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Master's Theses

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Students in the Occupational Therapy program at Dominican spend their last three semesters creating a thesis project or research paper. This major academic achievement represents a synthesis of content learned throughout the program. Subject matter such as theory, research methodology and analysis, program development, and education of clients are applied to either faculty lines of research or projects that will serve the community. Students gather in teams to complete the thesis under the mentorship of their faculty thesis advisor. Completed theses are disseminated to a wide audience of constituents either in poster sessions, workshops, or peer-reviewed journals. See examples of the OT theses below or click link to view student master theses and capstone projects -



  • Task Analysis for a Food Processing Plant: A Social Enterprise for Persons from Underemployed Populations, by Louise Bobbitt, Jeremy Darrimon & Jessi Saaty, Advisor:  Janis Davis
  • Clinical Reasoning in the Use of Shoulder Sling for Post-Stroke Shoulder Subluxation: A Practice Phenomenon in California, by Simon Chi & Naoko Murai, Advisor:  Kitsum Li
  • Healthy Seniors: A Program Evaluation, by Andrea Maffei, Matthew Patjawee & Jamie Thompson, Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey
  • Fotonovelas: A Parent Resource and Education Guide for Underserved Hispanic Families with Autism in Marin County, by Tiffany Chi, Monica Guzman-Critchfield & Isaac Stahlhut, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth
  • An Analysis of Occupational Therapists’ Listening Behaviors During Treatment Sessions, by Steven DeVilbiss, Andreanna Rodriquez, Maria Tolentino, Advisor:  Janis Davis
  • Developing a comprehensive handwriting curriculum utilizing the Handwriting Without Tears approach for typically developing elementary school aged children, by Taryn Clough, Jane Malone & Christina Robertson, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth
  • Computer-based Cognitive Retraining for Individuals with Chronic Acquired Brain Injury, by Stephanie Gella, Joshua Ramos, Julie Robertson & Lucia Ulloa, Advisor:  Kitsum Li
  • Increasing Falls Self-Efficacy and Awareness of Fall Risks Among Community-Dwelling Older Adults, by Dona Anderson, Brian Dinozo, Heather Enrile, Brittany Hutchison, Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey
  • Kindergarten Readiness: The Impact of Sensory Integration on Preschool Children’s Readiness for the Transition to Kindergarten, by Laura Alexandria Boyd and Shannon Logan Sobieraj, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth
  • Circles of Connection: Finding Social Connectedness and Meaning within Group Process, by Julianna Bratsberg,  Aundrea Roberts & Susan Untiedt, Advisor:  Janis Davis
  • FRETT: A Fall Risk Evaluation Tool for Traumatic Brain Injury, by Heidi Mertle, Kiley Richter & Louis Scirica , Advisor:  Kitsum Li
  • Bridging the Gap for First Generation Students (BG4FGS) - Peer Mentoring Program, by Victoria Rivera, Marion Sarte & Ali Wiggam, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth
  • Decreasing Fall Risk in Older Adults with Serious Mental Illness, by Rey Ballesteros Jr., Kellie Hislop & Chanita Panchasarp  Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey


  • A Qualitative Review of Occupational Therapists' Listening Experiences in End of Life Care, by Michelle Asuncion, Jennifer Rabello & Caitlin Silangcruz, Advisor:  Janis Davis
  • Caregivers and Young Adults with Mental Illness: Perspectives on Listening Needs and Quality of Life, by Jennifer Bueby & Genevieve Tuazon, Advisor:  Janis Davis
  • The Relationship between Weight Status, Quality of Life, and Social and Leisure Participation in Middle School Aged Children: A Mixed Methods Study, by Brooke Cappa, Miranda Dabbs, Elizabeth Murray & Amy Lee, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth
  • Asperger's Syndrome and High Functioning Autism: A Resource Guide for Individuals and Their Families in Marin County, California, by Rita Caskey, Laura Pehle & Kimberly Woodland, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth 
  • The Transition to College and Occupational Balance of First-Year Students, by Kelly Chen, Nikki Santana, Amelia Steinhauer & Kristin Tracy, Advisor:  Stacy Frauwirth
  • Promoting Fall Self-Efficacy and Fall Risk Awareness in Older Adults, by Adriana Garcia, Dagmara Marciniak, Lauren McCune & Erica Smith, Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey
  • Adaptation of Older Drivers: A Retrospective Study, by Ashleigh Relvas, Jacyln Torevstad & Max Zweig, Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey
  • An Evidence-Based Review of Computer-Assisted Cognitive Remediation Programs for People with Traumatic Brain Injury, by Mitch Riker & Gina Stires, Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey
  • Practice Patterns and Trends of Mental Health Occupational Therapists in California, by Lisa Mrsny & Cassie Whittington, Advisor:  Ruth Ramsey
  • Evidence-Based Practice: Using Evidence to Support Clinical Practice in Occupational Therapy, by Julie Palana, Carlos Dias Rios & Lori Louise Lawrence, Advisor:  Janis Davis        
  • A Qualitative Review of Occupational Therapists' Listening Experiences in End of Life Care, by Elizabeth van Dyk, Advisor:  Janis Davis


