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Kimberly Szucs, Ph.D., MS, OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Rangos School of Health Sciences
Department of Occupational Therapy

Rangos 220
Phone: 412.396.4215

Education:

Ph.D., Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, The Ohio State University, 2010
M.S., Anatomy, The Ohio State University, 2005
B.A., Occupational Therapy, The Ohio State University, 2003
Bio

Education: I earned my PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from The Ohio State University in 2010. My dissertation focused on describing the three-dimensional rotations of the clavicle in relation to total shoulder motion and scapular muscle activation. I also graduated from Ohio State with a Master's degree in Anatomy and a Bachelor's of Science in Occupational Therapy.

Clinical Background: I practiced for several years in the acute care setting at the Ohio State University Medical Center, working with patients with a variety of physical and neurological impairments. I also have experience working in skilled nursing facilities.

Honors/Awards: RSHS Deans Award for Excellence in Teaching, Apple Polishing Award for Excellence in Faculty Performance - Presented by the Order of Omega and Delta Zeta

Teaching

Teaching Philosophy: My overall goal in teaching is to develop life-long, independent learners with strong critical thinking skills. The primary principle of my philosophy is that learning is an active process and requires equal participation by the students; therefore I aim to create a learning environment that encourages students to participate maximally in their learning process. Classroom activities, assignments and examinations are designed to increase comprehension and retention and improve critical thinking and problem solving skills, not rote memorization.

DU Courses I've Taught:

HLTS 403/503: Neuroscience
OCCT 537: Human Motion and Movement/Lab
OCCT 541: Evidence Based Practice
OCCT 530: Biomechanical Function/Lab
OCCT 574: Fieldwork Proposal
OCCT 610-612: Research Project I, II, III

Research

Research Focus: My research agenda has two main foci: the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) and describing biomechanical and neuromotor control changes that are precursors to the development of cumulative trauma disorders and pathology. My research training was on joint biomechanics and I have continued to pursue this line of query with studies focused on work ergonomics, specifically the effects of manual labor and computer work on joint motion and muscle activation as changes in these factors may lead to cumulative trauma conditions. I am also currently studying the effects of pain on physical activity, occupational performance and anxiety. As part of my second research focus, I am engaging in research exploring creative and innovative teaching methods and their impact on student perception and outcomes.

Current Projects:

Comparison of Shoulder Muscle Fatigue and Shoulder Biomechanics Following a Keyboarding Work Task and Lifting Work Task; primary investigator

Testing the dosing and social aspects of exercise in the treatment of chronic pain: A multi-school collaborative approach using animal models and human participants; co-investigator with Drs. Ben Kolber (Biology), Matt Kostek (Physical Therapy) and Alex Kranjec (Psychology)

Posture Comparison Between Various Hand-held Technology Devices to Determine Risk of Developing Upper Body Cumulative Trauma Conditions; co-investigator with Dr. Amit Dashottar (Physical Therapy, Simmons College)

An Exploration of Current Trends in School-based Occupational Therapy Practice; co-investigator with Dr. Jeryl Benson (Occupational Therapy)
Describing Students' Perceptions of a Structured Journal Club for Learning Evidence Based Practice Methods; primary investigator

Impact of Student Response Systems on Students Retention of Course Content; co-investigator with Dr. Jeryl Benson

Recent Grant:

Duquesne University Faculty Development Fund ($9,840), Project: Managing Chronic Pain: Testing the Dosing of Exercise Therapy Using a Multi-School Collaborative Approach with Human Participants.
Collaborator: Drs. Ben Kolber, Matt Kostek, Alex Kranjec

Learning Assessment Outcomes Grant ($1,000) Project: Impact of Student Response Systems on Student Retention of Course Content
Collaborators: Drs. Jeryl D. Benson, Elizabeth DeIuliis

Publications

Recent Publications (last 5 years)

Szucs, K.A., Borstad, J.D. Capturing three-dimensional clavicle kinematics: a validation of
surface sensor measurements. Int Journal of Experimental and Computational
Biomechanics, (accepted)

Szucs, K.A., Borstad, J.D. (2013) Gender Differences Between Muscle Activation and Onset Timing of the Four Parts of Trapezius During Humerothoracic Elevation, Human Movement Science, 32(6), 1288-98.

