Jan 20

International Service in Peru

by Kaitlyn Freed, graduate OT student (class of 2020)

What did you do over the recent holidays?  Six occupational therapy students and an O.T. alumnus participated in an international service trip to Peru over winter break. The trip was planned and organized through the College’s Center for Community and Civic Engagement. The group spent the week building two different houses in La Florida, Peru with The Fuller Center for Housing. We also had the opportunity to go to a therapy center and help out for the day. It was a lot of fun. 

& OT students in Peru

O.T. students (left to right): Emily Sipe, Nichole Campbell, Rachel Gould, Kaitlyn Freed, Anajulia Blanch, Jillian Nichols, Charity Good

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 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.

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?


Sep 21

“Wild” by Cheryl Strayed: Book review published by faculty & alumni

Occupational Therapy in Mental HealthCongratulations to Dr. Tam Humbert, Rachel Turkovich (MS, ’15), Kelly Van Clief (MS, ’15) & Elizabeth VanBuskirk (MS, ’15) on their recent publication of a book review based on Cheryl Strayed’s work, Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail.  In their review, the authors noted various aspects of the author’s personal transformation and spirituality during her daily occupations, events, and relationships that unfolded during her adventures.

Click here to link to the article.

Humbert, T. K., Turkovich, R., Van Clief, K., & VanBuskirk, E. (2016) Transformation on the Pacific Crest Trail: A review of Cheryl Strayed’s narrative “Wild.” Occupational Therapy in Mental Health, 32(3), 312-315, DOI: 10.1080/0164212X.2016.1202805


Sep 06

Seasons of Transition

By Nancy Carlson Steadman, PhD, OTR/L

Just as seasons change, the O.T. dept. is experiencing changes.  In June of this year, Dr. Judy Beck Ericksen completed two 3-year terms as O.T. department chairperson and program director.

Dr. Ericksen

Dr. Judy Ericksen

Dr. Ericksen’s term as chairperson was characterized by data-informed decision-making processes and a caring servant leadership style. Under her leadership, the faculty unified a vision for a new curriculum.  She is an embodiment of her signature tagline: “Blue Jays Always.”  In this next phase of her Blue-Jay Adventure, Dr. Ericksen is looking forward to focusing on both teaching and research. She continues her long-standing connection with the Assessment of Motor and Process Skills (AMPS). We are very grateful for her strong leadership and her commitment to this program and the future generations of occupational therapy practitioners.

Dr. Humbert

Dr. Tam Humbert

On that note, we happily announce that Dr. Tam Keiter Humbert assumed the role of department chairperson and program director.  Dr. Humbert is known as a clinician, scholar, educator, writer, and world-traveler.  She also brings clinical and academic administrative experience with her to this new role. This transition, true to Tam’s signature style, was signaled by a make-over of the chair’s office (see photo below).


Office makeover a la Tam!

Office makeover a la Tam!


Dr. Humbert has been part of the Etown O.T. department for many years, first as an adjunct instructor, and since 2007 as an associate professor.  One of her first high-impact tasks will be to shepherd the implementation of a revised curriculum. In addition, she plans to pursue her writing and other scholarly activities. We very much appreciate Dr. Humbert’s willingness to step into this role, and we look forward to working with her!

Feel free to comment below with favorite memories and notes and appreciation for Dr. Ericksen, and/or words of encouragement and congratulations to Dr. Humbert!



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.