May 19

The Masters’ Class of 2015

2015 Masters OT graduates

                                         Masters class of 2015

a masters OT student attends the hooding via skype and an Ipad

The wonders of technology allowed one student to participate via an I-pad.

Congratulations to our newest graduates from the class of 2015!   This year’s class was 33 students, and they received their OT masters’ hoods at a ceremony prior to commencement on Saturday, May 16.  These blue jays are finishing their level II fieldwork and will be ready for their first jobs as soon as the end of August!  We wish them the best as they embark on rewarding and fulfilling careers!

2015 mortarboards (571x363)

May 05

AOTA Conference – Through the Eyes of a Graduate Student

By Kimberly Cosgrove (Graduate student, MS ’15)

I recently was provided with the opportunity to attend the AOTA Conference in Nashville, TN.  It was an amazing experience to say the least.  I was able to attend many sessions about new and exciting initiatives in occupational therapy practice.  I also attended many poster sessions.  It was wonderful to see how much research is being done in the field of occupational therapy. One session I attended was by the Wounded Warrior Project, and this was by far my favorite.  The session was on how to assist Veterans with amputations and prosthetics.  One of the main ideas that still resonates with me from the session is to enable individuals from the beginning.  We have to help individuals realize that they can do things, despite disability, and empower them.

Another key session that I attended was maintaining ethical practice despite having to meet productivity standards.  This session was so relevant to much of the education we receive in school on ethical practice.  One of the primary presenters was the Vice President of AOTA and it was amazing to be able to hear her stance on ethics and productivity standards.  Through this presentation, I learned about AOTA’s new version of the Code of Ethics, which was approved by the Representative Assembly at the conference. In addition, it was so powerful to hear the Vice President of AOTA speak about advocating for our profession and our needs to clinical managers.

In between sessions, I attended the exhibition hall, with over 1,000 vendors and employers.  I found this hall to be overwhelming.  However, it was incredible to see some of the newest equipment and the differences the equipment is making with clients.  It also was a great time to test out new equipment as well.  In addition to getting to test out new equipment and toys, it was a great opportunity to network.  There were many employers present which provided me with many opportunities to practice my communication with possible employers.

Jennifer Bush & Kimberly Cosgrove with their poster at AOTA conference 2015

Jennifer Bush & Kimberly Cosgrove – AOTA 2015

Finally, one experience that I had a conference that I will never forget is being able to present a poster of Jennifer Bush’s and my senior O.T. Honors in the Discipline project, The Occupational Challenges of, and Support for, Individuals Providing Care to People with Dementia.”  This was such a great experience and a great way to network with other occupational therapists who are interested in this.  It provided a chance to help further my research and get OTs’ opinions of ways to continue expanding it. I am now motivated to take my research further.  Many of the occupational therapists asked if I would be publishing the research as they felt the area in which my research was completed has limited information, and they helped to validate the findings in my research that others need to know to help their practice.

After attending conference and finishing my graduate year, I am excited to go to my second Level II fieldwork this summer and make a difference.  I learned to not just follow status quo but to challenge it and make it better.  I am excited to be more innovative in therapy and contribute to the profession in many ways.

Apr 27

PA licensees must comply with Act 31 Child Abuse Recognition & Reporting Requirements

For all health-related professionals who practice in Pennsylvania, just a reminder that you have a new requirement for obtaining and maintaining your Occupational Therapy license in Pennsylvania.  You must complete an approved course in Child Abuse Recognition and Reporting.  **Please plan to complete the course at least 10 days before you apply for your license to allow adequate time for the course provider to report your results. Current licenses will expire on June 30th.  A list of approved courses can be found here.

New license applicants:  3-hour course

Renewal license applicants:   minimum of 2 hours

Apr 21

SOTA celebrates OT Week & Trisomy 21

by Carly Ensor, SOTA Publicity Chairperson

Several weeks ago our Student Occupational Therapy Association (SOTA) celebrated OT week on campus.  OT week is held annually to promote OT around the college community.  OT week included a banquet on March 31st, where OT students and faculty gathered together to celebrate achievements and memories from the previous year.  Scholarship recipients and students who have volunteered at OT department open houses were recognized, and the evening concluded with a video presentation of photographs from the past year – both inside and outside of the classroom.

