Catherine Killian, O.T.D., OTR/L

Assistant Professor
Downers Grove, IL

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Dr. Killian has more than 30 years of clinical experience as an occupational therapist, in hospital, outpatient, rehabilitation, long term care and home health practice settings. She has also held management positions at several prominent healthcare organizations and worked as an Academic Fieldwork Coordinator at the university level. 

Dr. Killian has served for several years on the state of Illinois’ Occupational Therapy Licensure Board where she is currently chairperson. She also developed and co-facilitates the American Occupational Therapy Association’s (AOTA) Leadership Community of Practice. Previously, she served as Advocacy and Policy Coordinator for AOTA’s Academic/Education Special Interest Group (AESIS) and as Professional Development Coordinator for Education/Research for AOTA’s Administration/Management Special Interest Group (AMSIS). She is a committee member of the Illinois Occupational Therapy Association’s Leadership Development Program and an Executive Committee member of the Chicago Area Council of Occupational Therapy Directors.  

Dr. Killian has provided presentations at the local, state, national and international levels, primarily on leadership and fieldwork topics. She has also published articles regarding leadership and fieldwork topics and participated as a research assistant in an AOTA grant to validate the revised Level II Fieldwork Performance Evaluation.

Assistant Professor

Downers Grove, IL

College of Health Sciences - IL

Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapy

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Marshall University | 0 | M.Ed.
University of Illinois at Chicago | 0 | B.S.
University of Illinois at Chicago | 0 | O.T.D.

Courses Taught

Dr. Killian is the Director of Clinical Education (fieldwork) for the program. She teaches the Level II fieldwork courses, OTHED 1636 and 1637. She also contributes to the Level I fieldwork courses, OTHED 1636, 1648 and 1652 as well other courses in the curriculum as a guest speaker. 


Dr. Killian’s research interests include fieldwork stress management strategies, leadership development in occupational therapists and safe patient handling program development to decrease healthcare worker injuries. Her research interest is to preemptively identify barriers to successful fieldwork experiences and assist students in developing coping strategies to manage both fieldwork and life stressors. Through her involvement with both the Illinois and American Occupational Therapy Associations and the Chicago Area Council of Occupational Therapy Directors, she seeks to educate and empower future occupational therapy leaders.



Preissner, K., Duke, K.B., Killian, C., Luangdilok Ouyang, R., Jarek, E. D., Kottorp, A. (2020). The Revised American Occupational Therapy Association Fieldwork Performance Evaluations: Evaluation of Content Validity—Part 1. American Journal of Occupational Therapy, November 2020, Vol. 74, 7406205090. 

Rigau, B., Litfin, J., Scully, B., Killian, C., Fisher, G., McManus, B., & Khetani, M.A. (2019.) Building organizational capacity for research in early intervention. Zero to Three

Preissner, K., & Killian, C., (2018.) Trends and Current Issues in Fieldwork Education, Illinois Occupational Therapy Association Communique quarterly newsletter

Rogers, P., Killian, C., Hudgins, E. & Pollard, T. (2016). Transitioning from Clinician to Manager, AOTA Administration and Management Special Interest Section quarterly newsletter

Killian, C. & Fisher, G. (2015). Primary Care: A New Context for Applied Scholarship. Occupational Therapy in Healthcare


2018 – present   Leadership Community of Practice appointed co-facilitator, American Occupational Therapy Association, Special Interest Sections 

2018–2019       Appointed member, American Occupational Therapy Association, Academic/Education Special Interest Group (AESIS)                 

2017-present    Member, Illinois Occupational Therapy Association, Leadership Development Committee

2016-present   Member, Illinois Occupational Therapy Academic Fieldwork Coordinator Consortium  

2015-2019       Appointed member, State of Illinois, Illinois Occupational Therapy Licensure Board

2019–present  Chairperson, State of Illinois, Illinois Occupational Therapy Licensure Board

2014-2017       Appointed member, American Occupational Therapy Association,  Administration/Management Special Interest Group (AMSIS) 

2017-present   Executive committee member, Chicago Area Council of Occupational Therapy Directors

2006-present   Member, Chicago Area Council of Occupational Therapy Directors


Preissner, K., Kottorp, A., Killian, C., Duke, K. (2015) Validation of the Revised AOTA Fieldwork Performance Evaluations. Funded by the American Occupational Therapy Association.