Neuroscientist Davies to lead CHHS research efforts

Patricia (Patti) Davies, a co-director of the Brainwaves Research Laboratory and professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy, has been named associate dean for research in the College of Health and Human Sciences.

Davies has worked for Colorado State University since 2000, teaching and conducting research in OT.

She will split her time, spending half of her time in the Dean’s Office, along with continuing her research and teaching in the Department of Occupational Therapy.

photo of Davies
Patricia Davies

“Patti Davies has excellent experience serving as a part of interdisciplinary research teams across the college and university,” said Dean Jeff McCubbin. “I look forward to having her leadership and expertise as we seek to support our faculty in their research endeavors.”

In her role as associate dean, Davies advocates for scholarly and creative activities in the college. She also serves as a liaison between the Graduate School and unit graduate coordinators and will provide a center conduit for information.

“I’m looking forward to working with the College of Health and Human Sciences faculty,” Davies said. “They are doing outstanding research with the ultimate goal of improving lives. Linking researchers from different disciplines across the college and the university can lead to new lines of inquiry that will benefit even more people.”

As associate dean, Davies sits on a number of committees to represent the college, including one with CSU’s vice president for research. She works to bring resources to the college’s faculty including pilot funding, opportunities for collaboration, and support networks.

Davies’ connection to CSU goes back to 1981 when she graduated from what was then called the College of Home Economics with a degree in occupational therapy. It wasn’t until her sophomore year, though, that she realized she wanted to major in OT. She actually entered CSU as a psychology major.

“I knew I wanted to work with children with disabilities. Occupational therapy was attractive to me because it combines the human aspect of disability with the medical aspect of disability,” she explained. “It seemed more holistic.”

After graduation, she worked as an occupational therapist in public and private schools for 10 years before attending the University of Wyoming to earn her Ph.D. in neuroscience. Davies designed her research to combine both occupational therapy and neuroscience, and focuses on brain processing, and motor, cognitive and sensory abilities.

Davies, who co-directs the Brainwaves Research Laboratory, is part of three different research interdisciplinary teams at CSU. One of the teams is studying brain-computer interfaces, and another group is looking at obesity prevention in young children. True to her passion, she also works with a program in the Center for Community Partnerships in OT which supports college students with disabilities.

Davies is taking over for Lise Youngblade, who is returning to her full-time role as head of the Department of Human Development and Family Studies after two years serving as associate dean. Youngblade will also continue to assist the college with special projects as associate dean for strategic initiatives.