Hello, my name is Alison Cogan and I am pleased to serve the ECNG as Communications Task Force Co-Chair. I am currently a PhD candidate in occupational science at the University of Southern California. I earned my MA in occupational therapy from USC as well as an MEd in exercise physiology from Temple University. In addition to my research, I teach a course on qualitative research for evidence-based practice in the entry-level master’s of occupational therapy program at USC.
My primary area of research interest in mild traumatic brain injury (mTBI) in military service members and veterans. For my dissertation, I am exploring how mTBI alters activities of daily living in active duty service members and what kinds of occupational therapy services could benefit this population. I am also interested on the relationship between lifestyle and health.
I have taken a winding path toward a research career. After spending several years working as a project manager and office manager, I went back to school to study exercise physiology and then worked as a personal trainer and group fitness instructor in Philadelphia, PA. Although I enjoyed my fitness career, the long days and often unpredictable schedule led me to consider a career in the health professions. When I landed on the website for the American Occupational Therapy Association and read that occupational therapy was about “living life to its fullest,” I knew what I wanted to do.
A year later, I moved to Los Angeles to attend USC. It was while I was enrolled in the master’s program there that I discovered my affinity for research, and during my second year I applied to the PhD program. I have had some amazing opportunities during the program, including working on a clinical trial, teaching, and developing a continuing education course. I love what I do and enjoy meeting so many rehabilitation clinicians and researchers who work every day to help people live better lives.
Within ACRM, I am a member of the Military and Veterans Networking Group and the ECNG Communications Task Force. In my new role as co-chair of the ECNG Communications Task Force, I am looking forward to working with all of you to continue to make the ECNG Newsletter a valuable resource for our members.
My favorite thing about being an ACRM member is the excellent networking opportunities with people from across the rehabilitation professions. I would love to hear from ACRM and ECNG peers for potential networking and/or collaboration opportunities. Please contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.