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Jennifer Dorris Headshot Juleen Rodakowski Headshot Ketki Raina Headshot
Jennifer Dorris
PhD in Rehabilitation
Science Student
Juleen Rodakowski
Associate Professor
Ketki Raina
Associate Professor

The University of Pittsburgh Department of Occupational Therapy will receive a $15,000 Research Grants in the Arts award to support “Project Unmute.” This innovative initiative will examine an interactive music program delivered on Zoom by teenage musicians for older adults with Alzheimer’s disease. The program encourages the two generations to have positive engagement through the active exploration of music.  

“The National Endowment for the Arts is proud to support this project from the University of Pittsburgh, one of only 18 Research Grants in the Arts projects funded in this fiscal year,” said Director of Research and Analysis, Sunil Iyengar. “As demonstrated by the University of Pittsburgh’s project, the arts can be a source of resilience, well-being, social connectedness and experiential learning. These skills and attributes have become increasingly sought-after in our challenging times.” 

“This award allows us to continue empowering young musicians and understand the best way to share music with older adults with Alzheimer’s” said Principal Investigator Jennie Dorris, a University of Pittsburgh PhD Candidate. Pitt OT faculty Juleen Rodakowski and Ketki Raina are also investigators on the project. 

In addition to her work on the project, Dorris was recently inducted into the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Future Leaders Society for demonstrating leadership in higher education. Her cohort was announced at the 2022 AAC&U Annual Meeting Opening Plenary on Thursday, January 20. She will join the Future Leaders Society cohort for mentorship and monthly check-ins with other leaders and future leaders in academia.