Pola Ham, OTD, MS, OTR/L, CAPS

Assistant Professor, Occupational Therapy

Department of Occupational Therapy

School of Health Sciences

Pola Ham


    Areas of Expertise

    Adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities; behavioral issues for adults with intellectual and/or developmental disabilities; adult- Autism, Asperger's, Down's Syndrome, learning disorders, developmental delays, ADHD; adult education and adult student learning; academic self-efficacy; academic self-regulation and motivation; and instructor teaching methods/approaches


    As an occupational therapist for over seven years, Dr. Pola Ham has extensive experience working in various settings with diverse groups of individuals. She was born and raised in Southern California and graduated from UCLA with a BA in Psychology. She received her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University and her Occupational Therapy Doctorate from Boston University. She is currently working on her Doctor of Education (EdD) degree from Johns Hopkins University. Her dissertation is on academic performance among first-generation occupational therapy students. In addition to being a full-time faculty member at the School of Health Sciences Occupational Therapy Program, she is also a Teaching Assistant at the Johns Hopkins EdD Program for the Multiple Perspectives on Learning and Teaching course. She is also one of the student leads for the Writing Clinic at the Johns Hopkins EdD Program. Dr. Ham has been teaching for approximately four years at the Touro College, LIU Brooklyn, and the SUNY Downstate Occupational Therapy Programs. Dr. Ham is an active member of AOTA and NYSOTA organizations, regularly presents at the AOTA Annual Conferences, and is a Reviewer for the Annual Conference and the Education Summit Conference proposals. When she was an Adjunct Professor at the LIU Brooklyn OT Program, she was also a Teaching Assistant for a Research Proposal course as well as a Research Assistant, where she collaborated on conducting a comprehensive literature review on comparing older adults from the U.S. and Israel on their sense of hope, quality of life, and cognitive functioning. Addtionally, Dr. Ham is a Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist and helped to develop and supervise the rehabilitation departments in two adult home facilities, as well as has provided numerous presentations on various occupational therapy topics to the interdisciplinary team and administration in the adult home facilities.


    Clinical Specialty

    • Neurology
    • Physical Disabilities
    • Certified Aging-in-Place Specialist


    • Johns Hopkins University School of Education, Baltimore, MD
      • Doctor of Education (EdD), Current Student- 2020 Cohort
    • Boston University Sargent College of Rehabilitation Science, Boston, MA
      • Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD), May 2017
        • Doctoral Capstone: Connections: Interventions to Promote Socialization & Engagement Among People with Dementia
    • New York University, New York, NY
      • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy (MS), January 2015
    • University of California, Los Angeles, CA
      • Bachelor of Arts in Psychology (BA), June 2010

    Recent Publications

    Ham, P. (2020, March). Connections: Interventions to promote socialization and engagement among people with dementia. American Occupational Therapy on Annual Conference, Boston, MA.

    Ham, P. (2017). Connections: Interventions to promote socialization & engagement among people with dementia (Publication No. 10267356) [Doctoral capstone, Boston University]. ProQuest Dissertations & Theses.