Dr. Thomas Fisher, Dean and Professor of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences of the Vera Z. Dwyer College of Health Sciences at IU South Bend, came in July 2017 from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI), where he led the development of three degree programs: the Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (OT), and two Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree programs, one entry level and one post-professional.
Dr. Fisher received his BS in Occupational Therapy from Indiana University School of Medicine at IUPUI, his MS in Education from Purdue University and a post-masters Education Specialist (EdS) degree in Educational & Counseling Psychology from the University of Kentucky. His PhD in Educational Psychology is also from the University of Kentucky.
While at IUPUI, Dean Fisher was the Chair of the Department of Occupational Therapy and served as an Interim Associate Dean for Academic Affairs. During his fourteen years at IUPUI, the OT program was consistently in the top 10% of OT programs in the nation, according to the US News & World Report. Dr. Fisher was a key participant in the development of the PhD in Health & Rehabilitation Science at IUPUI. Dr. Fisher was best known for his extraordinary service to the campus and the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He served on the campus IRB Committee, Promotion and Tenure Committee, as well as the Conflict of Interest Committee. He chaired the IUPUI Budget Committee for several years. He served and/or chaired all the committees in the School, serving as faculty president three times.
His tenure at IUPUI began in 2003. Previously, he was faculty at Eastern Kentucky University and University of Kentucky for the previous eight years. Prior to this, he practiced for 18 years as an occupational therapist, Director of Rehabilitation Services, case manager, consultant and/or injury prevention specialist. He continues to do workshops for TherapyEd International. His lines of research are professional education issues, health policy and applied research with neurological, musculoskeletal, occupational health and safety for the adult population. He has multiple peer-reviewed publications and presentations.
A more recent recognition for Dr. Fisher is he was identified as one of the 100 MostInfluential People of Occupational Therapy, during the first 100 years of Occupational Therapy. There are 67 living. This recognition was announced at the Centennial (100th) Celebration of OT at the AOTA Annual Conference in Philadelphia April 2017.