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Contact: Paul C. DiNero

Wayne, N.J. Resident to Receive Occupational Therapy Award

UNION, NJ - Dr. Laurie Knis-Matthews of Wayne, N.J., chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and associate professor at Kean University, will receive the American Occupational Therapy Association Recognition of Achievement Award during the 2010 Annual Conference & Expo in Orlando, Fl. in May.

The award recognizes occupational therapists who have made notable contributions to the profession and its consumers. Knis-Matthews will be honored for promoting scholarship in mental health practice.

“Individuals diagnosed with mental illness are often neglected,” said Knis-Matthews, who has dedicated more than 17 years to the profession. “It’s imperative to investigate what types of treatment are the most effective and to learn more about people’s life experiences to better assist them in recovery.”

Knis-Matthews currently teaches courses in mental health, theory and research at Kean. Over the last nine years, she has co-authored and published eight research articles and co-presented 14 professional presentations with students.

A graduate of Kean in 1992, Knis-Matthews earned both her master’s degree and Ph.D. in occupational therapy from New York University. In 2006, she received the Presidential Excellence Award for Distinguished Teaching at Kean. She is also the co-founder of the Mental Health Partnership organization in New Jersey.

Kean University’s occupational therapy (OT) program is the first accredited program of its kind in New Jersey. The program has been in existence for over thirty years and continues to prepare leaders in the healthcare profession. U.S. News and World Report recently named Kean’s Master of Science in OT program one of the top 100 OT graduate-school programs in 2008. For more information about Kean’s OT program, please contact Dr. Laurie Knis-Matthews at or 908-737-3380.

Founded in 1855, Kean University has become one of the largest metropolitan institutions of higher education in the region, boasting a richly diverse student, faculty and staff population. While Kean continues to play a key role in the training of teachers, it is also a hub of educational, technological and cultural enrichment, offering more than 50 undergraduate degrees and more than 45 options leading to a master’s degree, doctorate, professional diploma and/or state certification(s). Five undergraduate colleges and the Nathan Weiss Graduate College now serve more than 15,000 students.