose, are powerful motivators for lifelong learning.
In my portfolio, I have expounded on the above assumptions and are reflected in my artifacts. Reflecting on feedback from students, peer evaluations of my teaching, and outcomes of students, I have reason to believe that my teaching is effective. Still, I believe that I have to work harder so that students not only acquire a strong set of competencies in domain knowledge, critical thinking, process skills and professional values, but also value their learning, and have a healthy sense of self-efficacy.
Students have consistently expressed their high satisfaction over what they perceive as my “knowledge of topic” and "respect for the profession" (91-100%). On average, most students (at least 90%) also find that my assignments and exams relate to the course objectives. Instead of feeling settled about this, I am concerned about the minority number of students who struggle or don’t see the connections. To address this concern, I seek and participate in many professional development and peer mentoring opportunities within the University and through education and professional practice conferences so as to engage other faculty in dialogue and learn of their perspectives about what works for them in higher education. I also continue to immerse myself and informally “experiment” on active teaching-learning methodologies (e.g., flipped classroom, writing to learn, technology-enhanced teaching, interprofessional education, etc.). My syllabi and course materials are in constant state of evolution as I see learning outcomes as moving targets. Furthermore, I have linked my professional development as an educator to scholarship by becoming more immersed in the scholarship of teaching and learning, which to date, has resulted in peer-reviewed presentations at the national level and publication.
I am encouraged when students on fieldwork or former students at their entry-level employment contact me and share their “a-ha!” moments and excitement on the relevance of their acquired knowledge in solving real-world/clinical situations. I am also encouraged when students ask questions about their career trajectory in my areas of expertise which translates to the beginnings of a lifelong learner. But there is more to be done not only in the classroom but also outside of the classroom. One very important development within the University is a shift in the philosophy of advisement that emphasize professional competencies and personal development of the student. I have always believed in the proverbial, teach a man to fish, as a figurative for fostering the students’ potential. Students realization of this potential and exemplify outstanding achievement by receiving undergraduate research fellowship grants (QUIP-RS/SURF), presenting at the state (ConnOTA, NYSOTA) and national (AOTA, SSO) conferences, and national publications (SIS Quarterly, OT Practice).
Pictured above are two former student-mentees who have gone to engage in scholarship at their respective places of employment and recently presented their work at the 2012 AOTA Conference: Lauren Bonacci (Memorial Sloan Kettering) and Bill Finley (NYU Medical Center)
Scholarship and Professional Development
My scholarship and professional development activities are linked to my areas of teaching in the OT curriculum. My main scholarly pursuits seek to answer clinical questions within physical rehabilitation and geriatric rehabilitation/productive aging. Within physical rehab, I am particularly interested in the applicability of evidence-based interventions for clients with chronic brain stroke. I contribute to the expansive body of literature on stroke rehabilitation by answering “so what?” questions among clinical practitioners. While basic science and translational research on stroke interventions grow at an incredibly rapid pace, clinicians are left behind with finding ways to apply research into practice. To that end, I have designed studies that specifically target subsets of the stroke population (i.e., clients who are perceived to have reached their maximum potential for functional recovery following moderate-to-severe neurological impairments; and clients with chronic stroke whose motor skills are complicated with significant musculoskeletal impairments). These participants are routinely excluded from current trials and seem to be overlooked by researchers in large research institutions; yet, these are the clients who represent the stroke statistics of having significant impairments and disability. I envision a greater translation of research evidence into practice, not for a few who fit the criteria or have financial and socio-geographic means to access treatment, but to the vast majority of stroke survivors living with their disability beyond the timelines of a traditional rehabilitation continuum. To date, I have given presentations nationally and internationally about this thread.
