James Madison University

Faculty and Staff

Elizabeth Richardson, MS, OTR/L, Director

Elizabeth Richardson is the director of James Madison University's Occupational Therapy Clinical Education Services (OTCES) and full-time faculty member with JMU's Occupational Therapy Program. She earned a B.S. degree with a concentration in occupational therapy and an M.S. degree in Health Sciences at JMU.

Elizabeth has worked with children of all ages, from newborns to teenagers, in a variety of settings that include school, in-home, and outpatient clinic settings.  She has participated as part of a multi-disciplinary team of professionals providing assessments to children through JMUs Child Development Clinic (CDC). Her experience in pediatrics includes evaluation and treatment of Sensory Processing Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorders (including Autism and Asperger's), ADHD, feeding difficulties, fine-motor delays, developmental delays, cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, visual impairment as well as other conditions. She is certified in Interactive Metronome (IM) and Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) and has completed specialized training in Sensory Integration.   

Elizabeth teaches pediatric intervention and community-based wellness courses at JMU, is part of a an organization that provides inter-professional assessment and services (IPAC) for children diagnosed with autism, provides OT services to children at OTCES, and provides clinical instruction to JMU OT students. She has presented at national, state and local conferences and workshops on topics including Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, sensory integration, sensory processing disorders, and adolescent mental health.

Cindy Colwell, MOT, OTR/L, Associate Director/Occupational Therapist/Volunteer and Clinical EducationCoordinator

Cindy Colwell is an alumnus of James Madison University having completed her B.S. degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Studies and a master’s degree in occupational therapy (MOT).

She concluded her MOT education with two full-time fieldwork positions.  The first position was with OTCES, providing therapy services for the children and families using OTCES for treatment. The second position was at Kluge Children's Rehabilitation Center in Charlottesville, VA, as part of the Pediatric Outpatient OT department. While working at the Kluge CRC she was able to observe both inpatient and NICU departments. She has worked with a multitude of diagnoses ranging from autism and developmental delay to muscular dystrophy and cerebral palsy, as well as many others. Her first position after graduating was working as an occupational therapist for the Piedmont Regional Education Program in the county school system for Fluvanna, VA. She provided OT services for students, helping to improve their academic, social, and functional skills and abilities to make their school day an encouraging experience.

She joined the OTCES staff in August of 2012.

Christiana Santos, MOT, OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Years before becoming an occupational therapist, Christiana Santos worked in various capacities with children having special needs.  She is best known for her warm, fun, engaging and loving approach when working with children. She has gained respect through her sensitivity, creativity, and practical tools and methods for success. 
As an alumnus of James Madison University, she completed her B.S. degree in Health Sciences with a concentration in Occupational Studies.  She minored in art, specializing in painting and drawing.  She continued her education in the JMU graduate program to earn a master’s degree in occupational therapy (MOT).  She is bilingual in Spanish.  She concluded her MOT education with two full-time fieldwork positions: a private pediatric practice in northern Virginia, and at Sheltering Arms Hospital in Richmond, VA working with a diverse age group and a variety of neurological and physical impairments. 

After graduation she worked as an OT for Excel Therapy, an outpatient clinic that also served Montvue, a skilled nursing facility in Luray, VA. In this position she worked with adults and children with a variety of physical, neurological, and developmental disorders. 

Christiana’s specific experience in pediatrics includes evaluation and treatment of children with a variety of diagnoses, including Sensory Processing Disorders, Pervasive Developmental Disorders, including Autism and Asperger's, ADHD, fine-motor delays, developmental delays, as well as other conditions. For all of her clients and patients, Christiana’s goal is to use a client-centered approach to improve and encourage growth within academic, social, mental/psychological, physical, and functional skills and abilities to allow for an overall improved quality of life.

She joined the OTCES staff in the summer of 2015.

Marsha Longerbeam, Ph.D., CCC/SLP

Dr. Longerbeam is an alumnus of James Madison University earning her B.S, M.S. and Ph.D. in Communication Science Disorders.  She is an assistant professor in the Communication Science Disorders Department as well as the CSD specialist for OTCES. Her special interests include autism spectrum disorders, sensory integration disorders and behavior intervention and management. Her research projects include the impact of sensory integration intervention on vocal/verbal output, and the impact of communicative attempts of children with autism.  She is involved in the interprofessional autism clinic, which trains and educates graduate students from occupational therapy, psychology and communication science disorders. Prior to becoming a JMU educator/practitioner she spent 31 years working in Virginia public schools as a speech language pathologist. 

She joined the OTCES staff in the summer of 2015.

Sarah Selznick, MS OTR/L, Occupational Therapist

Sarah is a pediatric occupational therapist practicing in Virginia by way of New York City.  She specializes in helping kids succeed with childhood activities like handwriting, play, self-care, academics, and social skills.  Sarah uses a dynamic therapy approach, which includes sensory integration, direct skill instruction, mindfulness training, and performing arts including improvisational theatre games and techniques.

Sarah has a Bachelor of Art in psychology from Western Connecticut State University and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. She completed her clinical fieldwork at Westchester Medical Center’s subacute care and Green Chimney's School which is a therapeutic farm school. Prior to moving to Virginia, Sarah was the head of the occupational and physical therapy department at a non-public NYC school for children with autism spectrum disorder. 

In addition to her experience with direct care, Sarah also writes about occupational therapy on her blog and creates multi-media content for parents and teachers. Most recently Sarah created “The Sensory Explorer Show” – a 6-part webseries that highlights use of sensory tools and use of visual aids to reflect sensory-motor-emotional feelings.  You can access her blog and webseries at www.sarahtheot.com.  

She joined the OTCES staff in the fall of 2017.