Mary Smith, PhD, OTR/L

Doctoral Coordinator, Associate Professor, OT Programs


Austin, TX


College of Health Sciences


Adult Rehabilitation
Interprofessional Education
Neurological Rehabilitation


Doctor of Philosophy in Medical Sociology, University at Buffalo
Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, University at Buffalo
Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, University at Buffalo
Associate of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy, Erie Community College

Research Interests

Evidence-based rehabilitation for individuals with stroke using telehealth
Effectiveness of adapted Yoga for individuals with neurological disorders
Access to health care and rehabilitation for underserved populations
Cultural competence among health professionals

Dr. Mary Smith’s teaching expertise is in the following areas: adult neurological and cognitive rehabilitation, functional anatomy, culture and disability, and community-based practice to underserved and diverse populations. She has more than 25 years of education and rehabilitation experience in the area of adult physical disabilities.

Dr. Smith conducts clinical research with students on Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy for individuals with stroke using telehealth. She recently published her findings in the International Journal of Telerehabilitation, July 2020. Additionally, Dr. Smith leads student research groups on the benefits of adapted yoga for individuals with neurological disabilities, as she is a registered yoga teacher.

Dr. Smith earned her PhD in Medical Sociology. The focus of her research was healthcare providers’ delivery of culturally competent care to ethnically diverse groups. Her results have been published and presented nationally and internationally on this topic. Her interest in diversity and culture complemented her role as the project director for Culture in the Curriculum (2006-2011). In this role for the Center for International Rehabilitation Research Information and Exchange (CIRRIE), her work led to several publications on infusing cultural competence into pre-service rehabilitation programs. In addition, for 12 years, Dr. Smith co-directed the study abroad program, “Health in Brazil,” a reciprocal exchange between a university in Brazil and the University at Buffalo. Dr. Smith joined as core faculty in the Occupational Therapy program at the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences at the Austin, TX campus in 2020 and teaches Clinical Applications in Adulthood, Applied Anatomy and advises students on capstone projects.