• Dr. Amy Paul-Ward is a Tenured Associate Professor of Occupational Therapy at the Nicole Wertheim College of Nursing and Health Sciences. She is an applied medical anthropologist whose work is at the intersection of anthropology, social justice, occupational science, and disability studies.

    In particular, her work focuses on addressing transitional barriers at different points in the life course. In partnership with key stakeholders, she engages in program development to meet the needs of people who could benefit from, but typically do not receive occupational therapy in settings such foster care, alternative education programs, and jails and prisons.

    She is a highly respected researcher who has published articles in prestigious journals such as the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, The Journal of the American Society on Aging, Journal of Vocational Rehabilitation, and the Australian Occupational Therapy Journal.

    In 2012, Dr. Paul-Ward served as Principal Investigator on the project titled Preparing Occupational Therapists to Practice in Schools (POPS), a $1.23 Million grant funded by the U.S. Department of Education.

    She has collaborated on other research grants funded by the National Institute on Minority Health and Health Disparities and National Institute on Disability and Research.

    Dr. Paul-Ward is a Sustaining Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology, the Secretary of the Council of Nursing and Anthropology, and a former Co-Chair of the Occupational Science, Occupational Therapy, and Anthropology Interest Group in the National Association of Practicing Anthropologists.

    Other significant governance experience includes serving as a member of the Faculty Senate at Florida International University, a member of the Institutional Review Board, and having served as a member of the executive committee for the FIU-United Faculty of Florida (FIU-UFF) for 8 years.

    Dr. Paul-Ward is a community-engaged researcher who promotes diversity and social justice across disciplinary lines and in multiple settings. Having served on the strategic planning committee for my institution, Dr Paul Ward understands the importance of expanding global outreach and active engagement among all of our international colleagues. She is a Fulbright Scholar (2022-2023) working on issues related to disability access and inclusion across the lifespan in Trinidad and Tobago.

    Dr. Paul-Ward obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1990. Following this she earned her Master of Arts in Medical Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University and her Post- Professional Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois, Chicago. And in 1997, she earned her PhD in Medical Anthropology from the University of California, Los Angeles.

research interests

  • Medical Anthropology
    Occupational Therapy
    Disability Studies

selected scholarly works & creative activities

full name

  • Amy Paul Ward


publication subject areas

Citation index-derived subject areas the researcher has published in