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.

Oct 04

The 2016 Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Conference Features Faculty & Student Presentations

Have you heard?  Etown students and faculty will once again be giving various presentations at the Pennsylvania Occupational Therapy Association’s Annual Conference.  This year’s conference is October 14-15 and is being held locally in Lancaster.  Come and support your fellow blue jays!

Sample posters for presentations

FRIDAY October 14  


10:30 AM – 12:20 PM

Clients’ Perspectives of Meaningful Healthcare Relationships

Erin Kelly, MS, OT (’16); Jennifer Brandt, MS, OT (’16); Katelyn Colyer, MS, OT (’16): & Tamera Keiter Humbert, DEd, OTR/L

Exploring Electroencephalographic Neurofeedback for an Individual Experiencing Anxiety

Heidi Weidemoyer, MS, OT (’16); Christine Achenbach, MEd, OTR/L; Maureen Docker, MS, OT (’16); & Erin N. Kelly, MS, OT (’16)

Quality of Life after Stroke: A Thematic Analysis

Angela Salvadia, EdD, OTR/L; Beth Hildebrand, MS, OT (’16); Sabrina Light, MS, OT (’16); & Amanda Wenrich, MS, OT (’16)


11:30 AM – 12:20 PM

Challenge Yourself: Creating a Conference Proposal with Confidence

Christine Achenbach, MEd, OTR/L, Michelle Baun, OTR/L, Daniel Fichter, OTD, OTR/L, Traci A Herc, MOT,OTR/L, E. Adel Herge, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Erin Horting, MS, OT (’16) OTS, Megan Driscoll, MOT, OTR/L, Christopher Yang, OTS

2:00 – 2:50 PM

Advocacy 101: The Whats, Whys & Hows of Professional Advocacy

Cathy Dolhi, OTR, OTR/L, FAOTA; Kerri Golden EdD, OTR/L; & Kerri Hample, OTD, OTR/L

3:00 – 4:50 PM

Intraprofessional Collaboration: Innovations in OT/OTA Academia

Terri Reichley Dennehy, MEd, OTR/L

SATURDAY October 15


10:00 AM – 12 noon

The Affordable Care Act and Occupational Therapy Private Practice

Nicole Brackman, BS, OTS; Adam Amspacher, BS, OTS; & Deborah Waltermire, MHS, OTR/L


7:00  – 7:50 AM

Using Popular Culture to Educate Clients with Spinal Cord Injuries

Nicole Cwiertniewicz, MS, OT (’16); Kathryn Joe, MS, OT (’16); Meghan Sarik, MS, OT (’16); & Terri Reichley Dennehy, MEd, OTR/L

8:00 – 8:50 AM

Creating Fieldwork Solutions to Pennsylvania’s Site Shortage

Christine Achenbach, MEd, OTR/L

10:00 – 10:50 AM

Truckin’ Along: Occupational Therapy and Wellness

Rebecca Patten, MS, OT (’16); Samantha Bruno, MS, OT (’16) MS; Allison Kelly, MS, OT (’16); Carolyn Leedy, MS, OT (’16); Payton Marunich, MS, OT (’16); Kristen Russ, MS, OT (’16); Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/L; & Deborah Waltermire, MHS, OTR/L

11:00 – 11:50 AM

Wellness Program Perspectives for Female Adolescents At-Risk

Megan Stauffer, MS, OT (’16); Colette Hinton, MS, OT (’16); Jaina Shirk, MS, OT (’16); Brittany Ricedorf, MS, OT (’16); & Judy B. Ericksen, PhD, OTR/L

2:00 – 3:50 PM

Expanding Opportunities: A Psychosocial/Physical Disabilities Fieldwork Hybrid

Tracy Nornhold, MEd, OTR/L, Christine Achenbach, MEd, OTR/L

Sep 27

A Place for Everyone to Play – Advocacy in Action

Imagine that your community is preparing to install new playground equipment at a public park.  What comes to mind?  Swings, see-saws, monkey bars?  What if you had the opportunity to help design that playground to be accessible and inclusive?  That’s exactly what one of our recent graduates is doing.

marla park 2 (1024x576)Marla Peiffer, MS, OT (’16) shared that she recently had the opportunity to meet with the designer/consultant about a new playground in her home community.  Although the original main playground structure was considered accessible according to standards, Marla worked with the designer to include some additional features such as interactive play panels with games and musical instruments that will encourage interaction between all children. An accessible see-saw was also included in the design along with a hard rubber surface (instead of mulch), and adapted swings that have special seats for trunk control.  Next, of course, is the search for funding such as grants and donations to help cover the costs of the added equipment.

Marla park 1 (1024x576)

Marla shared that because of her education at Etown, she is confident about her abilities to apply her OT education to real life such as talking with the designer and possibly writing some grant proposals.  As an encouragement for current students, Marla says, ” …take in all of the knowledge you can, because you never know where life will lead you after graduation! 🙂 ”

What are some other opportunities for you to apply OT in your local community?