Debra Rybski, associate professor, has been appointed chairperson for the Department of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy in the Doisy College of Health Sciences.
Rybski has served as faculty since 1994 and vice-chair of the OS/OT department since 2004. She received her bachelor's degree from Ohio State University and received her master's in health care administration from California State University Long Beach. She completed a fellowship in maternal and child health at Washington University.
Her career focus has been in pediatrics, spanning clinical, teaching, administration and research work in hospitals, schools, early intervention and community-based systems. Rybski's work has focused on projects related to personnel training and child health, development and participation services, with emphasis on the assessment and intervention of children with dysfunction in sensory processing and particularly young children at high environmental risk for developmental trauma disorder, and community-based developmental surveillance and screening of children who are homeless or low-income housed.
Rybski has received numerous teaching and service awards that emphasize her experiential and collaborative approaches. These include the 2012 St. Louis Children's Variety Community Partner Stellar Performance Award, the 2010 Emerson Teaching Award and the 2009 Doisy College Clinical Teaching Award.