Elaine  Fehringer, Ph.D., OTR/L
Associate Professor and Program Director
School of Health Professions
Department of Occupational Therapy
Office: 2A46 CHS Building 2
Email: efehring@samford.edu
Phone: 205-726-4781

Elaine Fehringer graduated from Colorado State University with a Bachelor of Science degree in occupational therapy and from the University of Northern Colorado with a Master of Arts in Education. She practiced as an occupational therapist for 14 years in Sweetwater County, Wyoming.  Dr. Fehringer earned a Ph.D. from the University of Kentucky in Rehabilitation Sciences. Her most recent research focuses on maternal engagement of young, low-income, rural mothers in early intervention, home-based services.  Dr. Fehringer was on faculty in the Department of Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University for 25 years.

Degrees and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kentucky 
  • Master of Arts in Education, University of Northern Colorado
  • Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, Colorado State University


  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Alabama Occupational Therapy Association


  • Early intervention home-based services
  • School system practice
  • Adolescent/youth at risk behavioral health
  • Qualitative research

Recent Publications

  • Fehringer, E. K.  A grounded theory study of maternal engagement of low income, young rural mothers in home-based, early intervention services (doctoral dissertation).  University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky, Published 2017

  • Fehringer, E., Marshall, A., Pierce, D., & Summers, K., Putting knowledge of occupation to work for transitioning youth with disabilities.  In D. Pierce (Ed.), Occupational Science for Occupational Therapists.  Thorofare, NJ:  Slack, Inc., Published 2013

Recent Presentations

  • Fehringer, E., Hayden, C., & Causey-Upton, R.  Addressing psychosocial factors in Level II Fieldwork:  Educating for holistic practice.  Poster presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Nashville, TN, 2015
  • Hayden, C. & Fehringer, E.  Occupation-based practice: A three-year study of the impact of an occupational science curriculum on Level II fieldwork students’ perceptions of occupational-based practice.  Paper presented at Society for the Study of Occupation: USA, Lexington, KY, 2013

Research Areas

  • Maternal engagement in early intervention, home-based services
  • Educating occupational therapy students for holistic practice
  • Occupational therapy student perceptions of occupation-based practice while at Level II Fieldwork
  • Youth at risk for difficult transitions to adulthood
  • Photovoice: Experiences of pregnant and parenting adolescents placed in residential foster care