Aug 15

How does breast cancer affect cognition and occupational performance?

by Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/L

Ann Marie Potter with 2 staff therapists from Christiana Care

Sarah Fronckzkowski, MS, OTR/L, CLT (’08), Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/L, and Lisa Marshall, OTR/L, CLT

Faculty member Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/L presented a workshop on Breast Cancer and Cognition to the Occupational Therapy staff at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center, part of Christiana Care, in Newark, DE on 8/11/2016. The presentation was coordinated by staff therapist and Etown alum Sarah Fronczkowski, MS, OTR/L, CLT (’08).  The group learned about the etiology of cancer-related cognitive impairments and how changes in cognition result for a constellation of factors beyond chemotherapy alone.  The impact of these cognitive impairments on daily functioning is a very troublesome side effect for cancer survivors.  Because OT is designated as a first line intervention for cancer related cognitive impairment by the National Comprehensive Cancer Network, the role of OT in assessment and treatment of these impairments was discussed.  Ann Marie Potter is currently conducting research on the impact of breast cancer treatment on cognition and breast cancer.

Aug 08

OTs Present at the National Autism Conference

Leah Newman at the National Autism ConferenceLeah Newman (MS, ’16) and Dr. Kerri Hample presented a poster entitled, “Autism, Dietary Modifications, and the Social Participation and Roles of Caregivers: A Comparison Study” at the 2016 National Autism Conference in State College, PA on August 3, 2016. This presentation was based on Leah’s graduate research project.  Of the presenters from all over the United States, only three Occupational Therapists were selected to share research with behaviorists, teachers, speech language clinicians, parents and consumers.

Jul 05

Faculty and alumni are published in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy

CongrC1 PAGE.inddatulations to Dr. Tam Humbert and alums, Christine Maley (MS, ’14), Nicole Pagana (MS, ’14), and Christa Velenger (MS, ’14) on their recent publication.  The full citation (in APA format, of course) is as follows:   

Maley, C. M,. Pagana, N., K., Velenger, C. A., & Humbert, T. K. (2016). Dealing with major life events and transitions: A systematic literature review on and occupational analysis of spirituality.  American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 70(4), 7004260010p1-7004260010p6. DOI: 10.5014/ajot.2016.015537. You can find the article here.   

May 31

Electroencephalographic Neurofeedback Research in Occupational Therapy

Our own Christine Achenbach was recognized recently by The Foundation for Neurofeedback and Applied Neuroscience for her research regarding the use of electroencephalographic neurofeedback (EEG NFB) as an intervention in O.T.  EEG NFB is a form of biofeedback that uses sensors placed on the scalp to capture brainwaves to interface with a computer. It is now recognized as an evidence-based approach for treating attention deficit hyperactive disorder and is being researched for other neurological conditions including traumatic brain injury (TBI) and cerebral vascular accident (CVA).  Ms. Achenbach is interested in using neurofeedback to reduce symptoms of anxiety so that individuals can engage in meaningful daily occupations.

Styrofoam head with EEG wires on it and wires attached to laptop computer


One outcome from her research so far is that one of our young alumna is now pursuing certification in biofeedback that will also allow her to do NFB as a modality!  Ms. Achenbach hopes to continue some research and will attempt to publish a summary of this year’s and previous years’ EEG NFB research.



May 19

Hot off the Presses – Spirituality and Occupational Therapy: A Model for Practice and Research

spirituality bookWe are pleased to announce that Dr. Tam Humbert published a book,  Spirituality and Occupational Therapy:  A Model for Practice and Research.  Published by AOTA Press, the book reflects Dr. Humbert’s interests in spirituality and how occupational therapists can integrate spirituality into daily practice to enhance clients’ well-being and occupational performance. Considering multiple perspectives of spirituality and based on several years of research and practice, this book also includes concepts and meaning that were derived from several E-town graduate research projects that were mentored by Dr. Humbert. 

Get more information about this new and exciting book at AOTA’s website!

Apr 28

O.T. Student Wins NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship

Jacalyn Hikes

Jacalyn Hikes

Senior O.T. student, Jacalyn Hikes, received the prestigious NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship! The NCAA Postgraduate Scholarship is awarded to students who excel in athletics and academics. Ms. Hikes has been a member of the College’s field hockey team, and she is named to the College’s Dean’s list for her academic achievements.  She recently completed an Honors in the Discipline project within the O.T. department.

