Board of Directors


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Mary Ellen Buning, PhD, OTR/L, ATP/SMS
Term: 8/18 - 7/20
Phone: (502) 407-3272
Mary Ellen Buning, PhD, OTR/L, ATP/SMS is an occupational therapist with a specialty in assistive technology. She has developed an Assistive Technology Resource Center (ATRC) to serve Frazier Rehab and Neuroscience Institute. This program supports the translational research goals of the Frazier Spinal Cord Medicine and the Neuroscience Collaborative Center within the Department of Neurological Surgery. The ATRC provides evidence based evaluation and treatment for individuals needing wheelchairs and specialized seating, alternative, augmentative communication and adaptive computer access and control of the environment. In this role she is also directing the clinical aspects of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology graduate certificate within the Speed School of Engineering at the University of Louisville.
Dr. Buning has a strong interest in information technology and during her doctoral work developed WheelchairNet, a virtual community on wheeled mobility. She investigated the use of WheelchairNet as a decision-making support tool when individuals are preparing for new wheelchairs. She is an experienced educator and presenter and has a strong commitment to the use of the Internet and telecommunications to improve practice, conduct survey research, and disseminate research findings. She is particularly interested in wheelchair transportation safety for those who must sit in wheelchairs during motor vehicle travel. Her current research is a national study on the impact of WC19-compliant wheelchairs on the safety of students riding in school buses.
She is an active leader within RESNA, the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America and is credentialed as an Assistive Technology Practitioner (ATP) and a Seating & Mobility Specialist (SMS). She is also active in the American Occupational Therapy Association’s Technology Special Interest Section. She holds a master's degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Colorado, and a PhD in Rehabilitation Science from the University of Pittsburgh.
Dr. Buning is a recipient of the RESNA Fellow Award, the organization's highest honor, in recognition of her service to RESNA and the field of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology. 


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James Lenker, PhD, OTR/L, ATP
Term: 8/18 - 7/20
Phone: W (716) 829-6726

James A. Lenker, PhD, OTR/L, ATP is an Associate Professor in the Rehabilitation Science Department, and the Program Director for the Advanced Graduate Certificate Program in Assistive & Rehabilitation Technology. Lenker earned his PhD in Industrial Engineering, with an emphasis in the area of Human Factors.


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Meghan Donahue, MS, ATP
Term: 8/18 - 7/20
Phone: (715) 232-1419
Meghan Donahue, M.S., ATP currently works as a Rehabilitation Engineer at Stout Vocational Rehabilitation Institute of the University of Wisconsin Stout assisting people with disabilities by providing assessments, assistive technology interventions, and education in the areas of computer access, workplace accommodations, cognitive/learning supports, ergonomics, and electronic aids to daily living/phone access. She specializes in serving people with spinal cord injuries, motor impairments, and learning/cognitive impairments.
Meghan has been a member of RESNA since 2007 and is the Chair of RESNA's Engineer’s and Technologist’s Professional Specialty Group, and a member of the RESNA Education Committee. She started her career in AT in 2009 at the University of Michigan Health System as a Clinical Rehabilitation Engineer. She received her Master's in Bioengineering, with a focus in Rehabilitation Technology, from University of Illinois at Chicago and Bachelor's in Biomedical Engineering from Michigan Technological University.


Maureen Linden
Maureen Linden, MS
Term: 8/18 - 7/20
Phone: (404) 894-0561

Maureen Linden is a research engineer at the Center for Assistive Technology and Environmental Access (CATEA) at the Georgia Institute of Technology (Georgia Tech). She received a Master of Science in biomedical engineering from the University of Virginia in 1993, and has since managed clinical programs and research projects both in seating and wheeled mobility within the medical model, and job accommodations through the vocational rehabilitation model. Her current research interests include job accommodation use and related employment barriers, seating support surface development and characterization, mobility device use characterization, and facilitators for post-secondary education in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) for students with disabilities. Within RESNA, Linden has served on the Meetings committee and Standards board, and has chaired the Student Design Competition committee. In 2012, she received of the RESNA Distinguished Service Award.

