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International Society for Occupational Science

ISOS executive board

Rebecca Aldrich (USA)
Nadine Blankvoort (Netherlands)
Suzanne Huot(Canada)
Liesl Peters (South African)
Natalia Rivas-Quarneti(Spain)

Who are we?



Rebecca Aldrich

Dr. Rebecca (Beccy) Aldrich (USA)

Beccy Aldrich is an Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy at the University of Southern California. She completed her PhD in occupational science at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill and her BS and MA degrees in occupational therapy at the University of Southern California. She has previously held board positions within the International Society for Occupational Science (2014-2017) and the Society for the Study of Occupation:USA (2012-2015) and is currently the Occupational Science Associate Editor for OTJR: Occupation, Participation, and Health. Beccy’s professional interests include enhancing and critiquing the theoretical foundations of occupational science; conducting community-engaged research on “wicked” problems such as unemployment; and internationalizing occupational science education. Her work has involved partnerships with colleagues from diverse geographical and disciplinary origins, spanning the northern and southern hemispheres and crossing sociological, criminological, and economic boundaries. Beccy is passionate about developing international and transdisciplinary occupational science partnerships and aims to leverage her experience in this area to help create opportunities for cohesion and innovative partnerships while preserving the diversity that is vital to occupational science.

Rebecca M. Aldrich, PhD, OTR/L
Associate Professor of Clinical Occupational Therapy
USC Chan Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the Herman Ostrow School of Dentistry
University of Southern California


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Nadine Blankvoort

Nadine Blankvoort (Netherlands)

Nadine Blankvoort, originating from Canada, currently living in the Netherlands, is a registered Occupational Therapist and Global Health professional working in research and higher education.
Following the completion of a Masters in Medical Rehabilitation in Occupational Therapy in Manitoba, Canada, Nadine worked in the areas of clinical rehabilitation, as well as community development.  In 2012, Nadine completed the Global Health Masters program at Maastricht University, with research conducted into the embodied experiences of stroke survivors in Surabaya, Indonesia. Nadine has since been involved first as project coordinator and now as an advisory board member for projects based in Bangalore, India around the improvement of health circumstances for individuals living in urban slums.

Nadine is currently employed as an instructor and researcher at the Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences, where she works as an instructor in the Occupational Therapy School and the interdisciplinary minor Global Health. Nadine is also the coordinator of internationalization for the occupational therapy school. Her current professional focus in education is the development of internationalization and diversity in the curriculum for students as well as for staff in OT higher education.  Additionally, she focuses on initiating and maintaining collaborations with community organizations, largely serving refugees and asylum seekers in the Amsterdam area. This focus on forced migration is also included in the PhD research of Nadine. Her research focus is a critical discourse and narrative analysis of both government programs and citizen initiatives which focused on integration of refugees in the Netherlands.

Nadine currently is heading the OT-EU expert group on OT with Displaced Persons and is also taking the lead of hosting the organization for the Occupational Science Europe conference in Amsterdam in August 2019.

Contact information:
Nadine Blankvoort MOT MSc. GH

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Suzanne Huot

Suzanne Huot (Canada)

Dr. Suzanne Huot received her PhD in Occupational Science from the University of Western Ontario in 2011. She served as the Executive Director of the Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists (CSOS) from 2006-2009 and then joined the board as Treasurer for two terms, from 2009-2013. She is currently an Assistant Professor in the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy at the University of British Columbia. She has been on conference planning committees for conferences held by CSOS itself (2008, 2012), in conjunction with SSO:USA and ISOS (2010, 2014) and when hosting occupational science streams during the Canadian Association of Occupational Therapists annual conference (2009, 2013). She has published over 10 articles in occupation-focused journals, including the Journal of Occupational Science and OTJR: Occupation, Participation and Health; journals for which she is also a reviewer. Dr. Huot’s occupation-centered research examines the experiences of international migrants within contemporary policy contexts. Her critically oriented work explores shifting relationships between occupation, place and identity related to experiences of mobility. She has collaborated with colleagues at the Auckland University of Technology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and Norwegian University of Life Sciences to conduct internationally comparative work in this area. Being bilingual in Canada’s official languages of French and English, part of her research focusses specifically upon the role of language in mediating occupational engagement for those in linguistic minority communities. She is committed to helping lead occupational science scholarship globally through ISOS initiatives.

Assistant Professor – Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy
Faculty of Medicine
University of British Columbia


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  Liesl Peters

Liesl Peters (South African)

I am an occupational therapist and academic with more than 15 years of experience within community development practice in a South African context. Opportunities to contribute to the health and development of communities across the globe through knowledge and practice related to human occupation has become increasingly urgent. In the interests of this important agenda I am committed to both the research and enactment of a socially-transformative occupational science that can readily engage with the real needs of communities. My work and teaching within community development practice has focused on ‘doing occupational science’ where occupational science knowledge is co-critiqued, used and co-generated in order to serve local practice needs. Since 2005 I have been co-developing a framework for OT practice – Occupation-based Community Development (ObCD) (Galvaan & Peters, 2017; 2018) – that seeks to engage a decolonial justice-oriented praxis towards a transformed society. ObCD has also been used by speech-language therapists working in community contexts in Cape Town, illustrating its developing potential to contribute in transdisciplinary ways – an important imperative for occupational science.

Although occupational science could be a potentially powerful discipline, we have not yet positioned ourselves well-enough to contribute in ways that might better serve humanity in different global and local spaces. I wish to contribute to the strategic growth and positioning of occupational science internationally, in order for the discipline to build its potential. Innovative leadership in communities such as ISOS can play an important role in this respect. It is my view that the insights that I have co-generated with communities and colleagues teaching and practicing in both the Global North and South could offer valuable insights to such a process.

Lecturer and OTIV Class Convenor
Division of Occupational Therapy, Department of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences,
Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Cape Town


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Natalia Rivas-Quarneti

Natalia Rivas-Quarneti, PhD (Spain)

Natalia Rivas-Quarneti completed her PhD in Health and Social Sciences at University of A Coruña, Spain, in 2016. She is currently working as an assistant professor in this university and as an honorary lecturer at Brunel University London, UK.
She was trained as an occupational therapists (BSc) at University of A Coruña (2009), in Spain. As a student, she participated in the organising committee of the XV ENOTHE meeting (2009) which was held at this university. This experience broadened her horizons and presented research and the international arena as a key strategic scenarios to enrich the dialogue about occupation and justice. Thus, she completed the European Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (2013), which is taught in five European countries, and conducted two research internships in Canada, one at the Occupational Science Research Program, University of Western Ontario, in 2014 (as part of her PhD), and another (postdoctoral) at the Centre for Critical Qualitative Health Research, University of Toronto, in 2016. She also worked as a Lecturer at Brunel University London, UK (2016-2017).
She has worked, both in practice and research, with different groups living vulnerable situation and occupational injustices, such as people with mental health problems, drug addictions, refugees, migrants and/or people in precarious jobs, from a critical perspective.
All these experiences have helped her to question “what is occupational science” and “what is its purpose” from a multitude of angles ad to see the potential of occupation to transform lives and societies. She is interested in helping to engage in critical and diverse conversations about occupation and occupational science. She believes ISOS is a crucial organisation to contribute to generate synergies that embrace these discussions.
Additionally, she has been serving at the Occupational Science Europe Board (2015-1019), post that could bring positive communication channels between organisations and regions.

Assistant professor, University of A Coruna

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