St. Bonaventure University

School of Health Professions Faculty

Kent, Darla J.

Darla Kent

Department of Occupational Therapy
School of Health Professions

Clinical Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy
Office Phone: (716) 375-2174
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Francis Hall 244
  • OT 520. Therapeutic Groups
  • OT 540. Occupation-Based Activity Analysis
  • OT 580. Life Occupations: Mental Health
  • OT 610. OT Service Delivery: Pediatrics
  • OT 640. Issues and Trends in Occupational Therapy
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Utica College, 2012
  • Bachelor of Science in Health Studies, Summa Cum Laude, Syracuse University at Utica College
  • Associate in Applied Science, Occupational Therapy Assistant, Jamestown Community College
Enrolled in Post-Professional Occupational Therapy Doctorate program at Gannon University, with anticipated graduation date of May 2023.

Darla has practiced in the field of occupational therapy since 2007.  She practiced as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant for 5 years while working to obtain her graduate degree. 

Darla’s practice area of emphasis has been in pediatrics, working with children birth through 21 years old in early intervention, preschool and school-based therapy settings. Darla has developed a multi-tiered response to intervention (RTI) program for providing OT support services to general education students that promotes developmentally appropriate skill acquisition necessary for academic readiness.

Darla has also provided consultant services for a day-school supporting children with emotional and mental health needs, where she designed/created a multi-sensory environment (MSE) and trained faculty/staff on implementation of sensory-based programming. Darla has provided professional development courses on the topic of sensory processing to faculty and staff at Salamanca City Central School District since 2019. 

  • Research included in Poster Presentation titled: Advocates for Accessible Playgrounds: A Leadership Role for Occupational Therapists at 2013 AOTA Conference: San Diego, CA.
  • Commentary published in PEDIATRICS, Official Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics in response to a study completed in 2011 by Lillard, A. & Peterson, J., examining the immediate impact of different types of television on young children’s executive function.
I believe that higher education institutions have the unique opportunity to promote social responsibility in humanity. By creating a learning environment that allows for the growth of not only intellect, but also resiliency, humility, and acceptance, graduates can extend this into the future of society.

Staying true to the nature of the occupational therapy profession, I believe each learner comes with their own unique personal experiences, backgrounds, cultures, and beliefs that influence their learning style. My teaching philosophy is based on the idea that we need to meet students in their space, engage them in a meaningful way and through a variety of experiences. I will strive to create relationships with each student that help me understand them within and outside the classroom. My role is to assist students in realizing their own potential by capitalizing on their strengths and setting targets that meet their needs.

Teaching and learning should happen through universally designed instruction to allow access to content for all students, regardless of learning styles and abilities. The Department of Occupational Therapy is committed to utilizing the iBONA initiative with apple teacher certification and use of iPads through our entire program. The built-in accessibility features of Apple products align well with the concept of universal design, but also promote inclusivity and interactive learning opportunities.

The classroom should be a place to gain theory and background knowledge, but we need to create experiences through service and real-life engagement that build authentic learning and practice. Every experience, whether good or bad, creates an opportunity for learning. I believe in being present in the moment and reflecting on the past. The knowledge and skills needed for receiving course credits can be acquired through reading and inquiry but are best accompanied by the life experiences that will inform practice and the future of occupational therapy.
  • Family-centered care and parent training for improving child occupational performance
  • Interprofessional education and collaborations for learning
  • Improved access to healthcare in rural settings
  • National FFA alumna
  • Homesteading and self-sufficiency
  • Gardening, agricultural sustainability