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Ryan Lavalley

Ryan Lavalley is not currently accepting clients, but would like to connect with fellow OT professionals.


I'm interested in bring the skills of occupational therapy and the power of everyday living to communities and social transformation.


Ryan is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Science in the Department of Health Sciences at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill School of Medicine. Dr. Lavalley has nearly 10 years of experience in community practice of occupational therapy. Broadly, his practice and research sits at the intersections of aging, housing, and anti-oppression. In 2021 as a post-doctoral fellow, Dr. Lavalley was honored with the Office of the Provost Engaged Scholarship Award for Partnership from the Carolina Center for Public Service. He is the primary lead for the department’s Community Practice Lab and has experience conducting community program development and evaluation in partnership with multiple partners including non-profits, local governments, and community institutions. His research has explored collective processes of everyday life and the sociological implications of doing together in community, including both positive outcomes such as language inclusion and negative outcomes such as racism.

Further, Dr. Lavalley is an active member of the occupational science and occupational therapy community. He is currently the Research Chair for the Society for the Study of Occupation: USA, a coordinating member of the International Social Transformation through Occupation Network, and the Chair of Operations for the Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity (COTAD).  Personally, Dr. Lavalley is proudly queer, originally hails from West Virginia, and enjoys gardening and anything outdoors.

Contact Info

Chapel Hill, North Carolina
United States


Focus Areas


(in addition to English)
Capstone Mentor

Community Program Development - particularly regarding social transformation and aging

Profile last updated: February 20, 2023

Listen to Ryan Lavalley on the OT Potential Podcast

  • Anti-racist OT Praxis
  • Racism and Occupation