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Cathy A. Dow-Royer

Special Projects for Occupational Therapy 
Division of Occupational Therapy

Email: cathy.dow-royer@wne.edu
Phone: 413-782-1423
Office: Blake Law Center Room 219


  • Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy, University of Illinois
  • Master of Arts degree in Special Education, University of Illinois
  • Doctor of Education degree with a concentration in Higher Education, University of Massachusetts

Dr. Cathy Dow-Royer was appointed as the Chair/Program Director and Professor of the new entry-level Doctor of Occupational Therapy Program (OTD) at Western New England University in 2015. As the inaugural leader and administrator of the OTD program, Dr. Dow-Royer oversees the professional accreditation process, the strategic planning process, faculty/staff hiring, student admissions and the development of the curriculum. Dr. Dow-Royer's teaching experience includes coursework in evidence-based practice, research methods, hand and upper extremity evaluation and treatment, and interprofessional education. Her research interests include faculty scholarship in occupational therapy, interprofessional education/practice, and population health models.

Dr. Dow-Royer joined the WNE community after previously serving as the Program Director with an appointment as an Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Program at American International College. Her administrative leadership led to the initial accreditation of the baccalaureate program in 1999, successful transition to an entry-level master's degree program in 2001, and the ten-year program reaccreditation in 2011.

Dr. Dow-Royer's extensive professional career as an occupational therapist includes professional practice in the areas of early intervention, children and school systems, adult developmental disabilities, and most recently hand therapy. She achieved specialty certification in hand therapy practice (ASHT), and also owned and managed a private practice in hand and upper extremity care from 1986 through 1997. Her current scholarly interests include enhancing the role of occupational therapy in community-based primary care organizations.

In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her son, golfing and visiting the shore.