Faculty180 – Vita and Individual Profile Data Sheet

Jessica Marfia, OTD, OTR/L

Fall 1980 - Fall 2120

Assistant Professor I

Occupational Therapy Program


Current Position

  • Position: Academic Fieldwork Coordinator and Capstone Coordinator


Dr. Jessica Marfia serves as founding Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Capstone Coordinator, and Assistant Professor with Southern California University of Health Science's Doctor of Occupational Therapy program. Over the past 12 years, Dr. Marfia has worked as an occupational therapy practitioner and clinical educator in a variety of treatment settings and patient populations. In her ten years as a school-based occupational therapist, she has led educational support teams and expanded the reach of school-based occupational therapy through collaborative and interdisciplinary efforts. Dr. Marfia has presented locally and regionally and been sucessfull in implementing a variety of programs to support mental health, facilitate equitable access to education, and promote meaningful engagement and inclusion for all students. 

From Michigan originally, Dr. Marfia received her BS in Kinesiology from the University of Michigan and her MS in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University. She went on to earn a post-professional OTD from Boston University, which allowed her to further explore her passion for holistic health and wellness as well as mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention.

Dr. Marfia enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, two dogs, and two cats. In her free time, she loves to bake, travel, spend time outdoors, and volunteer in dog rescue and as a youth soccer coach.



O.T.D., Occupational Therapy, Boston University, Boston, Massachusetts, United StatesDissertation: Back2Basics: Mental Health Building Blocks for Learning


MScOT, Occupational Therapy, Western Michigan University, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States


B.Sc., Movement Science/Kinesiology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan, United States

Professional Licensures (Healthcare)

Occupational Therapy, California, United States, 12747, Active, 2012, 2023-07-31

Occupational Therapy, Michigan, United States, Active, 2010, 2023-03-31

Certifications (Healthcare)

American Heart Association, Basic Life Support (CPR and AED), 215414993499, 2021-08-06, 2023-08-31

Evergreen Certifications, Certified Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist, 194864, 2021-08-03, 2023-08-03

National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, Occupational Therapy Registered, 269337, 2010-02-12, 2024-02-29

WPS / USC, Sensory Integration Certification, 4456, 2014-10-30, 00, Yes

Work Experience

2021 - Ongoing

Academic Fieldwork Coordinator, Capstone Coordinator, Assistant Professor, Southern California University of Health Sciences, Whittier, California, United States

2012 - Ongoing

School Occupational Therapist II, Desert/Mountain SELPA, Apple Valley, California, United States

2011 - 2012

Occupational Therapist, Bronson Healthcare Group, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

2010 - 2011

Occupational Therapist, The Therapy Place, LLC, Kalamazoo, Michigan, United States

Hospital / Clinical Appointments

School Occupational Therapist II, Desert/Mountain SELPA August 2012, PRESENT

Scholarly Contributions and Creative Productions



Marfia, J. The Role of School-Based Occupational Therapists in Creating Trauma Sensitive Classrooms.
Marfia, J. Physical Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Adapted Physical Education, Orthopedic Impairment Collaborative Conference: Understanding Our Scope of Practice.

Professional Membership

Fall 2021 - Ongoing

American Occupational Therapy Association, August 2007

Occupational Therapy Association of California, September 2016


Clinical applications in occupational therapy, Integrative mental health promotion, prevention, and intervention in schools, Program development, professional presentations, School-based practice, integrative mental health supports, universal educational supports

Hear from the Students Who’ve Been in Your Shoes

I chose SCU when looking for a PA program because of their Integrative Medicine approach. I am from Michigan, and not many programs focus on this Integrative, Holistic approach when it comes to patient care in the Midwest, and I felt that was very important for me to learn as a future provider. My transition to semi-virtual learning has been very smooth and quite enjoyable. My favorite part about attending SCU is how tight-knit and diverse the community is. Coming from a large undergrad university and moving so far, it was very important for me to have a PA program that made me feel valued and invested in my success. At SCU, they do a great job of making you feel that.


Brianna Hadley

MSPA Class of 2022

One of the great things about SCU is we do have a campus layout, so all your classes aren't in a single room. We have our cadaver lab. We have different specialty rooms for physical assessment classes vs. acupuncture classes. All our acupuncture-specific classes have all the herbs in the room. You can pull out the herbs and look at them, whether in class or in between classes to get that extra studying in.

My favorite part of SCU is the collaboration from our beginning terms. We were working alongside chiropractor students, PA students, and ayurvedic students. It's a unique community where we get to learn about these different fields and sit in classrooms with them and work with them in the clinic. It allows you to get an understanding of all the different fields and how they can work together, and what is unique about your field. I think that is a wonderful aspect that I didn't think was going to be as prominent as it is here; even now, in my upper term classes and I am not in class with chiropractic students, I can still reach out to them about a certain aspect I may not understand or if I am working on a case. I want another perspective I know I have them to reach out to, so that has been a great networking community to have resources for.

Jamie Kuljis

Student, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

"There are a lot of things that I love about the program at SCU. The first one is that the faculty come from a long line of Ayurvedic knowledge deeply rooted in ancient classical text. They studied Ayurveda, but they also lived it. When you learn from people who embody this wisdom, it's much easier to grasp this knowledge. The second thing I love is the camaraderie within the cohort. The combination of the training, supportive faculty, and the support of my peers and classmates has given me the confidence I need to start my own practice."

Portia Harris

Student, Ayurveda Program

Some of my favorite courses at SCU have to be the chiropractic procedure classes; those are the classes you get to hone in on your chiro skills, your palpation skills and ultimately work on the adjustments that make you a chiropractor. Those are the classes I feel enhance my knowledge the most and are some of the reasons I chose to become a chiropractor here are SCU.

On top of chiropractic procedures classes, my favorite is the cadaver lab experience. The cadaver classes opened up my perception of what the human body is made up of. It allowed me to get an in-person perspective of how the body works and looks on the inside. I am genuinely thankful for those experiences because they opened and broadened my horizons to the human body and anatomy in general.

Jordan Vega

Student, Doctor of Chiropractic

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