New ACOTE Officers and Members

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Lynn Kilburg, DHSc, MBA, OTR/L, who has served in the Accreditation Council for Occupational Therapy Education (ACOTE®) Chairperson-Elect position for the past year, became the new Chairperson of ACOTE at the completion of Dr. Pamela Roberts term on August 8, 2021.

Dr. Roberts completed a second 3-year term as Chairperson after serving for 7 years as an ACOTE member, including in the role of ACOTE Vice Chairperson, and 7 years as a member of ACOTE’s Roster of Accreditation Evaluators. Dr. Roberts will complete an additional one-year term on ACOTE. Her service to the profession is greatly appreciated.

New ACOTE Chairperson Kilburg has been a member of ACOTE since August 2016 and served as the ACOTE Treasurer and on the Roster of Accreditation Evaluators prior to joining ACOTE. As an accreditation on-site evaluator, Dr. Kilburg conducted on-site evaluations at both occupational therapy and occupational therapy assistant educational programs.

Dr. Kilburg has 30 years of experience in the field of occupational therapy. She received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology, Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, and Master of Business Administration from St. Ambrose University; and her Doctor of Health Science from Nova Southeastern University.

In her current position at St. Ambrose University, Dr. Kilburg is the Associate Dean of the College of Health and Human Services and a professor in the Occupational Therapy Department. Her background in academia includes as a program director of a doctoral and master’s level occupational therapy program and program coordinator of an occupational therapy assistant program. In those roles, she has had oversight of accredited programs and community outreach, along with experience on institution level committees of Strategic Planning, Promotion Tenure and Standards Committee, Faculty Finance Committee and the Institutional Review Board.

ACOTE member, Kelli Reiling Ott, OTD, OTR/L, was selected to serve as the new Vice-Chairperson of ACOTE. Dr. Reiling Ott is an occupational therapist and Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City, KS. In her role, she serves as the occupational therapist for the ALSA, Parkinson’s Disease and Movement Disorders, and MDA pediatric and adult interprofessional clinics offered through the Department of Neurology at The University of Kansas Health System. Through her clinical involvement, Dr. Reiling Ott supports a variety of students’ fieldwork and capstone experiences. Dr. Reiling Ott has been a member of ACOTE since August 2017.

ACOTE also welcomed the following new member at its August 2021 meeting to replace the position held by C. Douglas Simmons, who fulfilled his term after several dedicated years of service.

  • Sarah Nielsen, PhD, OTR/L
    Associate Professor
    University of North Dakota
    Grand Forks, ND

A complete list of ACOTE members may be found on the ACOTE Accreditation section of AOTA’s Web site (