Dr. Hooper joined the faculty in 2008. Her research focuses on the influence of personal beliefs and assumptions on practice. Through childhood and early college experiences, Dr. Hooper became intrigued with the influence that people’s beliefs and assumptions exert on perceptions and actions, often beyond awareness. After earning a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Georgia , her clinical experiences suggested that people can dramatically change their perceptions and daily actions when their assumptions and beliefs are brought to light and modified. She earned a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University, exploring in her Master’s thesis the pre-theoretical assumptions of practitioners. Dr. Hooper studied with leaders in the field of Transformative Learning at Michigan State University where she earned a PhD In Higher Adult Lifelong Education. An ideal intellectual home, transformative learning has allowed Dr. Hooper to bring together personal experiences of transformation with scholarly activities of teaching, writing and research focused on the relationship between inner beliefs and outer actions, which she has examined with practitioners, faculty, and students alike. She has published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, OTJR, Occupational Therapy in Health Care, and New Directions for Evaluation. She has also authored several book chapters and regularly consults with faculty groups nationally on designing curricula, courses, and teaching/learning activities for transformative learning.
Dr. Hooper’s excellence as an educator and influence as an educational scholar have been acknowledged through recent distinguished teaching and scholars awards, including admission to the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Roster of Fellows in 2008. Dr. Hooper is now the Center for Occupational Therapy Education (COTE) in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Colorado State University. Informed by her own and interdisciplinary scholarship, the mission of COTE is to promote excellence in teaching effectiveness, curriculum design and educational research in order to graduate therapists who form community, create knowledge, use evidence and forge paths with clients toward satisfactory engagement in daily life.