Board Member

Board Member John Anschutz
John Anschutz, ATP, RET
Term: 8/16 - 7/19
Phone: W (404) 350-3110
In 1985 I worked as student with the VA R&D group in Atlanta GA and produced a computer controlled exercise/video game system which helped the VA gain a several million dollar grant in the area of motivational exercise. Another project I worked on was the graphical mapping of brainwaves on a computer screen using custom hardware from an electrical engineering student. The goal was to be able to detect when patients were in a lighter sleep so that nursing could perform procedures and tests while avoiding waking the patient from a deeper sleep.
These and other student projects were shown to the BOD of Shepherd Center and in April of 1986 they created a new department called the Rehab Engineering Research and Development department. I was the 1st employee of that group paid by Shepherd Center. I created microcontroller interfaces to allow the Shepherd clone pcs to use the adaptive technology like PRCs Control One and a system from DU-IT. I created a communication system for a patient that was similar to words+ ezkeys called WordPro that helped a client with a brain stem injury to communicate, save and print notes, and to use a text to speech voice synthesizer. It used pre-stored phrases and abbreviation expansion. The scan was arranged vertically based on input from the OTs about how the patient could best move his eyes. The system also had nurse call integration. That patient would not have been admitted without my ability to help this individual. Later, I wrote an assembly language utility that provided StickyKeys functionality before that was available and all of our patients who needed it were given copies. I made back-up Ventilator alarm systems for our hospital for the Early Bear One Ventilator which was before there was built in External alarm signal available for use. In later years I worked with companies to install a system that is still used today at our facility. More recently the diaphragmatic pacer also had need for a backup alerting system that I created. For an early Morse code interface called the PC-AID, I modified the program to default to short tones for both dot and dash as my client was unable to use the system with standard short dot long dash tone that was hard coded for default. For the 1st wireless RERC I created a serialkeys program with extended capability to include the thumbwheel for the original Blackberry 950. This work allowed a client in the Boston area to attend college as he had an independent way to call for help using the system. The ability to call for help was a requirement of the university. This was beautiful because it allowed the client to generate language with the efficiency from their Augmentative communication system and operate the Blackberry with their preferred user interface. I also created a way to use the RIM or Blackberry 950 as a data collection device to monitor weight shift activity.
In short I have been doing these sorts of things for the last 30 years at Shepherd Center for our facility and our clients.

Board Member

Patricia Bahr Photo
Patricia Bahr, MSE, ATP, RET
Term: 8/17 - 7/20
Phone: (319) 335-5280

Patricia (Patti) Bahr, MSE, ATP, RET is Director of the Iowa Center for Assistive Technology Education and Research (ICATER) in the College of Education at the University of Iowa. ICATER’s primary purpose is to provide assistive technology (AT) and Universal Design for Learning (UDL) training for pre-service and in-service teachers so that students with disabilities are engaged in the general education classroom.  Patti also provides AT consultations for individuals of all ages with disabilities. Research collaboration is also underway. Before coming to ICATER, Patti worked at a Gillette Children’s Specialty Healthcare in St. Paul for 24 years as a rehabilitation engineer and supervisor of Mobile Outreach Clinic. Patti’s degrees in Biomedical Engineering and Biomechanics are from the University of Iowa. Patti served as treasurer on the board of directors of the Rehabilitation Engineering and Assistive Technology Society of North America (RESNA). She is also an active participant on the Iowa Assistive Technology Leadership Team through the Iowa Department of Education. Patti presents at the university, throughout the state and the nation. Patti recently developed a graduate course on Universal Design and Accessibility for Online Learning. Selected titles of recent presentations include the following.

  • The Double Robot: Telepresence Robots in Education
  • Assistive Technology for Writing Across Platforms
  • Text Readers: Helping Students Access Grade Level Text
  • Build My Advocacy Projects with Technology
  • Google Technology As Inclusive Practice for Universal Design
  • Notetaking with Smart Pens and Notability
  • “SETT” - Example for High School and College
  • Technology to help you Organize
  • Twice-Exceptionality: Actualizing Student Potential Through Assistive Technology
  • iPad Access for the Marginal Touch User
  • Captioned Videos for Content Presentation, Student Engagement and Student Expression in All Classrooms

Board Member

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Dan Cochrane, MA, MS, ATP
Term: 8/18 - 7/21
Phone: W (630) 768-1460

Dan Cochrane is district-wide assistive technology specialist/coordinator for Community Unit School District 200 in Wheaton and Warrenville near Chicago, IL. He is a special education teacher who taught at the elementary level for seven years while also serving on the district’s assistive technology team one day a week. In 2006, his assistive technology position became full-time. He works with school teams and parents to implement and integrate assistive technology and accessible instructional materials for students with disabilities. He holds an MA in Special Education from National Louis University in Chicago and an MS in Disability and Human Development from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where he developed a special interest in the intersection of disability theory and assistive technology

Board Member

Photo of Carmen DiGiovine
Carmen DiGiovine, PhD, ATP/SMS, RET
Term: 8/18 - 7/21
Phone: 614-293-7876

Carmen P. DiGiovine, PhD, ATP/SMS, RET, has been working in the fields of rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology for over 20 years. Currently he is a Rehabilitation Engineer and Clinical Associate Professor in the Occupational Therapy Division-School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences at The Ohio State University. He is also the Program Director for the Assistive Technology Center at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center, where he is developing a state-of-the-art and comprehensive program to expand existing assistive technology and rehabilitation technology services. Dr. DiGiovine’s current research and development interests include assistive technology commercialization, manual wheelchair propulsion biomechanics, power wheelchair driving and pressure ulcer development. He is an active member of RESNA, where he has served as Chair of the RESNA Professional Standards Board (PSB), and holds RESNA certifications as an Assistive Technology Professional (ATP), Seating and Mobility Specialist (SMS) and Rehabilitation Engineering Technologist (RET). He is also a member of the IEEE Engineering and Medicine and Biology (EMB) Society and the Biomedical Engineering Society (BMES). Dr. DiGiovine was recently recognized by RESNA with the 2015 Samuel McFarland Memorial Mentorship Award, for his past and continuing efforts to mentor emerging professionals and students. 

