Debora Oliveira, Ph.D., OTR/L Director/Professor

Dr. Debora Oliveira has over thirty-five years as an occupational therapist and as a manager.  As Director, she is responsible for all the administrative duties in the Masters in Occupational Therapy (MSOT) program.

Dr. Oliveira received her Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy from the University of Wisconsin, her Master of Science degree in healthcare administration from NovaSoutheastern University, and Ph.D. in rehabilitation counseling from the Florida State University.  Her areas of interest in research include aging, cognition, and their influence on activities of daily living. She is also interested in job satisfaction among faculty in higher education.

Dr. Oliveira has presented at several professional conferences at the state and national level.  She is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, and the American Rehabilitation Counselor Association. She is President of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association.

She teaches a variety of classes including scientific inquiry, biopsychosocial development of adults, and is a continuing education provider for area occupational therapists.

Aurelia K. Alexander, OTD, OTR/L Associate Professor

Dr. Aurelia K. Alexander has been practicing occupational therapy for 26 years. She is a registered and licensed occupational therapist. Dr. Alexander has worked at the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare in the areas of acute care, outpatient rehabilitation (pediatrics), and neonatal intensive care nursery (Level III). She has consulted with the Florida Children’s Home Society with children at high risk for developmental delays for five years and was instrumental in the initiation of the car seat safety testing in the Tallahassee Memorial Healthcare neonatal intensive care nurseries. Dr. Alexander is currently working as an associate professor in the School of Allied Health Sciences at Florida Agricultural and Mechanical University and is teaching in the area of pediatrics.

Dr. Alexander is a graduate of Florida A&M University with a bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy. In addition, she completed 18 months of graduate work in public health at FAMU. She is a graduate of the master’s graduate program in occupational therapy at Boston University in May 2007 and completed a doctorate in Occupational Therapy in 2012 at Chatham University in Pittsburgh, PA.

Dr. Alexander has participated in her community through volunteering with the local chapter of the March of Dimes, Down Syndrome Association, American Cancer Society and through memberships in several civic organizations that focus on community involvement via cancer research, enrichment of young adults and additional children’s issues. Dr. Alexander is a member of the University Athletic committee and the NCAA Accelerating Academic Success Program (AASP) Oversite Committee. She participated in the acquisition of the NCAA AASP to promote academic success for student athletes at Florida A&M University which culminated in an award of $625,000.00 to the University.

 Among the awards/honors that she has received are: Tallahassee Memorial Hospital Ambassador Caring Hands Award, 1998 and 2007 and March of Dimes Walk America Participant, 1998-2007, Caring Tree (Big Bend Hospice) Advisory Board 2005-2007. Dr. Alexander is the recipient of the Distinguished Alumnus Award from Florida A&M University in 2009. She is working on increasing therapeutic services available throughout the community. Dr. Alexander holds certifications in Neonatal Oral Motor Skills (NOMAS) and Kinesio Taping for Pediatrics and Adults. Dr. Alexander is an active member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and Leon County chapter of The Charmettes, Incorporated, and a Life member of Florida A&M University National Alumni Association since 2009. 
Expertise: Pediatric occupational therapy; feeding; eating

Jian Jones, MS, OTR/L, Assistant Professor & Academic Fieldwork Coordinator


Jeffery Etheridge, Ed.D.,OTRL, Associate Professor


Brittany Nash, DPT/MSOT,OTR/L, Assistant Professor

Sarah Mbiza, PhD, OTR/L, Adjunct Professor

Dr. Sarah Mbiza earned a BS degree in occupational therapy from the University of Zimbabwe, where she worked in community-based rehabilitation, mental health and fieldwork for five years. She moved to the USA in 1997, obtained a Master’s degree in Health Policy Research from Florida State University in 2004, a Specialist in Education degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Florida State University in 2012, and a Ph.D. in School Psychology and Counseling Psychology from Florida State University in 2015.  Her areas of interest in research include aging, dementia caregiving, assessment, and fieldwork education.

Dr Mbiza has 24 years in staff and leadership roles in occupational therapy practice.  For the past seven years, she has been the Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and an assistant professor in the Division of Occupational Therapy.  She teaches a variety of courses including foundations of Occupational Therapy, therapeutic communication and documentation and biopsychosocial development of adults. She is registered and licensed in Florida as occupational therapist. Dr Mbiza has participated in national and state association activities, and was certified as a scholar in Interprofessional Education in Geriatrics through the University of Alabama’s Geriatric Education Center from 2013-2014.  She has presented at several professional conferences at the state and national level.  She is an active member of the American Occupational Therapy Association, the Florida Occupational Therapy Association, and the Gerontology Association of America.

Dr. Mbiza has a diverse range of experiences working with clients across the lifespan, and participation in research to improve lives through outcomes research related to functional performance and disability. Her goal is to bridge related aspects of occupational therapy practice, academia, and research to assist the local community to live life to the fullest, while contributing to the advancement of the occupational therapy profession. Dr. Mbiza has practiced as an occupational therapist in the school system, home care, and long term care.

Stephen Pitts, MSOT, Adjunct Professor