Dr. Susan Avila Misciagno strives to support minorities and those who have limited access to resources and care

In recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month (September 15 – October 15), we are featuring Hispanic students, faculty, and alumni and their contributions to CPHS and their chosen profession.

Faculty: Dr. Susan Avila Misciagno

Title: Assistant Professor of Pharmaceutical & Clinical Sciences

Degrees/Certifications/Licenses Held and Universities (please list full official titles. Include residencies and special trainings: I am currently enrolled in a Doctor of Philosophy (Ph.D.) – Leadership and Gerontology program from Concordia University Chicago. I completed my Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) from Creighton University in 2019 and my B.S. in Occupational Therapy from Escuela Colombiana de Rehabilitación in 1998.

Please summarize your personal, career, and academic journey, please be sure to include info about dual degrees, residencies, fellowships, business ownership, special certifications, service work, awards won, promotions, national organizational leaderships positions, papers published, etc.: I am occupational therapist and board certified in Gerontology. I have held numerous leadership positions from Board Chair and President of Therapeutic Solutions Outreach to the Section Cochair of the NCOTA Gerontology Special Interest group, to Faculty Chair & Chapter Founder of the 2022 MUOTD COTAD Diversity Chapter. My leadership goal has been to support minorities and older individuals with limited access to resources, limited social capital, and diminished opportunities.

What influenced your decision to pursue your career field and/or your current position at CPHS?  My research interests, goal to advance knowledge, passion for education, and CPHS’s mission emphasizing interprofessional education, service learning, and personalized training influenced my decision to become part of the clinical research program at Campbell.

 What is your day to day like in your current position and what do you enjoy most about what you do? My work is divided into teaching, service, and scholarship. I spend most of my days working on these three activities. I enjoy working in an interdisciplinary department the most and collaborating with students and other faculty members. I also enjoy the research aspect of my role and being able to design and conduct capstone projects with students and research with other faculty members to address population needs, including being able to address racial and ethnic disparities.

Please describe any research endeavors are you currently participating or previously participating in? If it is lengthy, please tell us about research you are most proud of: My research experience includes things like Understanding Occupational Therapy Student Perceptions of Team Teaching, Addressing Caregiver Burden for Individuals post-Stroke, and determining the association between Diabetes and the Diagnosis of Dementia for minorities.

Please summarize any additional accomplishments you would like to highlight or talk more personally, about what you are passionate about! Give the reader some insights into who you are: As a Hispanic immigrant, becoming a U.S. citizen was very important for me. First, it formally recognized permanent residency rather than refugee status. It minimized my prolonged stress and anxiety during the application process and having a pending renewal status every 2-3 years. Furthermore, the challenges of stigma, fear of deportation, and language barriers seemed to vanish after I obtained my green card and assimilated into the U.S. culture. I now promote biculturalism and appreciate belonging to two cultures. I teach my daughter (13 years old) and my husband (Born in NYC and with whom I have been married for 19 years) how to best understand and intersect Colombian values with American practices. We have multicultural gatherings for Holidays and have learned to discuss and resolve different perspectives and viewpoints with family. I am also passionate about God and my Christian values.

 At Campbell we believe in purposeful lives and meaningful service. What legacy are you leaving in your life, in your chosen field? As a relentless advocate for fair practices, multicultural connections, occupational justice, and health wellness promotion, and as an individual who values quality research and educational experiences, I am hopeful to promote advanced training for the next generation of clinical researchers while fostering excellence and innovative science.

 Reasons Why prospective students should choose Campbell over other Graduate and Professional Schools: The faculty-to-student ratio is fantastic! There is a diverse body of students and student leadership opportunities. Campbell also offers a supportive environment along with flexibility and dual degree options.