Ciara Cox

Assistant Professor PhD, OTR/L

Programs and Courses Taught

Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) Program
Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program
Master of Occupational Therapy Program

OCCTH 717 Interprofessional Communication
OCCTH 728 Administration and Management
OCCTH 736 Advanced Clinical Practice: Adults
OCCTH 735 Capstone Project Development
OCCTH 752 Advanced Leadership Seminar
PT          743 Interprofessional Communication

About Me

The majority of my clinical practice has been in skilled-nursing facilities, working with both short-stay rehab clients and our wonderful long-term care residents. I also have many years of leadership experience at a regional and national level, with specialties in clinical and culture development, financial analysis and software management.
My approach to both my clinical and teaching practice is similar. I have a humanistic philosophy and use problem-based learning. I believe that trust is key, and that people who are stressed cannot do their best work. I try to find the just right challenge for both my clients and my students, and use humor, mindfulness and Croí (my trusted dog-therapist) to create the best possible learning environment. I expect great things from my clients and students and try to model servant leadership to guide and lead them.


Capella University  Ph.D. in Human Services;
San Jose State University MS Occupational Therapy
University of California, Berkeley - BA Physical Education

Teaching Interests

Geriatric Care
Interprofessional Education
Health Care Financials

Scholarly Interests

Dementia care
Dogs as therapy adjuncts
Dogs as stress relief
Interprofessional Education


Cox, C. (2012) The efficacy of an interdisciplinary Allen cognitive approach in the care of nursing home residents with cognitive deficits. (PhD dissertation.) (Order No. 3504348). Available from ProQuest Dissertations & Theses Global. (1011482797).
Cox, C.  Successful SNF student internships under new Medicare regulations. Recorded Continuing Education Course Offered by OTAC for 2 PDUs.
Cox, C. (1999). Pet-facilitated occupational therapy: Efficacy in a psychiatric setting. (Master’s thesis). Retrieved from:

Professional Affiliations & Memberships

American Occupational Therapy Association
Occupational Therapy Association of California 

Community Service

Pro Bono Community OT Services
Safe Zone Ally
SMU Pride Committee