Wendy Coster

Department Chair, Occupational Therapy and Rehabilitation Counseling, Boston University's Sargent College of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences

Photo of Wendy Coster.Dr. Wendy Coster has been awarded the Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship, the highest honor given by the American Occupational Therapy Association. Given annually to a member of the association who has “creatively contributed to the development of knowledge of the profession through research, education, and/or clinical practice,” the award was established in 1955 as a memorial to Slagle, a pioneer in the field of occupational therapy. Coster delivered her lecture titled "Embracing Ambiguity: Facing the Challenges of Measurement" at the 2008 annual conference in Long Beach, California.

"Dr. Coster is an exemplary faculty member and tremendous asset to Boston University Sargent College," says Gloria Waters, dean of Boston University Sargent. "She is truly a gifted teacher, researcher, and administrator. I am thrilled that the association has chosen to celebrate her efforts with this award."

In addition to her work as an educator and leader at Boston University, Coster helped develop two assessment tools that evaluate functional capabilities and performance in young children, the Pediatric Evaluation of Disability Inventory and the School Function Assessment. She has advanced theory and advocated evidence-based practice that promotes the well-being of people with disabilities. "I’m pleased that the assessments we developed really made a difference," says Coster. "I think they really helped people focus on what children with disabilities could do as opposed to what they couldn’t do."

Coster earned a master’s degree in occupational therapy at Boston University Sargent College and a doctorate at Harvard. Besides administering programs in the occupational therapy and rehabilitation counseling department, she teaches courses and conducts research on outcome measures for adults receiving rehabilitation services. Her colleagues describe her as a "gifted colleague," whose "leadership style nurtures the growth of others."

Reprinted from BU Today (Feb. 22, 2007), by Brittany Jasnoff

Other sessions held

"Imitation and Autism: Mirror Neurons, Intentionality, or Motor Planning"
Speaker: Dr. Morton Ann Gernsbacher

"The START Initiative (Statewide Autism Resources and Training)"
Speaker: Michelle Simino, Teacher Consultant, SMART Facilitator