Dr. Gardner has worked as an occupational therapist since 2005, specializing in mental health. She has worked on an in-patient psychiatric unit where she evaluated and developed intervention programs to address the needs of children and adolescents. Additionally, Dr. Gardner has worked with adults with chronic and persistent mental illness and/or substance use disorders in inpatient and partial care settings. In both clinical practice and research, she has explored the use of sensory modulation during occupation-based activities as an evaluative and intervention approach with individuals with mental illness.
In addition to teaching the above mentioned courses, Dr. Gardner currently oversees the newly developed New Jersey chapter of PARFORE at Kean University. PARFORE NJ (Perseverance, Accountability, Resiliency, Fellowship, Opportunity, Respect, Empowerment) is collaborating with the community of Newark to help teach youth life skills through the game of golf, community activities, and mentorship. She supervises Level I and II fieldwork students who are assigned to PARFORE's summer camp and after school program.
Department/Division: Department of Occupational Therapy
Degree Information: O.T.D., Doctorate in Occupational Therapy, Chatham University; M.S., Occupational Therapy, Kean University; B.A., Psychology, The College of New Jersey
Courses Taught: Conditions Across the Lifespan I, Group Development Across the Lifespan, Occupations Across the Lifespan, and Community Partnerships & Service.
Primary Area of Expertise: Occupational therapy in mental health, with a focus on the use and efficacy of sensory modulation evaluation and treatment for persons with mental illness and addiction.
Advice for Students Preparing for Your Class: "There are rarely “black and white” answers; be prepared to accept the gray answers."