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About me

I am Assistant Professor (Biträdande Lektor) at the Division of Occupational Therapy (OT) at Karolinska Institutet, Board Member of the European Network of Occupational Therapy in Higher Education (ENOTHE), and Associate Editor of Journal of Occupational Science. I received my PhD in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences from Western University (2017) and European M.Sc. in OT from Amsterdam University of Applied Sciences (2012). Previously, I completed a B.Sc. in Human Occupation and a professional degree in OT at the University of Chile (2008). I am also a licensed OT in Chile and Sweden with work experience in both countries. 

Research description

The broad goal of my research is to explore and address issues of inequity that affect the promotion of people’s health and social well-being. To advance this intent, my research has focused around two main areas: a) examination of political, cultural and socioeconomic factors that exclude particular groups of people from fully participating in society, and b) exploration of occupational therapy’s role and contribution to society by critically analyzing the assumptions and values that guide practice. Addressing these areas, I have primarily drawn on critical social theory to problematize what is often taken-for-granted and promote new viewpoints, reflections, and possibilities for action. As an example of this, my doctoral thesis forwards a critical dialogical approach that promotes values such as transparency and democratization of the research process.

One of my early research experiences focused on the exploration of the intersections between identity, culture, and occupation after forced migration. This type of research expands understandings of health associated with the presence/absence of illness to consider how social processes such as migration affect the health of individuals and communities. Additionally, I have also been involved in research that seeks to enact collaborative processes with people who experience varying forms of marginalization. Building on this work, I hope to continue expanding occupation-based scholarship by collaborating with other researchers and community organizations interested in exploring and addressing health and social inequities. 

Publications in occupational science:

Publications in other languages: 

Book Chapters

Teaching portfolio

I have taught within Occupational Therapy (e.g. community-based rehabilitation, social inclusion and health, the influence of context on health, and occupation) and Occupational Science (models and theories, particularly critical theoretical perspectives) in Canada, Chile and Sweden. Currently, I am involved in teaching as a course coordinator, supervisor, and lecturer at the undergraduate and graduate levels at KI. 

Regarding my teaching philosophy, I use a dialogical perspective (Freire, 1970; Shor, 1992) to contest and build on learners previous knowledge, integrating their experiences in the learning process. One of the main points of dialogical learning is that it recognizes that people learn both outside and inside the classroom. This means that a dialogical perspective seeks to provide people with opportunities to critically analyse new knowledge/situations based on their previous experiential knowledge. Consequently, the learning activities that I use are planned to embrace a problem-posing format to transform learning into a process where students can construct their own knowledge by critically analyzing the world they live in.

Academic honours, awards and prizes

  • 2019 Global Bridges Program (Strategic Grants - Research Area of Health Care Science (SFO-V), Karolinska Institutet)
  • 2019 Ingela Petersson Lies Memorial Fund (NVS, Karolinska Institutet)
  • 2013-2017 The Ontario Trillium Scholarship (OTS) (Doctoral Fellowship, Canada)
  • 2013-2017 Western Graduate Research Scholarship (Western University, Canada)
  • 2016 Student Research Grant in Occupational Science (Society for the Study of Occupation SSO:USA)
  • 2016 Great Ideas for Teaching (GIFT) Award (Teaching Award, Teaching Support Centre, Western University, Canada)
  • 2015 Global Opportunities (GO) Award for Health Sciences (Western University, Canada)
  • 2014 Award in Student Scholarship (The Canadian Society of Occupational Scientists, CSOS)
  • 2013 Ontario Graduate Scholarship (OGS) Award Declined (Canada)
  • 2007 The Linnaeus–Palme Scholarship (Linnaeus-Palme Foundation, Sweden)
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