René Padilla, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, LMHP, is vice provost for Global Engagement and associate professor of Occupational Therapy. Padilla oversees study abroad, international students and visiting scholar services, the Intensive English Language Institute, Encuentro Dominicano, the Institute for Latin American Concern, the Asian World Center and various global learning initiatives, including academic service learning, sustainability programs, and the President’s Creighton Global Initiative.
Padilla earned bachelor’s and master’s degrees in occupational therapy at San Jose State University in California and a PhD in educational administration, curriculum and instruction at the University of Nebraska - Lincoln. He holds a certificate in marriage, family and child counseling, and is a licensed mental health practitioner. Padilla has nearly 35 years of professional experience as a clinician, administrator and educator in various parts of the world. He has served as a consultant with international organizations and universities across the globe.
Padilla served as associate dean for Academic and Student Affairs in the School of Pharmacy and Health Professions (2006-2015) and chair of the Occupational Therapy Department (1998-2003).
He has also served as chairperson of the Commission on Education of the American Occupational Therapy Association, and member of the International Education and Research Committee of the World Federation of Occupational Therapists. He has presented and published extensively in the areas of the experience of isolation and marginalization, disability, migration trauma and health disparities.