Benson, J.D., Provident, I., Szucs, K.A. (2013) An Experiential Learning Lab Embedded in a Didactic Course: Outcomes from a Pediatric Intervention Course. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 27, 46-57.

Borstad, J.D., Szucs, K.A. (2012) Three-Dimensional Scapula Kinematics and Shoulder Function Examined Before and After Surgical Treatment for Breast Cancer. Human Movement Science. 31(2), 408-18.

Borstad, J.D., Szucs, K.A., Navalgund, A. (2009) Scapula kinematic alterations following a modified push-up plus task. Human Movement Science, 28,738-751.

Szucs, K.A., Navalgund, A., Borstad, J.D. (2009) Scapular muscle activation following a task to fatigue serratus anterior. Medical & Biological Engineering & Computing, 47(5), 487-95.

Flinn, S., Kloos, A., Teaford, M., Clark, K., Szucs, K.A. (2009) Helping hands for healthy living: A collaborative service learning project with occupational and physical therapy students. Occupational Therapy in Health Care, 23(2), 146-167.

Presentations

International

Benson, J.D., Szucs, K.A., DeIuliis, E. Impact of Student Response Systems on Student Retention of Course Content. Poster Presentation at the 2014 International Lilly Conference on College Teaching, Oxford, Ohio, November 2014.

Szucs, K.A., Moyes, K., Molnar, M., Fatiguing Effects of Computer Work on Bilateral Trapezii. Poster Presentation at the 7th World Congress of Biomechanics Conference, Boston, Massachusetts, July 2014.

Szucs, K.A., Borstad, J.D., EMG Activation Patterns of Four Parts of the Trapezius Muscle. Poster Presentation at the International Society of Biomechanics 2011 Congress, Brussels, Belgium, July 2011.

Szucs, K.A., Borstad, J.D., Capturing 3D Clavicle Kinematics: Validation of Surface Sensor. Platform Presentation at the Scientific Committee of the International Shoulder Group 2010, Minneapolis, Minnesota, July 2010.

National

Benson, J.D., Johnston, A., & Szucs, K.A., An Exploration of Current Trends in School-based Occupational Therapy Practice. Poster Presentation at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Baltimore, MD, April 2014.

Szucs K, Molnar M, Beckas N. Scapulothoracic Muscle Activation and Shoulder Kinematics Following a Simulated Work Task with Low Level Forces. Poster Presentation at the 2013 American Society of Biomechanics Annual Conference, Omaha, Nebraska, September 2013.

Szucs K, Borstad JD. Clavicle Kinematics Following Change in Length of the Sternoclavicular Ligaments. Poster Presentation at the American Society of Biomechanics Annual Conference, State College, PA, August 2009.

State
Szucs, K.A., Molnar, M., Low-level repetitive forces contribute to scapulothoracic muscle fatigue. Poster Presentation at the 2013 Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 2013.

Benson, J.D., Szucs, K.A., & Johnston, A., Current Practice Trends in School-based Occupational Therapy in Pennsylvania. Poster Presentation at the 2013 Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, November 2013.

Szucs, K.A., Beckas, N., Rotator Cuff Injuries: Evidence-Based Perspectives on the Mechanisms of Injury and Evaluation. Invited Presentation (Short Presentation 90 mins), 2013 Ohio Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Columbus, Ohio, November 2013.

Szucs, K.A., Beckas, N. Assessment of Shoulder Muscle Fatigue and Shoulder Biomechanics following a Simulated Work Task with Low Level Forces. Poster Presentation at the 2012 Ohio Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Zanesville, Ohio, November 2012.