Jun 16

Reflections from the AOTA Summer Institute for Future Scientists in OT

Nicole Brackman in Boston

Earlier this semester we announced that Nicole Brackman, (MS, ’17) was selected to attend the Summer Institute for Future Scientists in OT.  She also had the opportunity to attend the second annual Summit of Scholars, bringing together OT researchers and scholars.  Nicole shared her experiences with faculty in this email:



Wow! What an amazing experience I had at AOTA’s Summer Institute and Summit of Scholars. From running into Winnie Dunn in my pajamas to traveling alone (my first time ever) to eating a lobster roll at Quincy Market….

Thursday was the Summer Institute. I was surrounded by other students from across the country with various educational backgrounds. Thursday was filled with information regarding future scientists, different pathways to obtaining a PhD, various PhD degrees, how to seek mentors, and setting research goals. I got to listen to so many inspiring people – PhD candidates, scientists, and other scholars. Amy Lamb, Wendy Coster, Elizabeth Skidmore, and Ellen Cohn were just a few of these individuals. It was an exciting day. After, we were able to network at a nearby restaurant.

Friday and Saturday were the OT Summit. This was another awesome day! The theme was “From Tradition to Innovation,” and various researchers discussed the struggles they sometimes face in moving practice forward. There were roundtable discussions, posters, and presentations. I was able to hear from so many people in the field of OT and get an understanding of their backgrounds and where they believed research should focus to advance the field. One of my personal favorites was Tracy Mroz, who has a PhD in Health Services Research and Policy. She is amazing!

 I left this event with a busy brain and a full heart. I feel extremely inspired to pursue a career in research. I wanted to personally thank you all for your effort toward this opportunity – it was truly a game changer for me!

Nicole is currently completing her final level II fieldwork.  The O.T. department wishes her and her classmates much success in their careers as therapists and possibly as researchers – advancing the profession and impacting the lives of O.T. consumers everywhere!


May 04

…and the Awards Go to O.T. Students and Faculty

Several Occupational Therapy students and a faculty member were recognized at the College’s Annual Awards Ceremony on April 19, 2017.  Congratulations to the following award recipients!

Jessica Schultz

Jessica Schultz, current OT senior, who received the Carole Isaak Academic Service to Students Award.

Abigail Sanders

Abigail Sanders, current OT junior, who received the Resident Assistant of the Year Award.


Meghan Matje

Meghan Matje, current first year OT student, who received the Distinguished Student Award, Class of 2020.

Dr. Judy B. Ericksen

Dr. Judy B. Ericksen, Associate Professor of OT, who received the Student-Directed Learning Communities Award.


Feb 14

Graduate Student is selected for Summer Institute for Future Scientists in OT

Nicole Brackman

Nicole Brackman, BS, (MS, ’17)

by Dr. Tam Humbert

Miss Nicole Brackman, a current OT graduate student, was selected as a participant for the second annual American Occupational Therapy Foundation (AOTF) Summer Institute for Future Scientists in Occupational Therapy.  The institute will be held on June 1, 2017 at Boston University.  In addition, she will also attend the AOTF Occupational Therapy Summit of Scholars on June 2-3, 2017.  Nicole earned a highly competitive scholarship to attend these events.  This is a wonderful opportunity to engage in mentoring and develop research-centered networks.  Congratulations, Nicole!

Jan 30

Ahoy Ye Mateys – Etown Alum Publishes “Pirates of the Caribootin”

Front of book - Pirates of the CaribootinCongratulations to Elizabethtown Occupational Therapy Alum, Bethanie (Steese) Allen (MS, ’08), who recently published her own shoe tying social story.  In 2009 while working at Schreiber Pediatric Rehab Center of Lancaster, Bethanie developed a shoe tying story to help a child learn to tie his shoes.  Bunny ears, trees and loops were not keeping his attention for shoe tying. The first step of shoe tying is to form an X…which triggered “X marks the spot” to Bethanie. One thing led to another and resulted in a complete pirate-themed social story. Bethanie successfully used this method with other children and found the carryover to be extremely high because most children could remember the cues and the story.

