Meet Miranda Fox
Covid brought the world to a near standstill, leaving many isolated and grieving the loss of meaningful activities and routines. As an occupational therapist working with teenagers and young adults, Miranda Cullen Fox, OTD ‘21, is helping her clients acclimate to post-pandemic life.
Fox works at Skills for Life, a Brookline-based program that supports young adults 16 and older with autism and other diagnoses to develop independent living skills, self-determination, and healthy identity formation. “It was a very difficult couple years for many of my clients,” says Fox. “Their mental health challenges, whether it's depression or anxiety, are a reflection of what isolation can do to a person.”
This fall, Fox is joining the Tufts Occupational Therapy Department as a part-time lecturer and is teaching a course entitled Proposals and Methods for doctoral students and an Integrated Seminar for post-professional master’s students. She is also serving as a faculty mentor for a doctoral student who is conducting research in collaboration with a brain tumor foundation.
Fox graduated from Tufts in 2021 with her occupational therapy doctorate with a focus on young adults. She was first introduced to the field as a child when her brother was receiving OT services for a sensory processing disorder. “I remember going to his OT appointments and jumping on trampolines and how fun it was,” she recalls. “As I got older, I knew I wanted to work in the medical field, but not necessarily as a doctor or a nurse. OT stood out because it touches on every aspect of someone’s life.
She studied public health at Elon University and worked at The Hole in the Wall Gang camp throughout college. The camp is a summer program for kids living with serious illnesses, such as cancer, sickle cell anemia, HIV, and metabolic disorders. As a counselor, she facilitated different camp activities, like boating, fishing, ziplining, and hiking, providing the kids with a fun and meaningful camp experience.
After graduation, she worked as an outdoor educator in California for a year, taking middle school students on hiking trips and engaging them in other outdoor and experiential learning activities. She taught courses related to geology, biology, environmental science, and engineering. “I love being outdoors, so it was rewarding to get to share my appreciation for the natural world with young people,” she says.
Fox visited several OT graduate schools, though Tufts was the only one she applied to. She entered the program wanting to focus on pediatric populations, having enjoyed working with young children and their families, though she later shifted to focus on teenage and young adult populations. “I did an independent research study under the direction of Gary Bedell on young adult brain tumor survivors, which really opened my eyes to the gaps in services this population can face.” This fall, Fox will assume a leadership role in continuing this research.
“The Tufts community really helped me understand where my strengths and passions lie,” she reflects. “I love what I do, and I’m very honored to join the Tufts OT faculty because I’ve always looked up to them. I’m so excited to work with the students, learn from them, and develop my clinical, research, and teaching skills along the way.”
When Fox isn’t working or teaching, she enjoys participating in active hobbies such as tennis, hiking, and yoga.