Vivian Villegas

What drew you to CPERL? How does CPERL align with your professional vision?

I was introduced to CPERL and Dr. Khetani during my time in the MS of Occupational Therapy program at UIC. I immediately admired Dr. Khetani’s tenacity and leadership within the classroom. Once meeting with her CPERL team, I observed an environment that I knew would foster growth and mentorship as I continued in the Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) program. I hope to one day have a clinically-focused pediatric career that includes meaningful research engagement. CPERL’s mission to harness technology to build innovative tools that accelerate family-engaged and participation-focused care aligns well with my vision.

What do you work on in CPERL?

I am currently designing my OTD capstone project which would involve further optimizing the Participation and Environment Measure (PEM+) with provider and parent input. This technology is designed to facilitate provider-parent communication to help with goal setting but requires optimizations prior to further testing. I believe that I can help to make messages clear, accessible, and compelling to the end users of this PEM+ technology.

What are your favorite ways to occupy yourself, and what does it mean for you to participate in these activities?

I love to jog, play the card game, Euchre, with my friends, and search for the best sushi in Chicago. When I am running, I value the opportunity I have to explore my environment. When playing card games and dining with friends, I enjoy the opportunities I have to build rich connections with those around me.