Occupational Therapy Program

Susan Noyes PhD, OTR/L

Assistant Professor

Office Location




Academic Degrees

  • PhD in Adult Learning, Lesley University
  • MS in Adult Education, University of Southern Maine
  • BS in Occupational Therapy, Tufts University, 1984


Susan chose a career in occupational therapy to work in adult rehabilitation,  but had such an amazing Level II fieldwork experience in mental health that she has practiced in that area for over 30 years. She has worked in a variety of settings including inpatient units, outpatient clinics, day treatment programs, and community residential facilities, as well as numerous grant-funded projects.

Susan has taught in the USM MOT program since 2006. She teaches the mental health practice course as well as courses in research and evidence-based practice, OT theory, the reflective OT practitioner, group process, cognition and perception, and level I and II fieldwork seminars.

Susan’s scholarly interests include improving quality of life for adults with serious, persistent mental illness; developing occupational therapy assessment and intervention with adults who have hoarding disorder; and facilitating occupational therapy students to engage in reflective practice and use adult learning principles to develop critical thinking and clinical reasoning skills. She is currently conducting a qualitative research study on a volunteer program for people with hoarding disorder. Susan has published and presented on this topic and is a member of the Portland Maine Hoarding Task Force.

When not teaching, Susan enjoys baking, every form of dancing, spending time with her three young adult children and extended family, and crossing various items off her middle-aged bucket list!


Professional Activity

Chair of the Mental Health Special Interest Section (MHSIS) of the American Occupational Therapy Association

Chair of the Communities of Practice Committee of the Maine Occupational Therapy Association