SOTA presents a check to AnnaRoseSOTA’s executive board works very hard to bring in a guest speaker annually whose life has been impacted by our profession.  This year, our students and faculty alike were inspired by Miss AnnaRose Rubright, a very successful young woman who just happens to have trisomy 21. AnnaRose shared about her many successes in life including graduating high school with a very high GPA, being a member of the national honors society at her school, and now attending a local college. She highlighted the importance of person-first language, and how using it allows for a better relationship between medical professionals and their clients.  AnnaRose explained that receiving O.T. early intervention services allowed her to achieve success in all aspects of her life.  She is very thankful that her therapy team allowed her to be very independent and truly live life to the fullest.

Guest Speaker AnnaRose blows out her birthday candlesAnnaRose and her parents started The Anna Foundation for Inclusive Education, which is dedicated to the enhancement of the educational experience of students with developmental delays and their participation in inclusive education. Because the Anna Foundation’s values align with our profession, SOTA chose to present AnnaRose with a $250 charitable donation so that they could continue their efforts. In addition, SOTA presented AnnaRose with a birthday cake and led everyone in singing, “Happy Birthday” to celebrate her 19th birthday, which was the same day as the banquet.  Happy Birthday, AnnaRose!

Students, faculty, and other guests were inspired by the wonderful, hard-working, and successful Miss AnnaRose Rubright.  This year’s SOTA banquet was a successful gathering to celebrate the club and very exciting profession of occupational therapy.

What did you do to celebrate OT Month?

Apr 06

Vietnam: Service learning trip in May 2015

OT student visits with infant in orphanage

Bethany Panchak (right) visits with a child in an orphange in 2013.

On Monday, May 18, a group of 20 students (occupational therapy, social work, education, anthropology, and communication) and two faculty members will depart for a humanitarian/service-learning trip to Vietnam. They will join staff members and sponsors from Brittany’s Hope, a non-profit organization that provides grants for international adoption of special needs children and works to improve the lives of orphaned children in Vietnam, Kenya, and Ethiopia. This trip occurs every other year, and you can learn more about past trips here.

During the 2½ week trip, the group will visit six different orphanages or centers and engage in a variety of projects that will benefit children and their local communities. One of the orphanages, the Thi Nghe Protection Center for Disabled Orphans in Ho Chi Minh City, exclusively cares for 400 children who have been abandoned due to having developmental, physical, and mental disabilities. While there students and faculty will provide training focused on positioning, sensory stimulation, and feeding techniques for the caregivers who look after these children. The group will also visit a Center for the Blind (Huynh De Nhu Nghia), Phanxico Nhan Hoa, a house for ethnic females, the Vocational Training Center in Danang (for adolescents with disabilities), and two other orphanages.

Eight of the 20 students embarking on this journey/adventure are occupational therapy majors. (Read about their reasons for making this trip after the photo below). The students are currently engaged in fundraising efforts to supply bicycles, adaptive feeding utensils, splinting materials, food care packages for needy families in the community, and sunflower bags. If you would like to know more about the trip or if you are interested in making a donation, follow this link:

Students and children playing with a large parachute

Fun sensorimotor play

 “Every child deserves the opportunity to engage in meaningful occupations, fully participate in life, and live a life full of happiness. I am going on this trip to give the Vietnamese children a chance at this opportunity. I can’t wait to help the Vietnamese children and for them to completely change my life in the process.” ~ Jen Newman, Class of 2017

 “Giving a child independence in life not only changes the child’s life but also the volunteer’s. I am going on this trip to assist and go through the journey towards bettering these children’s lives with them.” ~ Jess Shultz, Class of 2017

 “I am going on this trip in order to have the opportunity to positively influence children’s lives. I feel as if this trip will be a life changing experience that is a once in a lifetime opportunity to travel while doing service work. Knowing I could possibly have a positive influence on one child’s life will make this trip all worth it!” ~ Megan Goss, Class of 2017

 “I decided to go on this trip to help these children participate in all the occupations involved in being a kid. I believe this trip will help both their children and their caregivers to participate in leisure occupations.” ~ Jen Gallo, Class of 2017

 “I am going on this trip to help play a part in improving the lives of the children and people in Vietnam. I want to provide these children with hope and the knowledge of their importance in both their society and the world at large. I am very excited to both help people and learn about a different culture.”~ Samantha Tobon, Class of 2017

 “In May I was fortunate enough to go on a medical mission trip to Honduras and, ever since, have been longing for another opportunity to be submerged into a different culture and have a positive effect on such a large group of individuals. I’m going to Vietnam for the opportunity to expand my horizons, in both experience and knowledge, once again. Not only will I be able to see first hand the positive effects I am having on these children’s lives, but I will also be able to see myself grow as both as an individual and as a future Occupational Therapist.”  ~ Adriana Bertolino, Class of 2017

