Betty Risteen Hasselkus, PhD, OTR, FAOTA is an Emeritus Professor of Kinesiology/Occupational Therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. During her more than 40 years of active participation in the profession of occupational therapy, Dr. Hasselkus has focused her research, teaching and practice on the everyday occupational experience of people in the community with a special emphasis on family caregiving for older family members, physician-family caregiver relationships, the meaning of doing occupational therapy, and the meanings of everyday occupation to dementia daycare staff.
Dr, Hasselkus was elected to the American Occupational Therapy Association Roster of Fellows in 1986 and to the American Occupational Therapy Foundation Academy of Research in 1999. She was the invited Wilma West Lecturer at the University of Southern California in 2003, presenting a lecture entitled, “The Voice of Everyday Occupation.” In 2005, she was awarded the AOTA Eleanor Clarke Slagle Lectureship Award — the Association’s highest award for scholarship; she subsequently gave the award lecture in 2006, “The World of Everyday Occupation: Real People, Real Lives.”
Dr. Hasselkus was editor-in-chief of The American Journal of Occupational Therapy from 1998 to 2003. Her international reputation as a scholar has taken her to Australia, Canada, Sweden, Denmark, Wales, and Northern Ireland. She has provided lectures and workshops on qualitative research methods, critical analysis, writing, and qualitative research opportunities in everyday occupation. Her scholarly career includes more than 90 publications in journals and texts.
The hospital where Dr. Hasselkus completed much of her training and where she held her first position as an occupational therapist is also the building where she was born, where her children were born, and where, ultimately, the academic program of occupational therapy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison was located during her faculty years.