Our People

Susan Stark, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Research Profile

  • Missouri Aging and Disability Research Network Director
  • Principal Investigator of the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory
  • Professor of Occupational Therapy, Neurology and Social Work

Susan Stark is a 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 is on how the environment influences the occupational performance and participation of community-dwelling older adults with chronic conditions. The goals of her work are to support aging in place 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 Disease Research Center, the Department of Emergency Medicine and the Department of Computer Science.

Rebecca Bollinger, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Rebecca Bollinger is a licensed and registered occupational therapist in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She earned her bachelor’s degree in sociology from Emory University and her OTD from Washington University in St. Louis. Rebecca has prior research experience with home modifications and assistive technology for adults and older adults, as well as family-based behavioral treatments for children and their families. Rebecca serves as the study coordinator for the falls and preclinical Alzheimer disease study and for the retention of participants in longitudinal studies of Alzheimer disease project.

Jessica Dashner, OTD, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Jessica Dashner, OTD, OTR/L, is an Instructor of Occupational Therapy and Neurology at the Program in Occupational Therapy at Washington University School of Medicine. She has bachelor’s degrees in psychology and occupational therapy from McKendree University in Lebanon, Illinois, and an OTD from Washington University in St. Louis. Jessica teaches courses on environmental factors and participation, technology and environmental interventions to support participation, health promotion for people with chronic disease, and fundamentals of health care.

Sherdonna Denholm
Administrative Support

Sherdonna Denholm is a professional rater in the Participation, Environment and Performance Laboratory. She received her bachelor’s degree in music performance from Clayton State College in Atlanta, Georgia. Sherdonna provides support to the various ongoing research studies through follow-up interviews with participants and resident engagements. She serves in an administrative role with the Missouri Aging and Disabilities Research Network. 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.

For a more exhaustive list of our team of researchers and community members please visit https://cedarmidwest.org/meet-the-team/