Before attending the U as a graduate student in occupational therapy (OT), Jackie Einerson worked on farms through AmeriCorps and volunteering, focusing on justice. She views the relationship between OT and farming as “the simplicity of improving people’s lives.” Working with professor Alexandra Terrill, Einerson assists with research focusing on post-stroke depression, specifically in couples coping with stroke. Individuals with post-stroke depression can exhibit a lack of motivation, disinterest in activities and low mood. Research has suggested that when one partner has depression it can have a negative effect on rehabilitation and recovery for both individuals. In their research, they ask couples to complete weekly behavioral activities based in positive psychology, such as expressing gratitude and practicing acts of kindness. “Being able to get people back to being able to brush their hair, walk the dog or take a shower gives these patients a sense of hope,” Einerson said. “It gives me a sense of purpose too.” She hopes to continue her passion for helping others by pursuing a Ph.D.
Find this article and a lot more in the 2016 “Student Innovation @ the U” report. The publication is presented by the Lassonde Entrepreneur Institute to celebrate student innovators, change-makers and entrepreneurs.