Dr. Cruz is a earned her BS in Occupational Therapy and MS in Health Education and Promotion from the University of Texas Medical Branch, and her PhD in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University. She has enjoyed a long teaching career, as a faculty member at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, and the University of Tennessee Chattanooga. Dr. Cruz has a passion for teaching, particularly for helping students develop skills and self-efficacy in critical thinking and professional development. She was awarded the Tennessee Outstanding Educator Award in 2021. She has practiced in a variety of practice settings, including home health, skilled nursing facilities, and in community-based mental health programs. She has developed partnerships in emerging practice settings, in which she has supervised OT students as they provide services to these agencies. Her research interests include occupational therapy for community health promotion, particularly with adults with serious mental illness, and the role of OT in primary care.
|Evidence-Based Practice Methods and Application