The Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory includes faculty, staff and students.
Faculty & Staff
Susan Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
- Principal Investigator of the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory
- Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Social Work
Susan Stark is an Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Social Work and co-director of the TL1 predoctoral training program at Washington University in St. Louis. Dr. Stark’s research focus in on how the environment influences the occupational performance and participation of community-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions. The goal of her work is to support aging in place at home and to prevent falls. She conducts clinical trials and implementation studies among community-dwelling older adults (including medically underserved older adults). Dr. Stark’s collaborators are from the community including the St. Louis Area Agency on Aging and from the University including the Knight Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center, the Department of Emergency Medicine, and the Department of Computer Science.
Emily Somerville, OTD, OTR/L
Instructor in Occupational Therapy
Emily Somerville is a licensed and registered occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She received her bachelor’s degree in pre-physical therapy from Covenant College in Lookout Mountain, GA and completed her master’s and doctorate in occupational therapy at Washington University in St. Louis. Her interests include promoting the participation of older adults with functional limitations through the provision of intensive, tailored home modification interventions designed to enhance the performance of daily activities in the home. She has a specific interest in helping older adults manage medications independently in the home.
Marian Keglovits, OTD, MSCI, OTR/L
Instructor in Occupational Therapy
Marian Keglovits is a licensed and registered occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment, and Participation Laboratory. She holds a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from Colorado College and graduated from Washington University with a doctorate in occupational therapy. She also completed the TL1 predoctoral training program with a master’s degree in clinical investigation in 2014. Marian is responsible for implementing interventions for research studies, research coordination, and training students and therapists.
Brittany Minor, MS, OTR/L
Brittany Minor is a licensed and registered occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She has a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience from The College of William and Mary in Williamsburg, VA and a master’s degree in occupational therapy from Washington University. Brittany has clinical experience in inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, home modifications, and low vision therapy. Brittany serves as an interventionist as well as a coordinator for the Institute of Clinical and Translational Sciences Aging Clinical Research Consortium.
Rebecca Bollinger, OTD, OTR/L
Rebecca Bollinger is a licensed and registered occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment, and Participation Laboratory. She received her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emory University and clinical doctorate in occupational therapy from Washington University in St. Louis. Rebecca has prior research experience with home modifications and assistive technology for adults and older adults, and family-based behavioral treatments for children and their families. Rebecca serves as the study coordinator for Falls: A Marker of Preclinical Alzheimer’s Disease, and Retaining Participants in Longitudinal Studies of Alzheimer’s Disease.
Meghan Haxton, COTA/L
Certified OT Assistant
Meghan Haxton is a licensed occupational therapy assistant in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She holds an AA and an AAS from the occupational therapy assistant program at St. Louis Community College-Meramec. She works on the HUD funded fall prevention study providing interventions, completing resident engagement activities as well as follow-up interviews with participants. She also completes the yearly assessments for participants in the Falls and AD study. She has over 20 years of experience managing teams in retail settings and has a passion for helping both clients and colleagues achieve their full potential.
Tyra Fowler, COTA/L
Certified OT Assistant
Tyra Fowler is a certified licensed occupational therapy assistant in Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. She conducts residential engagement activities, delivers interventions, and completes follow-up interviews for the HARP II study. Tyra also serves as an interventionist on the COMPASS II study, assisting with recruitment and implementing interventions to current participants. She received an Associate of Applied Science degree from Saint Louis Community College- Meramec. She holds over three years of clinical OT experience working in the acute care setting. Tyra has prior experience working with older adults during her time as a rehab technician and certified nursing assistant.
Gabrielle Blenden, MSOT, OTR/L
Gabrielle Blenden is an occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. Gabby graduated from the University of Michigan in 2015 with a BS in Movement Science and received her MSOT in 2017 from Washington University. While at WashU, Gabby was a student in the PEPL where her research focused on the relationship of older adults’ fear of falling to different demographic factors. After graduating, Gabby began her OT career at PEPL working as an education interventionist for the COMPASS II study. While not working at PEPL, Gabby works in the WUOT Driving and Community Mobility Lab, assisting with research and comprehensive driving evaluations.
Debra Lewis, OTD
Debbie Lewis is an occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. She graduated from University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. Debbie completes evaluations for the Falls and AD study as well as follow-up assessments for the COMPASS study. She has worked previously as an occupational therapist in multiple settings including inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation as well as at a skilled nursing facility.
Suzanne Lowe, COTA/L
Certified OT Assistant
Suzanne Lowe is a certified occupational therapy assistant in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. She completes follow-up assessments for participants in the COMPASS study.
Jane Conte is a professional rater in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. Jane has a Master’s in Education and recently retired from being a full-time coordinator in the lab. Jane now works primarily on the HUD-funded fall prevention study and the DRRP study interviewing participants.
Nakira Wash is a professional rater II. She received her bachelor’s degree in biology from Harris-Stowe State University. In 2018, Nakira completed the Summer Research Experience in Aging and Neurological Diseases at the Institute for Public Health where she conducted research on the differences in participation and depression in community-dwelling adults with disabilities. She currently works on the HUD funded fall prevention study, where she attends residential engagements, provides education, and completes fall follow-ups with participants. She also assists with the Institute of Clinical and Translational Aging Clinical Research Consortium.
Sherdonna Denholm is a professional rater in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. She graduated from Clayton State University in Atlanta with a Bachelor’s in Music Performance. Sherdonna works primarily doing resident engagement activities and follow-up interviews with participants in a HUD-funded fall prevention study. Her previous work experience includes music directing and caregiving. She has also written, recorded, and produced four albums since 2012 as an independent singer-songwriter.