After years of desiring to turn it into a book with increased visual cues to assist for independence, Bethanie realized her dream and released the book in January 2017. It is with high hopes that she can continue to spread the word of the “Pirates of the Caribootin” to parents, children, teachers, therapists, and others in order to help increase the independence and carryover for all children who are learning how to tie their shoes. For more information on the book and for updates on book signings and shoe tying events, please sail on over to the book’s Facebook© page.  The book is also available via Amazon.com.

If you are interested in book events or signings, or if you have any other general questions, please feel free to contact Bethanie at: bethaniesteese@gmail.com.

Jan 26

We Love Email and Positive Feedback – Proud to be a Blue Jay

email logoby Judy Ericksen

Responding to email often seems a chore. It’s challenging to keep the inbox manageable. But often, unexpectedly a gift arrives. Here is one such email gift from a recent alum – Jacqueline Nunn. She wrote:

…One of the best things about working at the Regional Rehab Center is the opportunity to collaborate with past Etown OT graduates who hold PRN positions at the hospital – Cara Landis, Sarah Fedako, and Beth Arras.  Cara was actually one of the first full time OTs employed when the Regional Rehab Center opened in 2013!  When I was interviewing for the position, the lead therapist shared that he has always found Etown graduates to be great therapists.  I found this to be a wonderful testament to the excellence of Elizabethtown College’s OT program and the faculty and staff who work to shape the graduates of the program.

Needless to say, I take great pride in being an Etown Blue Jay 🙂

Jacqueline and some of her colleagues at the Regional Rehab Center at Phoenixville Hospital were featured in the Chester County Life Magazine.  Check out the link here – the article begins on page 77 and continues through page 82.


Jan 19

Current Concepts in Spinal Cord Injury Management – Register today

Register today for this conference, March 30-31 in Hershey, PA.  Etown’s OT department contributed to the planning committee for this conference, sponsored by the Penn State’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Program at the Hershey Medical Center. Earn up to 12 contact hours of professional development.  It promises to be a great continuing education opportunity.  For more information, click here.

Spinal Cord Injury Conference at Penn state Hershey


Jan 04

Alumnus Sara Brown Del Pozo Sharing her Love of Art with Senior Adults

Forest scene painted by Sara Brown Del PozoSara Brown Del Pozo (MS, ’11) was featured in a CBS news story from Philadelphia about her volunteer program with senior adults to engage in artistic expression.  An OT graduate with an art minor, Sara works as an occupational therapist for Mercy Life in north Philadelphia.  She is also an artist with a passion for creative expression and meaningful participation in the arts.  She uses her art to engage senior citizens in various artistic activities at a local senior center.

You can read and watch the story here:  http://philadelphia.cbslocal.com/2017/01/04/brotherly-love-seniors-art/

Sara also features her artwork on her business page:  SBPD Works.

Bridge over the Susquehanna - painted by Sara Brown Del Pozo

Labrador dog painted by Sara Brown del Pozo

Oct 25

OT Alum receives “Master Clinician Award”

Melissa (Muller) MeyersCongratulations to Melissa (Muller) Meyers, OTD, OTR/L (class of 2002) for receiving the Master Clinician Award.  Dr. Meyers was recognized at the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association’s (POTA) annual conference and award ceremony on October 15, 2016 in Lancaster PA.  The Master Clinician Award is given by POTA to an occupational therapy practitioner who has consistently provided high quality occupational therapy services and who has shared their knowledge and expertise. Dr. Meyers was nominated for her continual contributions of her time and talent.  She currently works as the Director of the Stroke Comprehensive Outpatient Rehabilitation Program and the Young Empowerment Stroke Support Group at Moss Rehab in Jenkintown, PA.

Melissa Meyers and award recipients

Melissa Meyers, (2nd from the right) with POTA board members and other award recipients.