Building Evidence to Improve Practice & Health

Established in 1988


To recognize or support individuals who are committed to the research-related development or testing of theory in occupational therapy with priority given to work in the area of sensory processing. The award is given in honor of A. Jean Ayres, PhD, OTR, whose concentration on developing theory in support of practice was of great significance to the profession of occupational therapy.  

Click here for a list of A. Jean Ayres recipients


  • Be initially certified by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, formerly the American Occupational Therapy Certification Board.
  • Not be serving as a member of the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Board of Trustees.

Nomination Procedures

Individual American Occupational Therapy Association members or a group of members are eligible to submit nominations.

Nominations must be emailed to the Chair of the AOTF Awards and Recognition Committee in care of Jeanne Cooper, AOTF Awards Program Coordinator by September 1 of each year.

Please include:

  • a nomination form completed by the candidate.
  • one-page summary of career.
  • letter of nomination.
  • two (2) letters of support.
  • current curriculum vitae of candidate which must include a list of publications, and/or presentations (seminars, symposia, workshops, scientific papers, awards, and honors.)
  • no more than five (5) reprints of publications pertinent to the award in peer-reviewed journals if applicable.
  • a recent photograph of nominee (hi-resolution 300 dpi or greater)
  • as an addendum to the nomination letter, a short paragraph of no more than 100 words to appear in professional publications citing the nominee's contributions.
  • Individuals nominated but not selected may be re-nominated in succeeding years.

Criteria for Selection 

  • Type of contribution (practice, education, or research)
  • Extent of contribution (scope and depth)
  • Quality of contribution
  • Sphere of influence
  • Recognition by others
  • Benefit to the profession



Contact Jeanne Cooper, AOTF Awards Program Coordinator.


A. Jean Ayres Award Recipients

 2018    Roberta (Bobbi) Pineda, PhD, OTR/L

 2017    Elizabeth (Beth) A. Pfeiffer, PhD, OTR/L, BCP

 2016    Alison E. Lane, PhD, OTR

 2014    Dottie M. Ecker, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA
             Susan H. Knox, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

 2013    Patricia L. Davies, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

 2012    Shelley E. Mulligan, PhD, OTR/L
             Grace Baranek, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

 2011    Ellen S. Cohn, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA
             Jane A. Koomar, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA

 2010    Erna Imperatore Blanche, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
             Mary L. Schneider, PhD, OTR/L

 2009    Shelly Lane, PhD, OTR/L
             Susanne Smith Roley, MS, OTR/L, FAOTA

 2008    Beatriz Abreu, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
             Roseanne Schaaf, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA
 2005    Paula Kramer, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
             Zoe Mailloux, MA, OTR/L, FAOTA
 2004    Catherine A. Trombley, ScD, OTR/L, FAOTA

 2003    Winifred Wiese Dunn, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

 2001    Jane Case-Smith, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
             Wendy Coster, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

 1998    L. Diane Parham, PhD, OTR, FAOTA
             Charlotte Brasic Royeen, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

 1997    Anne C. Mosey, PhD, OTR, FAOTA

 1993    Anita C. Bundy, ScD, OTR, FAOTA

 1992    Georgia DeGangi, PhD, OTR
             Lucy Miller, PhD, OTR

 1991    Sharon A. Cermak, EdD, OTR, FAOTA
             Anne G. Fisher, ScD, OTR, FAOTA

 1990    Elizabeth J. Yerxa, EdD, OTR, FAOTA

 1989    Janice Burke, MA, OTR
             Gary Kielhofner, DrPH, OTR, FAOTA

 1988    Lela Llorens. PhD, OTR, FAOTA
             Kenneth Ottenbacher, PhD, OTR, FAOTA



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