VERMILLION, S.D. – Jessica McHugh, Ph.D., assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of South Dakota, has been elected as chair of the Children and Youth Special Interest Section of the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA). This national organization has identified children and youth as a key practice area within the field of occupational therapy for 2021, including addressing new regulations and new initiatives such as early interventions.
A focus of McHugh’s work and teaching is pediatrics and early interventions. In addition to her teaching responsibilities, she conducts research in pediatric neurodevelopment and issues related to vision and youth occupations.
McHugh is also AOTA board-certified in pediatrics and is a staff member at LifeScape AbleKids, in Sioux City, Iowa. McHugh has been at USD since 2012 and became a full-time faculty member in 2017.