University Profiles

Thomas Mernar

Thomas J. Mernar, Ph.D., OTR

Assistant Professor

Department of Occupational Therapy


Occupational Science informs the content of my courses and the methodology of my research.

Understanding the form, function, and meaning of occupation (any daily activity that has meaning and purpose) is an important aspect of not only fostering client-centered occupational therapy practice but it also serves to benefit the health and well-being of the clients we serve. In clinical occupational therapy practice, I believe in great value of maintaining a heightened awareness of what a client's level of meaning and importance is to the interventions that are provided. In doing so, the client's experience and doing of occupations can be more transformative at improving occupational competence. My research foci in occupational science has focused on the understanding of the neurophysiological processes of occupation as well as how occupation and environment influence perceived health states.


  • Ph.D., University of Southern California
  • M.S., Seton Hall University
  • B.A., Rutgers University

Academic Distinctions

  • Penelope Louise Richardson Award, University of Southern California, Division of Occupational Science and Occupational Therapy, May 16, 2008
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science Award, University of Southern California School of Dentistry, March 5, 2008



Office Phone
(973) 275-2800


Office Location
Room Secy
McQuaid Hall


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