Ashley Anderson joins Occupational Therapy Faculty
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Ashley Anderson joins Occupational Therapy Faculty

Ashley Anderson, MS, OTR/L, has enjoyed switching gears from a clinician to an educator. She likes being able to break things down into manageable pieces for her students to make it easier for them to look at the bigger picture.

“With my clinical background, I utilize a lot of stories of things that I've experienced,” said Anderson. “As a clinician myself, I think the students really enjoy hearing the stories to prepare themselves for their fieldwork.”

After being an adjunct for Salus University’s Occupational Therapy (OT) program, Anderson joined the department as a full-time faculty member as of May 2024.

Ashley Anderson headshot"While I have loved having a nice balance of student and patient interaction working as an OT clinician in addition to an adjunct instructor, I'm very excited for the opportunity to switch my roles and fully emerge myself in full time academia,” she said. “I’m excited to be involved in the student's educational OT journey right at the start of the program versus at the end when they are on their fieldwork rotations. This gives me more time to get to know my students and mentor them to become successful clinicians. As an adjunct, Salus immediately just felt like home to me and I knew I would love for the opportunity to join the team full time, and it happened.”

Originally from the Busselton section of Northeast Philadelphia, Anderson did her undergraduate work in healthcare administration at Arcadia University. She earned her master’s degree in OT from Philadelphia University. The next 10 years she was a staff occupational therapist working in acute and sub-acute rehabilitation primarily with the adult population at Holy Redeemer Hospital, part of Redeemer Health, where she still also works as a per diem therapist.

She started to get more interested in academia while working with Level One and Level Two fieldwork students. The feedback she got from those students was positive and complimentary so Anderson starting looking for adjunct position and landed one at Salus, starting as a lab instructor. 

“After I started I realized it was a great team of OTs to work with,” she said. “I really enjoyed working with all the students. They were all very motivated. The staff, the students, employees, everyone, just seems like they work together as a team.”

Her current teaching duties include geriatrics, adults, theory and practice, all helping Salus OT students prepare for their fieldwork experiences. 

When she’s not being an OT instructor, Anderson has two sons that keep her busy with a lot of sports and outdoor activities. She likes to travel down the Jersey shore with her family and be close to the water, listen to music and go to farmer’s markets. And she’s a huge Philadelphia sports fan and particularly enjoys following the Phillies.

Anderson tries to make her students feel comfortable around her and encourages them to ask questions. She would rather have the students ask questions than not understand the information completely. 

“I just try to be down to earth with the students. I was once in their shoes as well,” she said. "Some recommendations I have for new OT students would be to get immersed in the OT field, set realistic goals for yourself, but most importantly, give yourself grace. Being a master's level college student is a daunting task, but you are going to be your best self if you take care of yourself in the process."