  • Prevalence of Sensory Processing Disorders in Kindergarten and First Grade and Impact on Occupational Participation, by Lauren Armstrong, Katie Harshbarger & Margaret Kuffel, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • An Occupational Therapy Pilot Supported Education Program for Young Adults with Psychiatric Disabilities Using a Cognitive Remediation Approach, by Robyn Hood & Deepti Kumar, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Promoting Occupational Therapy as a Profession to Minority High School Students, by Amy Moran, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • Promoting Well-Being Through Engagement in Occupations for Older Adults with Memory Loss: The Well-Being Project, by Joyce Bodestyne, Annabelle Escueta & Christina Nguyen, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Relationship-Based Parent-Directed Activities to Facilitate the Occupations of Readiness for the Transition from Preschool to Kindergarten, by Michele Freitas, Alyson Nguyen & Jessica Tomsky Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Increasing Occupational Performance and Fall Self-Efficacy in Older Adults: The Stepping-On Program, by Emmy Alexander & Andrea Kjelstrom, Advisor: Ruth 
  • The Relationship Between Weight Status and Social and Leisure Participation in Middle-School Aged Students, by Vanessa Marsh & Roxanne Orsini,  Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  •  Walker Use in Older Adults: Impact on Occupation, by Mark Navasca, Lauren Pillon & Julie Talcott-Fuller, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • Body Positions and Movements of Pediatric Occupational Therapists Working in Sensory Integration Clinics and the Impact on Occupational Participation, by Chloe Conroy, Kerry Gates & Heather Jantz Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth


  • Occupational Therapists' Perceptions of Using Behavioral Approaches with Children with Autism, by Kristi Allison, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • Social and Leisure Participation of Middle School Students: Comparing Non-Overweight and Overweight Students, by Erika Barberena & Adith Greaves, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • Promoting Body Satisfaction in Adolescent Females through Engagement in Healthy Occupations: A Preventative School-Based Intervention Group, by Kaitlyn Buckley, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • An Evidence-Based Parent Guide to Interventions for Children with Autism, by Sophia Comparan & Thu Nguyen, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • The Occupational Performance of Mothers of Adolescents with Physical Disabilities, by Beth Doerring, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • The Impact of Service Dogs on the Occupational Performance in Individuals with Disabilities, by Jackie Draper, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • Investigating the Experience of Occupational Performance and Life Satisfaction of Fathers of Children with Disabilities, by Rhianna Gulesserian & Andrea Pavic, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Gardening as a Meaningful Occupation for Persons with Serious and Persistent Mental Illness: A Change Project, by Amanda Harness & Shaina Talbot, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • Occupations of School-Aged Children with Siblings with Cognitive and Behavioral Disabilities, by Courtney Harris, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Promoting Engagement in Leisure Occupations for Persons Experiencing Homelessness, by Marija Milicevic, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • Occupational Performance of College Student-Athletes, by Ashley Mills, Advisor: Stacy Frauwirth
  • Occupational Therapy and the Occupation of Listening: Comparing Students with Experienced Practitioners, by Monica Palatnikov & Jessica Froiland, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Professional Identity and Association Membership of Occupational Therapists, by Ariel Richards & Rene Ronsonet, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • Promoting Meaningful Occupations for Individuals with Dementia in an Adult Day Care Setting, by Erin Roan, Advisor: Janis Davis
  • Increasing Occupational Performance in Adults with Serious Mental Illness: A Train the Trainer Model, by Ann Ruderman & Vanessa Ghiringhelli, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • The Spiritual Occupations of Older Adults: A Qualitative Study, by Emily Sheridan, Advisor: Ruth Ramsey
  • Enhancing the Occupational Performance of Food Servers Through the Development and Implementation of Educational Materials related to Injury Prevention and Wellness Promotion, by Kiyomi Tanaka, Advisor: Janis Davis

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