Board Member

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Doug Gayton, MMM CD ATP RESNA Fellow
Term: 8/16 - 7/19
Phone: (778) 877-1394
Doug Gayton is a retired ATP with extensive experience in facility and community based rehabilitation focused upon spinal cord injury and acquired brain injury, with a specialized interest in the assessment and provision of augmentative and alternative communication systems. His retirement activities continue to involve provision of service from the perspective of participating on seven not-for-profit volunteer boards including veterans and several RESNA interests.

Board Member

Rita Stanley Photo
Rita Stanley,
Term: 8/18 - 7/21
Phone: (704) 846-4096

Rita Stanley is the Vice President of Sunrise Medical. She brings in-depth knowledge resulting from 34 years of experience related to durable medical equipment and complex rehab technology (CRT). Her expertise includes strong knowledge of assistive technology, clinical application, federal and state funding legislation and regulation regarding CRT, coverage, coding and payment policy with federal and private payers, manufacturing requirements for translating research and new products to market, and lobbying/advocacy. She has detailed knowledge of the history, current challenges and opportunities, as well as a solid understanding of the perspectives of various stakeholder groups associated with CRT/AT and is a recognized thought leader by industry colleagues and influential policy makers.

Board Member

Rajesh Pagadala photo
Rajesh Pagadala, MSBME, ATP, RET
Term: 8/17 - 7/20
Phone: (404) 638-0386

Rajesh Pagadala, MSBME, ATP, RET is the Director of Assistive Technology Services for the Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency where he manages a team of rehabilitation engineers, occupational therapists, rehabilitation technologists and rehabilitation technicians. He has over 22 years of experience in the field. Raj also serves on the boards of the National Mobility Equipment Dealers Association (NMEDA) and the Georgia Chapter of National Rehabilitation Association (NRA). He is the RESNA Special Interests Committee Chair and has also been the Chair of the Accommodations Special Interests Group. Raj was the recipient of the RESNA Distinguished Service Award in 2014. His current interests include ergonomics, vehicle modifications, worksite accommodations and assistive technology service delivery policy.

Board Member

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Vince Schiappa, MS
Term: 8/18 - 7/19
Phone: W (814) 558-3932

Vince is currently a Graduate Student Researcher at the University of Pittsburgh in the School of Health and Rehabilitation Sciences. He holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Pittsburgh in the Department of Rehabilitation Science and Technology. His area of research includes studying outcome measures and large data in relation to rehabilitation and assistive technology. He has also leads the University of Pittsburgh's Annual Assistivve Technology Appreciation Event for the benefit of users, students, and professionials in the greater Pittsburghh area.

Board Member

Cher Smith photo
Cher Smith, MSc, OT, Reg (NS)
Term: 8/16 - 7/19
Phone: W (902) 473-3834

Cher Smith has been working as an OT in research, clinical and educational work for over 15 years. Ms. Smith has a BSc in Occupational Therapy and an MSc is Kinesiology. She is a member of the Dalhousie University Wheelchair Research Team and acts as the Seating and Mobility Coordinator at the Queen Elizabeth II Health Sciences Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada. Ms. Smith is also an adjunct professor in the School of Occupational Therapy at Dalhousie University. Her interests in global health and wheelchair provision has allowed me to travel abroad to engage in educational opportunities

Board Member

Therese Willkomm Photo
Therese Willkomm, PhD, ATP
Term: 8/17 - 7/20
Phone: (603) 491-6555

Immediate Past President

Roger Smith photo
Roger O. Smith, PhD, OT, FAOTA, RESNA Fellow
Term: 8/18 - 7/20
Phone: W (414) 227-5625

Roger O. Smith, PhD, OT, FAOTA and RESNA Fellow is the Director of the R2D2 (Rehabilitation Research Design and Disability) Center at the University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee and Professor of Occupational Science and Technology within the College of Health Sciences. Dr. Smith is a Fellow of the American Occupational Therapy Association as well as RESNA, with his major contributions to these fields primarily in the area of measurement and outcomes of assistive technology and accessibility interventions. Dr. Smith has been Principal Investigator or Director of more than 30 grant funded projects to develop and promote more effective measurement instruments to improve the documentation of outcomes in the field and to create new and better resource materials to support practice. He has led five national training projects to improve the skill level of assistive technology and universal design practitioners. Dr. Smith’s more than 25 years of active teaching in the field of assistive technology continues with a focus on interdisciplinary practice and with a major commitment on training the next generation of Assistive Technology Practitioners and Rehabilitation Engineers. Dr. Smith has authored many dozens of interdisciplinary publications on these topics and hundreds of national/international presentations and workshops to advance assistive technology and universal design. A key to Dr. Smith’s contributions to the field are his interdisciplinary backgrounds in psychology/communications, occupational therapy, and industrial engineering, which offer a broad perspective when tackling problems. In RESNA he has served as Chair of the Special Interest Group on outcomes and measurement, the Quality Assurance Committee during the early development phases of the RESNA certification processes, and the Ad Hoc Committee or Rehabilitation Engineering. He has also served on national level committees in the AOTA, including on the charter Special Interest Section standing committee on Technology and has been inducted into the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research.