Ms. Hikes is pursing O.T. because of her passion to help others.  She says “Elizabethtown College’s occupational therapy program has provided me with an outstanding education that has prepared me for the experiences to come.  At this point, I am grateful for what Elizabethtown College’s Occupational Therapy program has provided me, and I look forward to seeing where it will take me in the future.”  Ms. Hikes is interested in adult physical rehabilitation but is also interested in exploring more about pediatrics, and is keeping her options open as she learns more about the profession.

Ms. Hikes is a graduate of Nazareth Area High school in PA.  She will begin her first level II fieldwork this summer and will return to E-town in the fall for the graduate year of coursework.  Congratulations, Jacki!

Apr 20

Meet Miss MidState 2016 – a.k.a. Marla Peiffer, OT Graduate Student


Marla Peiffer, Miss MidState

Marla Peiffer, Miss MidState 2016

Last year we told you about a senior O.T. student who was named Miss York County for 2015.  Well, she’s done it again…but in another scholarship pageant.  Congratulations to current graduate student, Marla Peiffer, who was crowned Miss MidState in January 2016!

Marla represents the Mid-State region by participating in various service activities such as events at the Penn State Children’s Hospital at Hershey (part of the Children’s Miracle Network) and also reading with local elementary school students.  Marla continues to promote her advocacy platform, “Inclusion Revolution – Best Buddies Moving Forward” with the goal of promoting participation in social and leisure activities as well employment opportunities for adults with disabilities.

2016 Marla Peiffer Miss MidState best buddies platform


In June, Marla will compete in the Miss Pennsylvania Scholarship pageant, a precursor to the Miss America pageant. We wish her all the best in this endeavor and in her future career as an Occupational Therapist!

Apr 15

Presentations and more Presentations

April has been a busy month for E-town students and faculty.  We had multiple conference presentations, and we are hosting our annual O.T. Graduate Research Symposium on Monday April 18th.  We hope you will join us on Monday.

Earlier this month, Dan Panchik, DSC, OTR/L, attended and presented two posters at the Neuro-Developmental Therapy Association conference, April 1-3 in Memphis TN.

  • Clinical Perspectives on the Utility of the Electronic-Hand Assessment Tool II (E-HAT II). Contributing authors:  Kurt DeGoede, Ph.D.; Jennifer Bush, B.S., MOTS (’15); Taylor Falin, B.S., MOTS (’15) & Lindsay Hetherington, B.S., MOTS (’15).
  • Developing the Electronic-Movement Analysis Tool (E-MAT): Detecting Changes in Tremor. Contributing authors:  Kurt DeGoede, Ph.D.; Christina Hoban, B.S., MOTS (’15); Natalie  Hrynkiewicz, B.S., MOTS (’15) & Jillian Miller, B.S., MOTS (’15)
Ann Marie Potter and 3 recent graduates with poster presentation

Megan Tursi, Monica Loranger, Carly Stull, and Ann Marie Potter. AOTA 2016


The American Occupational Therapy Association’s annual conference, April 7-10, featured various E-town faculty, students, recent graduates and alumni.  We hope everyone had a great time in Chicago!

Mar 23

O.T. Honor Society Welcomes New Student Members

by Erin N. Kelly, BS, MOTS

Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), the OT Honor Society, welcomed 12 new members into the organization on March 13, 2016. These new members join the current 26 occupational therapy PTE students. Pi Theta Epsilon is a national honor society and recognizes the academic and service accomplishments of members.

PTE Induction 2016 inductees cropped

PTE’s newest members: Elisabeth Niehaus, Carly Ensor, Emily Reese, Kelly Kleindienst, Stephanie Bellott, Emma Johnson, Hannah Bowman,Lindsay Hockman, Alyssa Frankenfield, Victoria Pagano, Janelle Sovay, & Jennifer Newman.

This year’s Induction Ceremony featured guest speaker and alumnus Lisa Livingston, M.S., OTR/L, (’10). She spoke about engagement in occupational therapy from a practitioner’s perspective in order to motivate students to be their best self. In addition, the senior members were recognized for their involvement in PTE, while graduate student Robin Kreiser, BS, MOTSwas congratulated on her academic accomplishments because she is presenting her Honors in the Discipline research at the AOTA National Conference in Chicago next month.

2016 PTE members – Juniors, Seniors & Graduate students

The Upsilon Chapter of Elizabethtown College prides itself in being highly active; they volunteer and participate in multiple service events on campus and in the community, and they host and sponsor events featuring influential individuals.

Many thanks to our current PTE chapter officers and our faculty advisor:
President: Erin N. Kelly
Vice President: Jaime Deisher
Secretary: Jacalyn Hikes
Treasurer: Adelyn Enders
Club Council Representative: Rebecca Roth
Faculty advisor:  Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/L