Elizabeth Bentz Headshot
Department Chair
Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy


Dr. Elizabeth M. Bentz is a proud graduate of Alvernia. She returned to her alma mater in 2014 to teach and now serves as the Chair of the Occupational Therapy Department. In 1995, she obtained her undergraduate degree in social work with a minor in Gerontology. She obtained her MS degree in OT in 1999, and a doctoral degree in 2017. She completed her research on fall risks among older adults in long-term care facilities published in the peer-reviewed journal Physical and Occupational Therapy in Geriatrics. She presented her OT program entitled “Occupational Therapy: Promoting Participation, Psychosocial Well-being, and Mental Health Functioning Through Animal Assisted Therapy” at the American Occupational Therapy Conference in Philadelphia. She has continued her life-long learning through her membership with the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association. She also serves as the District I Recorder for the Pennsylvania OT Association.

Dr. Bentz has over 20 years of experience in OT having worked in skilled nursing facilities, hospitals, behavioral health, hand therapy and pediatric clinics, teletherapy, and schools. While she began her research with older adults, she was drawn to explore pediatric occupational therapy. Her primary area of expertise is working with children in school-based settings. She has provided interventions for children who have diagnoses of Autism, Muscular Dystrophy, neurological impairments, traumatic brain injury, Attention Deficit Hyperactive Disorder, Oppositional Defiant Disorder, depression, Developmental Delays, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Rett Syndrome, Down Syndrome, juvenile rheumatoid arthritis, obsessive compulsive disorder, Prader Willi syndrome, and Asperger’s Syndrome.

To advance her training with therapeutic interventions, Dr. Bentz obtained her certification in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing (SIPT) in 2012. Through her SIPT certification, she learned how to address sensory processing and teach families how to create a calming space where their children could thrive and grow. Because of her passion for holistic practices, she became a Tai Chi for Rehabilitation Instructor in 2018 and a Registered Yoga Teacher (RYT-200) with Yoga Alliance in 2019. These complementary health approaches enhanced her treatment sessions with clients to support stress management, functional movement, breathwork, and mindfulness for greater participation in daily activities.

Dr. Bentz believes in Alvernia’s mission to serve others. She has supported her community in local government as a Borough Councilwoman since 2010. She held positions as the vice-chair of Police and Personnel Committee, vice-chair of Administration, Law, and Finance, and chairperson of the Recreation committee. She also assisted the Shillington Tree Advisory Committee to coordinate the planting of over 300 trees in the neighborhood.

During her career as an occupational therapist, Dr. Bentz individualized therapy to match the child’s needs and the needs of families. As an educator, Dr. Bentz reinforces these same values to address the various ways college students learn. Using her knowledge of sensory integration, yoga, and occupational therapy, she tailors her classes to accommodate the preferences of a diverse group of students who understand information as visual, auditory, or kinesthetic (hands-on) learners. She invites her students to actively engage in their education and be open to all possibilities and opportunities at Alvernia University.