Faculty and Staff
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. 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 BS 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 BA 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 masters of 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
Clinical Research Supervisor
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.
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.
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 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 serves as a research assistant/coordinator for 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 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 caregiving and she has also written, recorded and produced four music albums.
Szu-Wei Chen, PhD
Postdoctoral Research Associate
Szu-Wei Chen is a postdoctoral research associate in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. She holds a bachelor’s and research master’s degree in
occupational therapy from National Taiwan University, and has clinical experience in home health, home modification, job accommodation, and assistive technology services in Taiwan. In 2020, she graduated from New York University with a PhD in occupational therapy. Her research focuses on leisure participation and health promotion in older adults and people with disabilities. Szu-Wei is responsible for co-mentoring students on their individual studies, supervises graduate assistants on lab research work, and provides research support to different lab projects. She is also developing her own research agenda while being a research trainee in the lab.
Holly Hollingsworth, PhD
Holly Hollingsworth is a research statistician for the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. He also supports the research activities of other laboratories. Holly earned his doctoral degree in applied statistics at the University of Illinois, Urbana. He recently retired as an Associate Research Professor in the Program in Occupational Therapy where he contributed to the development of instruments and analyses of measures of activity participation in the community for people with disabilities. He has reviewed nearly 300 papers for the Archives of Physical Medicine and has reviewed grant applications for the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research for over 20 years.
Hamza Iqbal is a research assistant in the Participation, Environment, and Performance Laboratory. Hamza earned his bachelor’s degree in mathematics from the University of Missouri – Columbia. He has conducted research on transgenic mice and Parkinson’s in Dr. Ilker Ozden’s lab at the University of Missouri, and at Washington University is currently working on data analysis and organization.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Karly Phipps is a licensed occupational therapy assistant in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She holds an AA in Occupational Therapy Assistant from Parkland College in Champaign, IL and a BS in Psychology from Eastern Illinois University. She works on the Falls and AD study, and will be completing yearly assessments for participants.
Yan Yan is a Professor of Clinical Epidemiology in the Division of Public Health Sciences and a Professor of Biostatistics in the Division of Biostatistics at Washington University. Yan was a physician in China and earned a master’s degree in applied demography from Georgetown University and a master’s degree in biostatistics and a doctorate in epidemiology from Johns Hopkins School of Public Health. He routinely uses updated epidemiological/biostatistical methods to support clinical and population health research in the medical community.
Audrey Keleman is a PhD student in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She graduated from Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Applied Science in Exercise Science and received her MSOT from Washington University. She is interested in improving the participation of community-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions. Her current research focuses on falls and functional cognition in early Alzheimer disease.