Within geriatric rehabilitation/productive aging, there is robust evidence on fall prevention strategies for community dwelling older adults with adequate cognitive facility. I began my research along this thread but with a focus on how person-centric interventions (e.g., exercises) may be embedded in naturally occurring occupations in place (e.g., leisure/recreational programs), while also helping clients revisit past occupations that may have been given up due to physical and socio-economic constraints. I employ occupational therapy interventions through novel contexts such as virtual reality games within face-to-face social settings. I have also expanded this line of research to exploring the occupational needs of the frail or pre-frail older adults. As with clients who are perceived by clinicians as having maximized their rehab potential, frail or pre-frail older adults tend be perceived by the rehab community as non-rehab candidates unless a catastrophic illness or condition (e.g., fracture, systems infection, etc.) has occurred. I see the value of my scholarship in raising awareness in the rehab community that occupational therapy has a role to play in delaying the effects of frailty. My vision for this line of research is to see a more integrative collaboration among rehabilitation professionals and geriatric practitioners and researchers. To date, I have presented and published my work within occupational therapy venues nationally and internationally (e.g., WFOT) as well as in interdisciplinary venues (i.e, ACRM-ASNR conference; ACRM abstract).
My professional development and scholarship in physical rehabilitation has lead to the attainment of Board Certification in Physical Rehabilitation (BCPR) credential in recognition for contributions to the profession’s growth, advanced or specialized level of practice, and high-level knowledge, skills, and attitudes in the area. The BCPR compliments my credential as Certified Hand Therapist (CHT).
Service to the University, Community and the Profession
My service activities support the mission of the University and the occupational therapy department that aim to foster graduates who are able to engage in real-world issues by thinking critically and considering diverse perspectives while maintaining a strong sense of community. My volunteer work within the immediate Hamden community (Partnership for Adult DayCare, SCSU Clinic, Griffin Hospital PD Group) not only provides service to agencies for older adult and chronically disabled groups but also offers opportunities for students to learn about issues of participation and occupational injustice among these groups. I have also engaged students in service learning experiences abroad through the Schweitzer OT - PT trips to Nicaragua and Guatemala. Students consistently comment about the transformational effect of these experiences on their personal and professional development.
At the University level, I actively pursue committee work that has direct impact on faculty roles and duties. I approach the work not to gain a position of influence but as an opportunity to gain a broader perspective and see the connections at a global scale so I may reflect on how I can best serve my colleagues and constituents. I am proud to have served and be associated with three important committees: The Collaborative’s EESS, Senate Committee on Research Policies and Senate Committee on Aims, Objectives and Future Plans.
At the Professional level, I have served in various capacities including leadership positions that are aligned with my scholarship and teaching. The overarching themes are professional development and evidence-based practice. I served as the Chair of Physical Disabilities Special Interest Section (SIS) and as Quarterly Editor for Administration and Management SIS. I also served as Board Member for Professional Development and Conference Convener for the Connecticut Occupational Therapy Association. The value of my contributions are assessed through mentoring of colleagues and the quality of continuing professional education afforded to clinicians and educators, alike.
After years of being actively involved in conceptualization and planning, the AOTA Evidence Exchange Project has been launched, with me in the capacity of Administrator. This project is envisioned as a national repository of evidence-based reviews for access by practitioners, as well as a venue for practitioners, educators and students to collaborate and contribute to the profession’s Centennial Vision. My work in this project has also translated into promoting the advancement of our MOT and MSOT students through the OT 535, OT 600 and OT 604 courses as well as the PTE Honor Society.
I have also been involved with the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education as an Accreditation Evaluator, and now a 2-term member of its Appeals Committee. I use my experience with ACOTE to inform my teaching and to contribute to the department’s program assessment and improvement. My work with ACOTE has also lead to an appointment to the Occupational Therapy Standards Committee of CGFNS International, an accreditation body that evaluates congruence between entry-level practice and foreign-based education. Currently, I hold the position of Chair.
Together, my service and scholarly contributions towards "evidence-based physical rehabilitation practice" have been duly recognized at the State level (NYSOTA Award of Merit) and most recently, at the 2012 AOTA conference, with one of the highest honors bestowed to an occupational therapist - Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association (FAOTA).
Pictured above are the Award and the Award Recipient with Dr. Florence Clark, AOTA President during the 2012 AOTA Awards Ceremony in Indianapolis, Indiana.
This executive summary describes the outcomes and integration of my scholarship, teaching, and service. I believe that my body of work represents achievement associated with the academic rank of Professor. Yet, with deep gratitude to Quinnipiac University and all the mentors/role models who were influential to my growth, I will continue to strive to represent the University’s ideals and aspirations by achieving and maintaining optimal levels of excellence in teaching, scholarship, and service to students and the community.