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Alison Cogan

Alison Cogan

Hello! My name is Alison Cogan and I am currently a PhD candidate in occupational science at the University of Southern California. I earned my MS degree in occupational therapy from USC as well as an MEd in exercise physiology from Temple University. In addition to 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 is 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 in 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 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. Please contact me with any news or career development resources relevant to ECNG 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

ACRM Early Career Networking Group