 “I want to go to Vietnam so that I will be able to gain useful experience working with children who have special needs. Also, I am excited to simply spend time with the children and give them as much love as possible. Vietnam seems to be an interesting country, and I am so grateful to have this opportunity to give what I can to the people. Additionally, I wish to soak in the culture so that I can take a step back from my own life and see what else is out there. I can’t wait to bring back my experience and thoughts from this trip to the U.S. as an American citizen, OT student, and human being.” ~ Allison Doughton, Class of 2016

Mar 30

Pi Theta Epsilon Welcomes New Members

by Ann Marie Potter, MA, OTR/L, Lecturer and PTE Advisor

On March 15, thirteen new members were inducted into Pi Theta Epsilon (PTE), occupational therapy’s national honor society. Students who are junior or senior status with a GPA of at least 3.5 and in the top 35% of their class are invited to apply. Alumna Sara Brown Del Pozo gave the keynote address at the induction ceremony and Terri Dennehy, lecturer, provided closing remarks. Please join us in congratulating new members: senior Kristin Russ and juniors Adam Amspacher, Nicole Brackman, Jamie DeisherAdelyn Enders, Jacalyn Hikes, Molly Hurley, Carly Mutter, Jenna Nguyen, Alyssa Rea, Rebecca Roth, Rachel Sassaman, and Megan Ziff.

New members of the PTE honor society

Some of our newest PTE members

The mission of PTE is to promote scholarship within the profession.  This past year PTE has held several activities to promote OT and scholarship on campus.  In the fall, PTE hosted Brian Keefer, who shared his experiences living with a spinal cord injury.  PTE co-hosted the movie, Travis: A Soldier’s Story, with POTA in November.  Each spring PTE assists in the planning and carrying out of the Occupational Therapy Graduate Research Symposium. The outgoing president of PTE is graduate student, Emily Peters. Senior Erin N Kelly is the president-elect. Congratulations to all of our PTE students for their academic achievements.

Large group of all PTE members at the 2015 Induction Ceremony

PTE Honor Society at the March 15th Induction Ceremony

Mar 10

Blue Jays head to Nashville – Music City – for the AOTA Conference

Faculty, recent graduates, and current students are headed to Nashville for the 2015 annual American Occupational Therapy Association Conference in April.  They are excited to represent E-town through various presentations.  If you are going to the conference, check out these presentations!AOTA banner for 2015 conference in Nashville


Thurs. April 16
1:00 – 3:00 PM      Poster 2023 Think Tank Exploration of Interprofessional Education.  Judy Ericksen, PhD, OTR/L; Molly MacGray, MS, OTR/L (’14), Katherine Stull, MS, OTR/L (’14), & Kimberly Welker, MS, OTR/L (’14).
Friday, April 17
12:30 PM – 2:30 PM Poster 4009 The Role of Entrepreneurship in Occupational Therapy in the Context of the Affordable Care Act.   Lindsay Hetherington (current graduate student).
3:00 – 5:00 PM      Poster 5078 Paleo, GFCF, Ketogenic, Organic, and the Next Food Craze: There is a Role for OTs Working with Kids with Special Needs.   Kerri Hample, OTD, OTR/L, Veronica Benoit MS, OTR/L (’14), Erin Meanix, MS, OTR/L (’14), & Taryn Nace, MS, OTR/L (’14).
Saturday, April 18
9:00 – 11:00 AM    Poster 6034 Crafting Health, Wellness, and Identity: Lessons from American Male Quiltmakers.   Linda Leimbach, ScD, OTR/L.
12:00 – 2:00 PM    Poster 7062 Hearts, Health, & Habits: Physical Activity in Children with Congenital Heart Defects (CHD).  Rebecca Porter, MS, OTR/L (’14) & Nora Redmond, MS, OT (’14).  Contributing authors:  Debbie Waltermire, MHS, OTR/L & Megan Steber, MS, OTR/L (’14).
12:00 – 2:00 PM    Poster 7091 The Occupational Challenges of, and Supports for, Individuals Providing Care to People with Dementia.  Jennifer Bush (current graduate student) & Kimberly Cosgrove (current graduate student). Contributing author:  Tamera Keiter Humbert, D.Ed, OTR/L.