Sharon Novalis, Ph.D., OTR/L

Photo of Sharon Novalis
Associate Professor/Doctoral Capstone Coordinator
Eastside - 261

Hometown:  Pittsburgh, PA
Joined Chatham:  2014


Suicide awareness/reduction/prevention, evidence-based practice, neurosciences, gerontology, mental health, community-based intervention, and clinical leadership.


Sharon enjoys music, art, and nature.


Sharon earned her Associate in Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from the Community College of Allegheny County. Sharon earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in General Studies and her Master of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from Misericordia University. Sharon earned her Doctorate of Philosophy in Rehabilitation Sciences from the University of Pittsburgh. Sharon has provided occupational therapy in a variety of settings including hospital-based physical rehabilitation and hospital-based mental health facilities. She has also practiced in long term care facilities, home health, and school-based settings and has served in clinical and administrative capacities. Sharon served as adjunct faculty in Community College of Allegheny County’s Occupational Therapy Assistant Program as a lab instructor and as an assistant to the Fieldwork Coordinator and Research Assistant/Associate for the University of Pittsburgh’s Occupational Therapy Program. Her research has focused primarily on suicide awareness/suicide reduction, survivors of suicide loss, and occupational therapy. Sharon has authored/co-authored and presented/co-presented on the topic of suicide awareness/reduction, interdisciplinary approaches to suicide prevention, and occupational therapy and suicide awareness. Sharon has presented at state ad national occupational therapy conferences and has been an invited presenter to state, national, and international audiences. 

  • Doctorate of Philosophy in Health and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Pittsburgh (Pittsburgh, PA), 2013
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, Misericordia University (Dallas, PA), 1997
  • Baccalaureate in General Studies, Misericordia University (Dallas, PA), 1997
  • Associate in Science in Occupational Therapy, Community College of Allegheny County (Monroeville, PA) 1992
  • American Occupational Therapy Association
  • Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association
  • American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2014 to present
  • Level I Reiki Certification, 2017
  • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Spiritual Leadership Award, Chatham University, 2016-2017.
  • Novalis, S. D. and Delbert, T. M. “Student Teaching-Learning Strategies for Success.” 2017 Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference (State College, PA) October 6-7, 2017
  • Novalis, S. D. “Occupational Therapy and Suicide Survivors.” 2016 Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference (Lancaster, PA), October 2016
  • Novalis, S. D. and Provident, I. “Evaluative methodology utilized with alumni of an online post-professional OTD program” (poster). 2015 AOTA/OTCAS Education Summit (Denver, CO), October 17-18, 2015
  • Clinical Topics: Community College of Allegheny County and Kaplan Institute (2009-2012)
  • Novalis, S. D.
  • OT Seminar: Occupational Therapy in the Skilled Nursing Environment, University of Scranton, (2009)
  • Occupational Therapy and Wellness. American Stroke Awareness Day, Pittsburgh, PA (2001)
  • Evidence-based Patient Education for the Stroke Survivor. American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Philadephia, PA. (2001)
  • Performance-based Assessment of Older Women with Osteoarthritis, Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Assocation Annual Conference, Pittsburgh, PA (2000)
  • Assessing Independence, Safety, and Adequacy in Older Women with Osteoarthritis. American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, Seattle, WA. (2000)